5 Plants For Shady Areas

Our old house had a garden that was pretty much divided into 2.  1 half was well drained, dry soil and the other side was damp and shaded. On the damp side we were able to plant more shade loving plants that didn’t mind having their feet a little bit wet, which turned out to be one of our favourite bits of our garden, even though only a very small section (and garden as a whole)

 At our new house, the rear garden is West facing, but as we have a bank of trees at the back, there are areas which are shaded for most of the day. Because of this, we’ve decided to plant shade loving plants all the way along the base of the trees at the back of the garden.  This will end up giving more interest underneath the canopy of the trees where shade loving plants will thrive.

The previous owners of our property had put lining and stones over all the border and tree roots along the back of our garden, so all our shade loving plants would have to be in pots.  We could remove all the stones and the lining, but it would be quite a big job and it does help to suppress the weeds in this area.

Sophie created a wish list of plants that would work well in this area and we’d thought we’d share them to possibly help others to know what to plant in these sort of areas.
5 Plants for shade:

Hosta Seiboldiana vr. elegans (Giant blue hosta)

  • This is a clump forming plant with broad, blue-green leaves of 20 – 30 cm.
  • It has lightly lilac colour bell shaped flowers on stems that can grow up to 75cm high.
  • The foliage is deciduous.
  • It needs moist, well drained soil (preferably loam or clay and acidic/ neutral)

Acer palmatum (Japanese maple)

  • Deciduous tree or large shrub
  • Can grow up 6 to 10m in height, so it’s an advantage that we are growing it in a pot to limit its growth.
  • It has 5 to possibly 9 lobed leaves which give deep, rich Autumnal colours.  Some can have ornamental stems to them.
  • Small red flower blossom happens in the spring.
  • Needs moist, well drained soil.
  • Leaf colour is at it’s best when in partial shade

Astilbe Japonica (Japanese Astilbe)

  • The foliage is deciduous.
  • Likes full shade or partial shade
  • Likes South, West and East facing aspects.
  • Flowers early to mid Summer and the old brow flower heads look good through Autumn.
  • Can grow from 55cm to 60cm

Dryopteris erythrosora (fern)

  • Semi evergreen
  • Can form a compact clump to 75cm in height.
  • Likes poorly drained to moist, well drained soil.
  • Doesn’t mind any aspect of garden
  • Likes partial to full shade
  • Likes to be sheltered.

Impatiens new guinea hybrids

  • Mostly they have 5 flat petals
  • Come in colours of pink, red, mauve and white.
  • Has lush lanced shaped foliage that can be have red-bronzed colours to it or splashed with bright green or yellow.
  • They like moist soil (but not soggy)
  • Likes light, but not direct sun.
  • Keep dead heading to keep the plant looking tidy and to promote new growth.

With the larger varieties above, keeping them in pots will limit their size, so they will not get as big as planting them directly into the ground.

We hope to build up this shady plant area as we go and turn it into one our favourite parts of this new garden.

For further tips on what plants to use in shady areas, please click on the link below:

Shade Planting: Annuals, bulbs and perennials – RHS Gardening

Please share your favourite shade loving plants with us and how to get the best out of them.

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