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West Midlands, United Kingdom Gb

I have a walled garden at the back that gets no sun, What could I plant there??



there are lots of plants for shade from ferns to hostas, hard geraniums, polygonatum, ajuga, pachysandra, lamiums etc. I plant alot in shade as I have a large tree. hope these suggestions get you started. There are lots more to consider.

5 Apr, 2010


see below from the RHS

Walls and buildings usually cast a light shade and don’t rob the soil of moisture, unlike the more strenuous conditions found beneath the boughs of trees.

To grow healthy plants in shady areas, it is important to identify the degree of shade that a plant needs or will tolerate. Few shrubs will thrive where shade is very dense, particularly when coupled with a dry impoverished soil. Additional organic matter and a general fertiliser will provide more suitable conditions for plants to grow.

1. Light shade: A site that is open to the sky, but screened from direct sunlight by an obstacle, such as a high wall or group of trees.
2. Partial shade: A site receiving sunlight for two or three hours either in early morning or late evening. Midday sun supplies considerably more light.
3. Moderate shade: Mainly reflected or diffused light, for example through tree canopies.
4. Deep shade: Usually under dense deciduous trees, e.g. beech, conifer hedges or overgrown shrubberies.
Practical considerations

Where branches are held high, as with oak, it may be possible to grow various plants well within the branch spread. The most difficult conditions are found under conifers, as these areas are dry and sheltered in summer and winter, often with an accumulation of dead needles and debris creating very acidic conditions.

With plenty of humus and moisture it may be possible to grow spring-flowering bulbs and similar plants, such as snowdrops, anemones, bluebells, lily-of-the-valley and hardy cyclamen, clustered around the base of the trunk itself. Under trees in which the branch canopy is low and spreading, few plants will thrive except along the perimeter of branch spread. Planting may need to be a matter of trial and error, with emphasis placed on low-growing evergreen shrubs, but not the variegated kinds which need good light conditions. Common ivy is worth trying in even the gloomiest conditions.

Mulching improves water retention, and combined with autumn rather than spring planting, allows some plants to establish more effectively over winter.

Unfortunately, shade-tolerant plants are in many cases not very colourful in flower, but often there is consolation in attractive or interesting foliage. Plants for shade gather what light there is by large leaves which are rich in chlorophyll and therefore often very green. Variegated plants are less successful in shade than in sun as they lack chlorophyll.

With mulch, bulbous plants can thrive under deciduous canopies. Try the following:

* Anemone blanda AGM – blue/white-pink flowers. Height and spread 15cm (6in).
* Convallaria majalis AGM (lily-of-the-valley) – scented, white flowers. Height 23cm (9in) and spread 30cm (12in).
* Cyclamen hederifolium AGM – spread; pink flowers. Height 15cm (6in) and spread 10-13cm (4-5in).
* Galanthus (snowdrops) – white flowers. Height: 10-22cm (4-9in) and spread 5-8cm (2-3in).
* Hyacinthoides non-scripta (bluebell) – blue or white flowers. Height 20-40cm (8-16in) and spread 8cm (3in).
* Narcissus bulbocodium AGM – yellow flowers. Height 10-15cm (4-6in) and spread 5-8cm (2-3in).

Shade-tolerant shrubs

Shrubs and perennials can both succeed under high, broken or deciduous canopies. Try the following:

* Buxus sempervirens AGM – Height and spread up to 5m (15ft).
* Daphne laureola – pale yellow-green flowers in late winter and early spring. Height 1m (3ft) and spread 1.5m (5ft).
* Gaultheria shallon – pinky-white flowers in late spring and early summer; acid to neutral soils only. Height 1.2m(4ft) and spread 1.5m (5ft).
* Mahonia aquifolium – yellow flowers in spring. Height: 1m (3ft) and spread 1.5m (5ft).
* Ruscus aculeatus – bright red berries from late summer to winter. Height 75cm (30in) and spread 1m (3ft).

Perennial plants to try

* Alchemilla mollis AGM – yellow flowers from early summer-early autumn.Height 60cm (24in) and spread 75cm (30in).
* Anemone x hybrida – white or pink flowers from late summer to mid autumn. Height: 1.2-1.5m (4-5ft) and spread is indefinite.
* Bergenia – pink or white flowers in spring. Height 20-45cm (8-18in) and spread 30-60cm (12-24in).
* Hostas – grown mainly for foliage, but also have blue or white flowers in late summer. Height 10-60cm (4-24in) and spread 30cm-1m (1-3ft).
* Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae AGM – greenish-yellow flowers from mid spring to early summer.Height 60cm (24in) and spread is indefinite.
* Helleborus x hybridus – variable, coloured flowers from mid winter to late spring. Height and spread 45cm (18in).

Woodland plantings

* Dryopteris filix-mas AGM – fern grown for foliage. Height and spread 1.2m (4ft).
* Digitalis (foxglove) – pink, purple, white or yellow flowers in summer. Height: 30cm-1.2m (12in-4ft) and spread 30-45cm (12-18in).
* Epimedium – pink, white or yellow flowers in spring. Height 15-60cm (6-24in) and spread 30-60cm (12-24in).
* Hedera (ivy) – used as ground cover. Spread up to 10m (30ft)
* Lamium (dead nettle) – pink, white or yellow flowers in summer. Height 5-20cm (2-8in) and spread of 10cm-1m (4in-3ft).
* Luzula sylvatica (woodrush) – grass-like. Height 60cm (2ft) in flower with an indefinate spread.

Container choices

If conditions are excessively dry, use pots to grow plants in moist, well watered soil. Try the following:

* Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’ (black grass) and ivy work well as underplanting for potted shrubs such as Vinca, Euonymus fortunei or Pachysandra.
* Enliven pots with a mixture of seasonal bedding such as Impatiens, Begonia, winter-flowering pansy and polyanthus (all reliable in shade).
* Zantedeschia (arum lily), though often tender, looks dramatic against an evergreen backdrop and can be overwintered under glass
I have a north facing garden with a large tree creating shade~ my hellebores and holly do well!
good luck

5 Apr, 2010


that makes my effort look very pathetic lol

5 Apr, 2010


~ cut and paste SBG!Actually I have a fair few of the plants mentioned at the front~ the upside is that I have blazing sunshine in the back!

5 Apr, 2010


nice one :o))

5 Apr, 2010


apart from the shrubs and the woodrush I have these too. plus a few others like tiarella, tellima, mitellla and aconites. pulmonarias too.

5 Apr, 2010


My fuchsias do better in light shade~there are books devoted to the subject~try Amazon or one of the book comparison sites eg

5 Apr, 2010


If light shade is as described by the RHS see Arlenes answer above, why is there need for high hedges legislation. I can understand they will rob the area next to them of moisture but that does not seem to be their principal objective. The legislation is to prevent overshadowing to protect ones right to enyoy ones property. This is quite important to me as we are thinking of growing something at least 4.5m high to screen us from the neighbours new villa - 8.6m high. Does anyone know the answer. The new house has resulted in part of our garden not thawing from ground frost between December and the middle of March.

6 Apr, 2010


~ my neighbour has a leylandii hedge at the bottom of their garden which is about 15-20 feet high but although it blocks our view up the track at the back of our house it provides shelter for dozens of small birds~ do you think your neighbour would object or be happy with increased privacy?. It also will depend on which way their house faces~ If you are a member of the RHS write and ask them if all else fails, you could maybe ask the council planning officer?

6 Apr, 2010


Thank you Arlene

6 Apr, 2010

How do I say thanks?

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