North facing Garden

JamesOJamesO Posts: 229

Hi I am doing a garden for my sister but its a north facing one.  Been this weekend cleared the site the soil is clay but have started to add mycorrhizal fungi and will and manure and relevante composts later.

I just wanted to know peoples best shrubs, Perrienals for a north facing garden with no sunshine total shade.  Many Thanks


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 4,993

    HI James

    I'm sure you'll get plenty of ideas from the forum.

    To give you a start, you could have a look at the Crocus website. 
    You can filter plants so that you only get a selection that meets your criteria such as soil type, aspect, height etc etc
    Of course, you don't have to buy from them, but it's a helpful starting point.

    Good luck

    PS - I'm def no expert, but why add mycorrhizal fungi as a dressing? I thought you just put some in the hole and ensure the roots are in contact with it when planting.

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,414

    To start with I'd look at ferns, cyclamen hederafolium, alchemilla mollis, foxgloves, clematis alpina, blue leaved hostas, convallaria majalis, pulmonaria and geranium phaeum.

    I'm with Pete on the micorrhizal fungi - use it on the rootball of shrubs at planting.


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • JamesOJamesO Posts: 229

    Thanks guys that crocus site is a good one plenty of pictures with information Thanks pete8

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 19,333

    My last garden in Harrow and this one in Belgium both have mainly north facing gardens.   Harrow had acid clay soil so lots of compost went in and we grew rhododendrons, azaleas, roses and a wide range of perennials.   The shadiest bit was up by the house but the bottom of the garden had full sun in summer.   I expect your sister's is the same.

    This garden is alkaline loam on a clay sub soil so clematis do very well in shade and sun.   I can't grow ericaceous plants but buddleias, roses, conifers, mahonia, weigelias, Japanese maples, sambucus, choisya, physocarpus, colourful stemmed cornus, philadelphus and so on do very well.

    The list of perennials that love it here is huge but in the heaviest shade up by the house I grow hostas, Japanese anemones, filipendula, primulas, ligularias, lily of the valley, astilbes, astilboides, fuchsias (in pots and baskets), snowdrops and miniature daffs.    

    Hardy geraniums, dicentras, pulmonarias, brunneras, persicarias for dappled shade and then an almost endless choice for the sunnier parts depending on colour preferences.

    Use well rotted garden compost and manure or spent compost or bought in soil conditioners to improve the drainage in the clay before planting.  Save the microrhizal stuff for roots at planting time.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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