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Ideas please


By Ducky

Leicestershire, United Kingdom Gb

I want to get some ideas for what Im discovering to be a tricky spot. I would really like to create a thickly planted area of interesting foliage with some flowers - woodlandy in style - The area is a South South Westerly facing slope of approx 25-30 degrees free draining , semi shaded by a HUGE willow tree that is above it so little nutrient or surface moisture in the ground. I have tried various ferns - they dont seem to like it, the spreading juniper is doing ok, I have a small Nandina that is coping - and last year the snapdragons thrived and went mad before they all died off.
Any ideas what I could try? Its the slope behind the iron sunflowers in the picure - as you can see quite bare currently.




We have got honesty and bluebells growing very well in the partial shade under our tree.

10 Mar, 2009


Yeah, English bluebells are good. This is a good time to buy them in pots aswell, I'm not sure you'd ever find bulbs in the autumn, and they don't transplant so well. Make sure they are not the Spanish ones which become a pest.

10 Mar, 2009


Try an attractive variegated small leaved ivy. The small ones that you buy as house plants will do just as well outdoors (harden them off first). They are more dainty than the ones labelled as outdoor types. How about Hellebores, particularly the Oriental types. A pale flowered one would show up well. Also, it's a good time to buy snowdrops 'in the green' and they will be far more successful than dried old bulbs in autumn.

10 Mar, 2009


Vinca minor (periwinkle) would cover the ground and there are some with variegated foliage. Tiarellas and tellimas will take dry shade as will mahonia aquifolium. I have found some common aquilegias will take it dry too - once you get one established, its seedlings seem to cope as well
I also work on the principle that anything that mildly suckers will go off and look for moisture of its own accord so will survive dry shade as well. A mulch with well rotted compost each spring will also increase the water holding capacity of the soil but wait until it has rained beofre putting it on (to hold the moisture in)

10 Mar, 2009


i just love your sunflowrs...

10 Mar, 2009


hello ducky
There are quite a lot of plants that will do well here. I have dry shade under an old beech tree and a lot of shade else where.these are some of the plants I grow: tellima grandiflora, hardy geranium 'johnson's blue', solomon's seal, mitella, epimedium, 3 bamboos but have lost the name tags, a white aconitum, pulmonaria, the ground cover dogwood, pink campion, pagoda [dog's tooth] lily, violets, lily of the valley.

10 Mar, 2009


Oh, lovely ideas,
I love aquilegias and have them in sunny areas so that will definately be tried (I have a bad habit of collecting seed heads from wherever I see them and then getting the seeds muddled so I no longer have any ideas what colour aquilegia will come up - perhaps this is a good spot to get this tuti-fruti seed mix going) I also have some geraniums and vinca to split but I hadnt thought of putting them there.

Thanks I can feel my sluggish brain starting to fire up now.

Sandra - the sunflowers are about 4 foot high and were made by my Dad who has taken up making 'scrap' metal sculptures since he retired- they were his first attempt at sunflowers and took him rather longer to make than he had anticipated!!

11 Mar, 2009


ducky more pics of your dads stuff please....

11 Mar, 2009

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