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Plants for the evening sun

As well as an extensive back garden, the house we have just bought has a small front garden which only sees the summer sun from about 4.30pm every day, otherwise its in shade all day. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what we can plant out the front.It's a concrete base so they would have to be pot plants or maybe we could create a raised bed. 


  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,455

    I have a West facing front and so it gets the sun from about 4:30 ish like yours but I wouldn't call it shaded until then as the aspect is quite open.  We have trees across the road but they're far enough away to not cast a shadow.

    Are you built up at the front?  You say it's in shade, do you mean there are looming buildings putting it into shade or do you mean it just isn't proper sunny until late in the day?  (hence West).

  • daiboydaiboy Posts: 32

    Yes essentially it's a 20ft by 5ft garden area directly infront my house so my house blocks the sun from it for the majority of the day. 

  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,657

    Is your soil suitable for grasses? They look especially good with low angle sunlight coming though. Most don't need lots of sunlight, just plenty of daylight. If your house is dark brick it might be a problem. There are plenty or geraniums that are happy in partial or even full shade Most of the spring bulbs would be happy too. Or foxgloves, which also can be really effective in late sunlight

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • daiboydaiboy Posts: 32


    This is the front of the house. We just want to introduce some colour to the front of the property. Soil can be what we want it to be as they would need to be potted plants anyway.

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699

    What a lovely blank canvas. Apart from pots close to your front door, you can make or buy raised planters to go behind that brick wall so your plants can spill through the railings. Wooden sleepers raised behind the wall can also make a raised bed for you. 

    It all depends on the kind of look you want. How much time you have. Are you looking for a formal look? A relaxed and cottagey look. Low maintenance garden perhaps. A themed look where you prefer one or two types of plants. 

  • daiboydaiboy Posts: 32

    A relaxed cottage look would be the way I would go. We do have an established potted honeysuckle that will be coming with us. That seems to thrive with only the first of the morning sun so should be ok with the evening sun instead.

  • CloggieCloggie Posts: 1,455

    That's a lovely Victorian daiboy, I love the front wall and the coping stones (just having building work done so my radar is honed on coping stones!. It actually sounds like your house is facing North to South with South at the back same as my last house, a lovely aspect.

    At the front I only had lawn and it struggled (it was an Estate with no front walls).

    If it were me (and I know it isn't but you're looking for ideas), I'd go for a big, home-made to measure bed with drainage.  I'm thinking railway sleepers on legs or with escape holes (ish) - are you handy?

    In any case for me the raised bed option looks favourite, filled with soil not potting compost.

    In it I'd include at least one shrub.  An evergreen to the right (as I look at the picture), something like Aucuba or Fatsia Japonica.

    For the front railing I'd look to plant a clematis in the middle of it - one that is happy in shade and not too vigorous.  I have Josephine that is doing well for me in a shady spot, it's pink and quite showy but not too large.

    You could then fill in the gaps with stuff like Hostas, Solomon's seal, Brunnera and Heucheras.

    Sorry if you know all these plants, they're popular for a reason, but you don't say your level of experience.  Heucheras are fantastic, a vast range of varieties to suit all tastes and situations and some are evergreen.  

    Hope this is helpful.

  • daiboydaiboy Posts: 32

    Cloggie that is more than helpful, thank you for taking the time to do that. We've always has a little garden and moved to this house partially due to the size of the back garden. We won't be touching that this year but thought the least we could do it get the front garden sorted to stop us twiddling our thumbs.

    I like the idea of the raised bed and the clematis using the fencing at the front. I will start doing a bit of research about how to build the bed.

    Now all I have to do is stop myself from working in the back garden. If you didn't see it on my other thread here's the reason it takes a lot of self restraint not to work in the back garden yet.

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699

    If you go for the raise planter idea that runs maybe behind your front brick wall with the railings, it will mean, you can grow plenty of plants and change the look regularly. For your aspect, I recommend the following. Blue bell bulbs, snow drops too. In the later spring time, Astrantias, Aqueilegas and Thalictrum Delavayi, the meadow rue. Into the summer time, Geraniums, Tradescantia Andersonia, the spider lily. Viburnum Tinus is a tough evergreen shrub. If shaped carefully, can bring the border together.

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