Most of us have some shade, whether it’s an area of woodland or a shady corner, it’s just a question of scale. It’s often seen as a problem, but it doesn’t have to be, just choose the right plants, ones that naturally prefer shade and you’re on the way to success.
Some plants prefer dry shade or moist shade, so make sure you get the right ones for your garden.
This woodland looks so natural because it’s planted in three storeys
- The upper story comprises of trees
- The middle one is made up of shrubs and taller plants
- The lower story is ground covering plants, these also make a nice fringe to the edge of the path.
Shrubs like Rhododendrons are perfect for the middle story in a garden with acid soil.
Astilbes, like these pink ones, make a good middle story when planted in moist soil.
Epimediums are useful evergreen plants with pretty heart shaped leaves and tiny flowers in Spring
new leaves in Spring are a warm bronze colour, they make a nice edging to paths or a cover for large areas
Select plants where you can like this Digitalis ferruginea (foxglove) to attract bees and other pollinating insects.
Hostas are the quintessential shade plant
but they’re very prone to slug damage, so choose them if you have a friendly hedgehog to patrol at night and eat up the little pests but not if you need to rely on slug pellets.
Finally, keep the soil nicely mulched with a thick layer of compost, especially to get new plants off to a good start, and place a bench where you can enjoy it all.
All images: Jill Anderson