One of the most common questions we are asked in the garden centre is what plants we recommend for a shady border, so we thought we would compile a list of a selection of our favourites (note that this is not an exhaustive list, there are plenty more that we like too!).
Alchemilla Mollis (Lady’s Mantle)
The Lady’s Mantle is a herbaceous perennial forming a clump of softly hairy, light green leaves with scalloped edges. Flowering from Summer through to Autumn, with it’s small sprays of bright yellow flowers, it will be happy with all aspects, and soil types.
With their beautiful saucer-shaped flowers, these herbaceous clump-forming perennials can grow up to 1m tall. Flowering from Summer into Autumn in varying shades of pink, purple or white. They will thrive in all soil types – moist but well-drained.
A large shrub with oval, leathery, green leaves up and small sprays of yellow-green flowers which are followed by yellow-orange fruits that split to reveal orange-red seeds. Euonymus is easy to grow, is hardy and can be either deciduous or evergreen.
Ferns come in all shapes and sizes and are low-maintenance and tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions. They are great way of adding interesting structure to a shady corner of the garden and will thrive in any moist, well-drained, humus-rich, neutral to alkaline soil.
A very popular addition to the garden, with so many varieties to chose, the Heuchera are a genus of evergreen, herbaceous perennial plants in the family Saxifragaceae. Flowering from late Spring, they prefer semi-shade and alkaline to acid well-drained soil. As a rule of thumb the darker coloured Heuchera’s withstand full sun better than the lighter coloured ones.
A classic garden shrub with delicate heads of flowers in shades of pink, white or blue and pretty autumn colour and leaf shape. The Hydrangea is known for it’s ability to change colours in different soil types. They will produce flowers from late Spring to early Autumn and like a moist, but well-drained soil, in a cool, semi-shady part of the garden.
Astilbe are a group of beautiful perennial plants that have an almost fern-like foliage and plumes of flowers in either red, pink, purple or white, flowering from late June to August. They thrive in moist/damp shade but can tolerate drier conditions if kept in the shade.
There are many more shade loving plants that we like, but hope that these will help you chose the right ones for your shady spot. Please come and talk to us in the Garden Centre if you have any queries, we would love to help!