Plant ideas for tricky corner

(5 Posts)
Piffyonarockbun Tue 30-Aug-16 10:27:19

I have a mostly lovely sunny garden. It is full of nice smelling plants, lots of roses, magnolias, lavender and hebes. I had a shed in one corner but took it down last year. This corner is near a huge sycamore tree. It is not under the tree but is pretty well shaded by it. It doesnt get nearly as much sunlight as the rest of the garden although it does get some and in the autumn the falling leaves from the tree cover the area.

At the moment there is some patchy grass but even the grass struggles there. I wanted to dig it over and plant more plants but i dont know what to plant. From experience i know my usual choice of plants will probably struggle in this corner and im not a good gardener. I have my garden mostly through trial and error. I really want plants that will attract bees and butterflies. Other than that i have no preference and am willing to put anything in there. I have attached a photo. Excuse the toys but you can see the grass is patchy and its shady due to the huge magnolia in front of it!
So mostly shaded area which gets covered in leaves once a year. Im not sure what my soil is like. Its mostly top soil as i got the garden renovated a couple of years ago plus whatever the leaves add when they rot down, but i am coastal if that makes a difference. Any suggestions would be gratefully received!

shovetheholly Wed 31-Aug-16 08:30:06

Is the soil quite dry there?

I would dig out the soil right around that corner, from where the grass starts to thin, and add loads and loads of compost. Then plant big shrubs at the back, medium sized ones in the middle and some small things at the front. A viburnum tinus, fatsia at the back will give you evergreen cover; Kirengeshoma palmata, foxgloves and mahonia will give you some mid-height plants; epimediums, brunnera and ferns for dry shade, combined with winter cyclamen and spring bulbs at the front will look good.

Piffyonarockbun Wed 31-Aug-16 09:32:03

Yes the soil does seem very dry.
Thank you for the suggestions. Ill get started on digging it out and have a look at those plants smile. I just dont want to waste that little patch when i could be growing something grin

shovetheholly Wed 31-Aug-16 10:05:30

Yes, there are lots of lovely dry shade plants you can use! You can help them along by enriching the soil and it makes your life easier too. It's hard to tell how big the patch is, but clear the grass then dump on a few huge bags of compost on top - you want to be covering it to 3-4 inches and you'll be surprised how many bags this takes!! Then just leave it and let the worms do the digging for you.

When you put a spade in to dig a hole for a plant, make sure you dig a really big one, and add more compost around the roots so the plant has nutrients where it needs it and a lot of lovely space to grow into.

Basically, compost, compost, compost. grin

Also, you can get products to act as lawn edging, which gives a really neat finish between lawn and bed. Ever-edge is good, but there are lots on the market! Don't be tempted by the cheapo plastic ones, though, or the wood rolls - they always look rubbish! It is one area where, if you can afford it, splashing out makes a big difference. Alternatively, if cash is tight, just get a half-moon edger and build up a little channel between the bed and the lawn.

Oldraver Wed 31-Aug-16 15:56:38

Buddlei will obviously attract Butterflys, though we have more massive Bumble Bees and it isnt fussy about soil. You can get some with variagated leaves if you want colour when not in flower

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