shady plants

we are redoing over the whole garden - a nice long project.

part of the garden is an extremely shady area - & as novices we would love some suggestions as to what to plant in that area.

thanks for all your help



  • Jean GenieJean Genie Posts: 1,724

    Hi Petryn, There is a lot of plants that do well in shade but is it dry shade or damp shade ?

  • I would have a look on the "Plants for Shade" website - it has all the variations eg dry shade, damp shade etc

    Happy gardening............

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 11,889

    My garden is on the dry side, so I'll give you a list of all I have growing in the shady areas and you can look them up, some like hostas like wet, but will grow in dry places so long as it's shady.

    Aquilegias, Pulmonarias, Hostas, Brunnera "Jack Frost", Alchemilla Mollis, Geranium Phaem "Samobor", Geranium Chatto - in fact a lot of geraniums will grow in partial shade, Tiarella, Polygonatum (Solomon's Seal), Astrantia, Bergenia, Hardy Cyclamen, Dicentra Eximia, Dicentra Spectabilis, Hellebores (Christmas or Lenten Roses), Heuchera, Lamiums, Rodgersia "Chocolate Wings", Thalictrum, Saxifraga Stolonifera.

    There is a good selection of pretty leaves in that lot and many different varieties of the same plant with a lot of them. Have fun Googling. 

  • Ferns, ferns, and more ferns!

  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619

    You might find this article by Alys Fowler of interest as well.

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 11,889

    Having looked at Alys Fowler's article I see I forgot foxgloves - easy to grow from seed and they seed themselves. She suggest vinca minor - be wary, mine is spreading like a weed and smothering other plants. I've had to dig lots out.

  • thanks for the helpful advice -certainly plenty for us to work on 

  • I have a north facing garden and so have a similar problem.

    Having been to the local library i randomly found an expert on the subject of shady gardens - Beth Chatto.

    So my suggestions are either get her book ... "The Shade Garden: Shade loving plants for year round interest"


    take a look at her garden if you live near colchester essex!

    She has a website you can google but the book is much better representation of her efforts

  • LunarzLunarz Posts: 93

    If you are looking for shrubs, then Skimmia are small shrubs (they grow to approx 2 - 3 foot) which love the shade and have the benefit of very late flowers and bright red berries (you only get berries if you have both a male and female plant to cross-pollinate, but all will flower happily) which provides interest late into the season.  A larger shrub (but slow growing so be prepared) is Sarcococca Confusa (also known as Christmas Box, although the leaves are a lot bigger than traditional box) which will grow in total shade and dry soil.  It flowers in the winters and has goreous-smelling white flowers.  Hope that helps.

  • hollie hockhollie hock Posts: 3,289

    I have been developing a  very shady area, woodland plants do very well. I would suggest all the lovely spring plants that you can grow from bulbs. I think it's always the best route to try and imitate nature. Crocus, snowdrops, bluebells, foxgloves and forget me not, really hardy but reproduce or self seed every year so they are sustainable for a  minimal cost.


  • LunarzLunarz Posts: 93

    Hi - a couple of other lovely little plants I have grown in total shade and which have flowered all year since May and are still flowering now:

    Corydalis - I have Kingfisher Blue and China Blue but there are other varieties.  They are about 20cms round and have 30cm flower spikes with many long, tube shaped sky blue flowers.  I believe that these are best planted at this time of year although I planted mine in Spring.  I think that there are also larger shurb sized varieties with yellow flowers.

    Tiarella - I have Brushes but there are loads of other varieties.  They are about 20-30cms round with lovely spikes of flowers with multiple tiny flowers in a cone shape.  Mine are light pink, but I believe that they come in every shade from white to dark pink.  Again, plant now or in Spring.

    Hope that helps.

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