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Plant ideas for shady front garden?

(6 Posts)
LikeASoulWithoutAMind Thu 29-Sep-16 09:48:43

The front of our house faces North and I'm trying to work out what to do with the bed directly in front of the house. It's quite light there but gets pretty much zero direct sun. It's a raised bed 6m long and 90cm deep - at the moment the middle 2m section is taken up with a rather overgrown choisya - I'm open minded about whether to hard prune this for a better shape or get rid of it altogether. There are 2 climbing roses that need a prune but seem quite happy and definitely space for another climber.

Does this count as full shade or is it worth trying some plants for partial shade? I'm thinking 2 or 3 small-medium shrubs interspersed with perennials and maybe snowdrops and daffodils? Definitely want to lighten the space up - am wondering about a green and white scheme.

Thinking about variegated dogwood, hostas, hellebores, white dicentra, ferns, alchemilla, white Japanese anemone, lamium, euphorbia Robbiae, maybe geraniums? (Not all of them!) Thoughts on whether these would tolerate that level of shade v welcome or are there better options? Need more shrub ideas too - maybe viburnum? Would any of the winter flowering clematis be ok?

shovetheholly Thu 29-Sep-16 10:50:10

I think most of those plants will work, they are really tough beasties. The biggest question is: what is your soil like? Heavy clay in shade is very much more moist than a dry sandy soil will be.

The fact you can grow roses suggests that it's pretty light and that you'll get away with a lot of partial shade plants. Viburnums grow well in my north-facing, heavy clay back garden, acers also. You can also get a lovely green and white variegated fatsia.

White and green is lovely in shade!

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Thu 29-Sep-16 10:56:17

Thanks shove. The soil is on the lighter side here - a bit sandy but not disastrously so (which is new to me) I have a soil testing kit I need to dig out - there's a camellia in the opposite bed that looks very happy there so will be interesting to see what the test says.

shovetheholly Thu 29-Sep-16 10:59:48

Maybe choose your viburnum and your ferns with an eye to dryer shade, rather than damp. But you've made such solid choices with that list, I think most will work in either set of conditions. (I struggle with lamium on my heavy clay - it needs to go in dryer areas, e.g. under trees, to do well - so it will probably rocket off in your garden!)

Trethew Thu 29-Sep-16 11:04:30

Varieties of Geranium nodosum and G phaeum do well in shady sites. Polystichum polyblepharum is a fab evergreen fern with shiny fronds which look good all year round. Hydrangea macrophylla Madame Mouillere flowers green opening white over long season. Brunnera Jack Frost or Looking Glass. Hostas if you can protect them. Ivy - varieties with silver variegation or interesting leaves (Fibrex Nurseries). Clematis Guernsey Cream is cream/white and needs a sunless site........

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Thu 29-Sep-16 12:42:34

Ooh thanks for the ideas - will check those out.

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