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Stubborn dry soil in the shady end of the garden


The back of my garden is overshadowed by some rather large trees that I can't cut.  

At the back of the garden the soil is hard, dry, stoney and fit for nothing. Also as its under the trees its prone to bird droppings. 

I rent the property so getting tree surgeons in is a bit much. 

I'm happy to put grass down but is their anything creative that can be done on the cheap maybe gravel it and put containers there? 




  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 13,705

    Look at this web site:

    You will find there are plenty of things you can grow in that situation.

    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,081

    You could also add some well rotted manure which will help the soil retain moisture and enable you to grow more plants. Mulching well after watering in plants will also help. Coupled with suitable plants from the site doc has mentioned, that will give you a good display. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 1,393

    Vincas are good for dry shade.

    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • Thank you everyone. Will give it a try. 

  • BenDoverBenDover Posts: 480

    There are ferns don't mind living in dry shady conditions.  Aptly named Dryopteris species of ferns do well under trees where it is often dry soil.  Also, Polystichum ferns.  If you don't want ferns, looks at Alchemical mollie, Bergenia, or Ajuga, Epimedium, several types of Geraniums, Vinca (aka Periwinkle).


  • Joyce21Joyce21 Posts: 15,489

    Brunnera Jack Frost will do well and lighten the area. Water well initially to settle it in.

    SW Scotland
  • It does get some sun in the morning but only until about lunch and then shades over (as I said I'm a noob) 

    I'm preparing the soil this morning and will put some of the compost through it and get it ready. 

  • MarineliliumMarinelilium Posts: 213

    LadyC may I suggest Euonymus fortunei for really dry site. Mine is under a Cedrus deodara pendula in bone dry pine needles on sandy soil yet just thrives on my neglect. Not exciting, not flamboyant but lifts what would be a gloomy arid spotimage

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