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Shade loving plants

Just changing our lawn area and I now have an area along a wall which is shaded however I would like to plant it up so it is quite colourful but low maintenance ????.  In the summer there are trees overhanging from the other side of the wall.

Any and all suggestions and ideas greatly appreciated 

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Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,562

    What kind of soil do you have?  It makes a difference to what will thrive - sandy, clay, loam, stony, chalky, acid, alkaline?

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • The soil is clay unfortunately. Sorry I meant to include that 

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 31,587

    HOSTASimage

    Devon.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,562

    Clay is usually very fertile but needs opening up to allow in air and improve drainage.  Before you plant anything you need to add a good thick layer of well rotted garden compost or cheap multi-purpose compost and some sharp sand (not builders') or fine grit and then fork it loosely in.

    All sorts of lovely plants will do well if you can do that - astilbe, astilboides, aquilegias, brunnera, candelabra primulas, chelone, hostas, ligularia, hakonechloa, hostas, ferns, cornus canadensis, tiarellas, epimediums, geranium phaeum.....

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,394

    Just while we are at this subject - what happens if you use builders' sand rather than sharp sand?  I realise one is ideal but does the other harm or do nothing?

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,562

    Sharp sand is usually dry so easy to mix  in and the grains are pointy and sharp so there are gaps even when they are compressed.  Builders' sand is smoother, smaller, round grains and won't open up clay soil in the way you need.   Waste of money for soil improving.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,394

    .. but if you have some left over from house improving (Builders' sand) then you can mix it into a planting mix with stuff like leaf mould, clay soil, old potting compost, manure etc and it won't do any harm?

    It just won't do any good if you are hoping to split the (very fine) molecules of clay soil with it because it too, is very fine.

    Just clarifying because I have about a third of a ton in bags that I keep adding to planting mixes and it is builders' sand.  I keep hearing that it's bad for gardens but just wanted to clarify that it's the application that's important, not the type.  

    Builder's sand can be used on gardens, but it is rubbish at opening up clay soils right? 

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,867

    If everyone just went out and bought a book on every gardening subject, we wouldnt have a forum!  Oh, what fun.

    the reason people ask for advice on what will grow where, or any other gardening problem is that they want first hand experience, you don't get that in a book.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Brickman0430Brickman0430 Posts: 178

    Got to agree with hosta fan, various hostas and my new favourite, brunnera Jack Frost ?

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,562

    Cloggie - agreed.  The rpevious owner of this house mixed some builders sand in the paint for the downstairs loo!  Two walls are textured yellow "beach" and the other two are smooth blue "sea" with starfish mirrors and tropical fish stickers.  She's a child minder and wanted the loo to be fun.

    Brickman - Just hostas and brunnera are not enough for me.  Too similar in shape.  You need changes in height and texture and leaf form and something that looks good in winter when they're ll below ground.

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