Hi, what plants should I grow in a damp shaded area of my garden, I have a couple of hosta's which are doing great, but I'd like something for all year, it's awful looking in winter/spring at bareness, thanks
Ferns. cotoneasters, some early bulbs, a few of the clematis will do there - but it is never going to be the easiest of sites to grow well, espeially in the winter. Some things grown in pots can be moved there for a while, then put beside the house, shed or hedge to recover. There are some very good books about such areas, may be available from your local library? Much depends upon which way it faces, and does it ever get any direct sunlight?
Aw thanks for that, it never really gets any sunshine
Rhodies and azaleas will tolerate it if you have the right soil, and also Pieris. vinca (periwinkle) is tough and evergreen and flowers early on- (purples and there's a white variety too)and heucheras are also good in shade. Many of the gold and green Carexes are also great in those conditions. Lily of the valley will like those damp shady spots as will Pulmonaria (lungwort) London Pride will grow anywhere- I forget it's 'proper' name sorry, and as Booker mentioned - a lot of the early bulbs will be fine - primulas come in all sorts of colours and start early. Shrubs like Mahonia will take a lot of shade too.
I have a damp shady border in my garden - snakes head fritillaries love it and they look stunning in Spring - also astilbe, primulas and hostas as mentioned in other suggestions and astrantia seems happy too....oh and a lovely bergenia, they are very happy in shade and really pretty both in foliage and little blue forget-me-not flowers.
Periwinkles of most kinds - vincas - are good ground cover. You can get some beautiful variegated ones whose leaves light up a dark space and the flowers are an added bonus. I'd also try wild strawberry - they spread and make good ground cover. And did anyone mention violets?
Another thought, this time for shrubs - hamamelis (witch hazel) is a lovely shrub with feathery yellow or orange fragrant flowers (look for a scented variety). And sarcacocca has a heavenly fragrance - will take deep shade. Flowers small and insignificant but what a scent!
I have exactly the conditions you describe and my hellebores are fantastic and have been in flower since before Christmas - through all the snow and cold and are still looking great. For summer I have Astillbies and though they grow very tall Japanese anemones do well. I've ordered snakes head fritilliarias for extra spring colour next year.
old fashioned I know but Tradescantia will privide cour in late summer, and like damp shade as do astilbes
Hmmmmmmm. I have found that a shady spot is good for much of the previous suggestions, BUT I would also submit that it is a good place for a wee wildlife pond. It doesn't have to be a gurt big pond, only about a meter square, or round ! We have this in our front garden, and it attracts a small colony of frogs, which say Bon Jour Meseurs/dames when we go out in the morning for breakfast on the front bench ! Around this 'water feature', we have potted plants, various shiftable flower pots and a hosta or two.
Don't miss the opportunity to grow pretty much any varietof of Tricyrtis in this space. They are quite other worldly and very beautiful, despite their common name... Toad Lily!