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Difficult shady area - ideas?

I have an area in my garden which I want to dig over and plant, but I'm at a loss what will do well there.

It's a small border near to the house, right at the base of a high laurel hedge. As my house is L shaped, this border faces the 'foot' of the L, so although it's South West facing, it's very shady for the majority of the day. 

What would you plant here that may do well? The rest of the garden is pretty much cottage garden style. 




  • Lou12Lou12 Posts: 1,149

    Almost my entire garden is shady except for one bed.

    Aquilegia seem to do well in areas like that, tiarella, definitely euphorbia - they will grow anywhere, I like the bonfire variety as it really lights up winter, variegated euonymous looks nice in shade, again lights it up, hellebores, ferns are lovely, monkshood, foxgloves, acanthus mollis, sarcococca which i love, I have mass plantings of cyclamen which are always lovely in autumn, I do find the larger leaved ones are not swamped by the shade as much as the smaller ones. I love lamium too even though I don't have any yet.

    I do find green and white works really well it deep shade or green and yellow.

    I just planted a large fernery with lots of white foxgloves amongst the ferns, I can't wait for the foxgloves to come up. That's in a particularly dark area under mature trees with tree roots everywhere.

    I even have a magic carpet rose growing in deep shade under a tree, it's flowered prolifically for two years now. It would obviously do better in the sun but it does well enough.

    Failures include alchemilla which is supposed to be ok with dry shade, I dug it up this year as it didn't grow at all in 2 years and looked weedy.



  • Thanks both! Lots of ideas, I'll get researching! Thanks again image
  • mmm, I like the idea of the magic carpet rose if it will manage in such deep shade (and foxgloves and philadelphus too). I agree, Lou, lots of white would look good against the dark backdrop and the shade. 

    Oh I've got a whole bunch of euphorbias at the other end of the garden, would be nice to add one up by the house for some balance.

    The white dicentras look very pretty too, thanks Verdun - lots more mooching through those names to do!

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,735


  • I can't quite hear you.... image

  • Lou12Lou12 Posts: 1,149

    Nope still didn't catch it image

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