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Flower Beds in front of the house - North Facing Aspect

Hello, I'm a new gardener and have two flower beds which are underneath the windows at the front of the house (either side of the front door).  Each bed is 60cm wide and 230cm long.

The beds are north facing and the soil seems ok with no clay in it.  

I've been researching plants that are shade lovers  but getting a bit overwhelmed by all the choices.  I really like hostas and was thinking of using Hosta Tardiana June for some of the front part of the beds.   Would you be able to offer any advice on some taller plants to go at the back of the beds that look compliment hostas and other things to plant in between them / other suggestions for the beds.  In terms of colours I like blues and purples and ideally would like beds that have interest as long as possible throughout the year.  (Not very keen on things that climb up the walls).

Many thanks in advance for any help that you can offer a slightly overwhelmed novice!


  • Andy LeedsAndy Leeds Posts: 518

    How about Brunnera 'Jack Frost' - gorgeous silver dusted leaves and in spring delicate blue flowers.

    Could go with ferns too.

    Lots of choices to be honest, that's just two.

  • Mark56Mark56 Posts: 1,653

    Aquilegias, foxgloves, Geranium macrorrhizum, Dicentra & fuchsias etc

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,358

    Plenty of length there but not very wide, so that limits your choices. If you can make the beds a little deeper you'll be able to have a bit more variety  image

    Having said that - a few evergreens will give structure, rather than just perennials. I have Osmanthus burkwoodii which can be pruned if it gets too big - small white flowers in late winter/early spring. Heuchera , Tiarellas and Heucherellas will all do well there, and are also evergreen. They come in all sortf foliage colours. They're smaller, but will give you something else for edging. I use a dwarf Gaultheria for a similar situation. Small white flowers with red berries to follow, and evegreen foliage which reddens in autumn. Acteas are good back of the border plants, as long as the soil isn't too dry. Tall plumes of flowers in late summer. They can make a big stand so you might not want anything in front of those. Any of the Potentillas will grow there - white ones will suit you better,as the main colour sare yellows and oranges.

    I don't grow a lot of tall perennials as they get battered by the weather, but Astrantias might grow there if they get a little light - lots of plummy colours availabe. Astilbes will do well as long as the soil isn't too dry. You'll get more suggestions from other people who grow more perennials, but you can also use lots of spring bulbs for early interest before perennials come through. There's a very good nursery called Long Acre Plants which specialises in shade loving plants, so take a look on there too  image

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thank you so much to you Fairy girl, Mark 56 and Andy Leeds, really appreciate your help

  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 7,012

    heucheras and hellebores, tiarella, hardy cyclamen

    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
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