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I would appreciate some advice in covering an extremely shady corner approx 6' high x approx 3'. I would prefer an ever green shrub so therefore was thinking of an Aucuba, but i know they tend to grow as wide as they do high, would it dislike or look odd if I were to keep it pruned to the above dimensions. Having said that I have yellow leaved Philadelphus coronarius that would look good there. I am aware it probably wouldn't flower due to lack of sun but would it lose it's leaf colour very quickly? To be honest I am not fussed about lack of flowers for the corner I just need it to blend in with the rest of my garden that is predominately shrubs and various magellanica type fuchsias



you're right about Aucuba, it does always want to make a very round shape, growing as wide as it is tall, and will need constant cutting and won't make a good shape. Alternatives to consider are Buxus sempervirens, which can be used for hedging so doesn't mind being restricted and will tolerate shade - ultimate height if left unpruned is 13 feet, a small tree really. Elaeagnus pungens 'Frederici' gets about 10 feet, doesn't mind being cut back (after flowering particularly is the best time) but if your area has dense shade and never gets any sunlight, it may lose its coloration. If you choose another Elaeagnus instead, bear in mind that the deciduous varieties need more sun, so choose an evergreen.

12 Sep, 2010


As always you are the first one off the mark...thank you Bamboo. I feared you might say that about the Aucuba. I have been trying to imagine how it would look pruned at the sides only. My concern about the Buxus is i will end up with a solid shape after a few years, I like a nice lax growth, but you have given me an idea...I have got a young gold leaf jasmine growing close by which despite the shade grew remarkably well this year I think I could get a buxus and and let the jasmine run riot in it. The corner is two 6 foot high fences and the first thing I see out of my kitchen window and I just thought it would be nice to see a bit of colour there in winter. As for the Elaeagnus I didn't realise they would grow in any kind of shade at all. The area gets about an hour of dappled sun from March to April but that's about it. So I will take myself off to the nursery tomorrow and look at the Buxus and Elaeagnus. . I will let you know what I come home with :D My garden was an absolute mess after many years of neglect so I am starting from scratch and this site has been an absolute inspiration to me. Thank you again Bamboo

12 Sep, 2010


Actually going back to the buxus I have only ever seen it as a hedge not as a single plant, which is why I was worrying about the end solid shape.

12 Sep, 2010


What about Fatsia japonica, as it's quite architectural, and the flowers aren't unattractive, or its relative, fatshedera lizei 'Variegata', which is very appealing. Phil J

12 Sep, 2010


Phil I love the variegata but I wasn't sure if I could restrict the width, or if the colour would fade to green in such dense shade. I don't have a clue how to take care of Fatsia's with regards to shape either.

I have set myself a bit of a task, I am experimenting with only having one of anything and nearly all my plants and shrubs have some form of leaf colour and wanted to keep the theme going on into that corner as well...I don't want much do I? The only plain green leaf I have is my Hawkshead Fuchsia which will be covered in white flowers so I am not bothered by the green leaf. all my other fuchsia's are of various leaf colours. I want a very low maintenance garden but still with lots of colour, so far it's working except for that one corner

12 Sep, 2010


The garden is only 24' wide, a square patch actually, and in the opposite corner I have a Ceanothus Zanzibar so it would be nice to plant something so that they complement each other

12 Sep, 2010


How about Philadelphus Aurea - that would brighten a shady corner; or Cotinus, or Pittosporum?

12 Sep, 2010


I'd go for the Fatshedera lizei, the variegated form, as Phil suggests above, Shereebb - I note you haven't picked up on it, but it's not a Fatsia, it's a cross between Fatsia and Hedera (ivy) - very attractive, erect growth, grows up on its own initially, might need tying in as it gets a bit taller, Doesn't get much bigger than 6 feet high anyway, is evergreen, very attractive leaves.

13 Sep, 2010

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