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Damp Shady Area

Whilst I can't be doing much in the main garden at the moment I have been looking at this poor neglected spot & wondering what I could do to at least make it look a little better. A friend who visited it recently called it 'the business end' of the house. The shed holds the oil tank and OH uses the bits of wood when tinkering & the pallet thingy is his 'workbench. 

It isn't seen from the front or the back garden although a patio door from the TV room looks out on it (luckily we don't use that room in the daytime so don't see it that often. 

It is in the shade all day, the conifers (not ours) are quite tall and cast a shadow in the morning as does the side of the house later on in the day. It is also very damp, the rain takes days to dry out if we have any.

I was thinking of putting pots either on top of the wall with hanging plants covering the wall or on the ground with plants growing up to screen the wall that way.

Any idea what plants will survive/thrive, ideally evergreen or at least with some winter interest? 

As always, grateful for any help/suggestions. 






  • “Coffee. Garden. Coffee. Does a good morning need anything else?” —Betsy Cañas Garmon


  • YviestevieYviestevie Posts: 7,063

    Ive got a chocolate vine Akebaquinata growing on the shady damp site of my garden, it's evergreen and grows quickly and has chocolate smelling flowers on it.  Foxgloves would also do well there.  Mahonia would thrive.  Smaller plants such as Solomons Seal, Bleeding Heart and Toad Lillies should be ok. 

    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • Hostas, lily of the valley, both  perrenials, not evergreen, sarcocca or Christmas Box, in flower now, scented, black berries, evergreen , camellias, rhodedendrons, myrtle, evergreen, scented white flowers, slow growing. Any woodland plant such as honeysuckle, lonicera fragrans, the winter flowering honeysuckle, bushy growth, semi evergreen, does not climb. Blackbirds like to nest in it.

  • Thank you for the suggestions.

    Edd conservatory not required, have a nice area at the back & front already & defintely no budget. OH has a priority list for the budget & anything to do with the garden is always at the bottom.image

    I am going to have to use pots or containers as the ground level path is concrete & I need to keep the access free to shed, we have a ride on mower kept it in there & it just fits through the gap on the grass, or will have to keep pots on the moss covered wall with plants going down so as not to block the space (or get damaged by OH's driving). image

    Would any of the above be OK in pots/containers? Particularly like the sound of Christmas Box & chocolate vine Akebaquinata. image 

    • “Coffee. Garden. Coffee. Does a good morning need anything else?” —Betsy Cañas Garmon
  • YviestevieYviestevie Posts: 7,063

    Hi DD you could always grow the Chocolate Vine in the garden and train it over an arch towards the house.  It would soften the approach to the door.

    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • Could you grow some of the smaller ivies along the very edge of the grass and train them down over the wall? Some of them are not too vigourous - I have one called Glacier which is well behaved, with white variegation and there are others with different leaf forms. Ferns spring to mind, they would mix well with the hostas  etc mentioned  by Joyce, some are semi evergreen and some like the hart's tongue are fully evergreen. How about a rose for that shed wall? Mme Alfred Carriere grows in shade, I had it at my prevous house, but there are others too that could give summer colour and fragrance.


  • Beaus MumBeaus Mum Posts: 3,550

    I'm with buttercup days DD as if you have pots or troughs you will need to keep watered in the summer and I know you have so much to do as it is with your lovely big garden 

  • Thanks again, will see if I can find that rose Buttercupdays, it would make a big difference and you would see it from the TV room too. 

    Ferns & ivy with a hosta or two thrown in sound good too & fairly self sufficient. 

    Have a trellis dividing a woody area & a sun terrace whre the Chocolate Vine might do very nicely too.  

    Also like the pallet idea, perhaps some summer annuals could go in them in front of the ivy- loads to think about , thank you all very much. image

    Hopefully have some nice pics come summer. image

    • “Coffee. Garden. Coffee. Does a good morning need anything else?” —Betsy Cañas Garmon
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,769

    I have heucheras with different coloured leaves in pots in shade, they are evergreen (or ever gold or dark red!)

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Ooh, hadn't thought of heucheras, they are lovely, some great colours too. image

    • “Coffee. Garden. Coffee. Does a good morning need anything else?” —Betsy Cañas Garmon
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,737

    I would suggest Heucheras too DD. They're great for brightening dark areas and very easy if the ground's damp. I've got Pachysandra and Tiarellas in a north facing narrow bed and they do well too. Perhaps you could do a similar thing to mine using Edd's suggestion of a raised bed. The border runs along the fence  beside a gravel path,  and I made a raised bed at one end which has an Osmanthus burkwoodii, a Tiarella and a white Astilbe in it with lots of spring bulbs. This is the most recent  pic I have of that end. I use lots of foliage - Lonicera, Dwarf variegated ivy and Euonymous as well as our native primulas to give a unified look - green, gold and white.


    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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