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Partial shade - what is this ?

ninnin Posts: 216

I am doing well and have been on my veggie plot for a couple of years. I have decided to plant a perennial border this year around the lawn.

I am really flumoxed when it comes to flowers its all the shade full sun and especially the partial shade thing. I just dont know what is partial shade. looking down my garden the sun rises on the front right hand corner and sets on the far left hand corner.

So looking down the left the sun is only hitting the border in the morning due to a high fence and the far part of the border gets better morning sun. is morning sun partial shade ?

On the right the sun hits from the back of half the border in the morning due to a low chain fence and no planting next door and full afternoon sun hits the front of this border in the afternoon. I know this is a sunny border at the other end on this border it is backed by very high shrubs next door so only gets afternoon sun.

I have purchased a couple of herbaceous border perennial plant collections and just want to plant the plants in the right place.

I have done the standing in the garden all day studying the light and shade but still very unsure on what is partial shade and what is shade any help would be great, i justy cant afford to get this too wrong. 


  • LynLyn Posts: 23,048

    Dont worry too much. I am a very unconvential gardener, I put what I like, where I like, all seems to do well. 

    I have pumanaria and bergenia in full sun as well as full shade, they grow equally as well. Same with several other plants. I have found that geraniums are happy anywhere, as are lupins and foxgloves.

    Its not your only chance, if you get it wrong and something doesnt do as well as you think it should,  just wait till Autumn and move it. Most perenials will bare with you and do something. The only plant I have ever moved was a Russian sage, I have now moved it to full sun and its doing fine .

    Gardening must be a joy, not something to worry about.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,350

    Partial shade describes an area that gets some sun and some shade. It's not precise.

    Most of the more common garden plants will put up with what they get, that's why they're grown. There are exceptions but as Lyn says, you can move them if they're not happy. 

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • ninnin Posts: 216

    Lyn Nutcutlett Thanks both for the advice . You are all most certainly correct about the not getting strung-out thing.

    Not sure why flowers scare me and veg don't.

    I am going for it this year purchased a couple of hundred plants many only small plugs some larger plants. I am hoping if i go for it feed the soil loads of well rotted manure with goat manure as a top dressing. double dug and thoroughly sieving and weeding brambles and nettles this last week. deal with the slugs snails  and ants that have always eaten and destroyed the odd plant i have tried to grow before. Maybe this year it will work and I will grow a cottage flower garden.

    Its the one and only time I will have the money to do this I think it cost for plants £150 ish


  • ninnin Posts: 216


    Thanks for your comment and despite my last comment I have done a spread sheet height, spread, soil type and sun requirements and best bit flowering period. and a picture of each plant.

    God bless excel

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Put simply the border you describe first IS partial shade, the other is full sun. I wouldn't worry that much about it only a few plants really need partial shade the rest just enjoy what they're given. There really is no to need to stress about it.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,350

    I wouldn't overdo the muck and feeding for flowers, especially small ones. Depends on what they are. You may get rotting of those that like dryer soils and lots of lush greenery at the expense of flowers in others

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • ninnin Posts: 216

    Hi Nutcutlet I wouldn't normally over do the muck but the soil is very poor even sodden it runs through your hands like sand. In one border the nettles, brambles and bindweed from next door literally jump over the border and root at the edge in the lawn. Nothing will grow there, tried last year and a huge fail.

    I think it is partially that we were seriously infested with bind weed nettles and brambles and spent the year before killing them off to the extent the soil has had it . The neighbour also has  several of the L word fir trees at one end which suck out any life there is left in the soil and protect the weed roots which all then jump through the chain link fence and up my side.


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