Plants for shade

While many gardeners struggle to find plants that will cope with shade in its many forms, I relish the opportunities that it brings to grow species and varieties that might shrivel in the full glare of the sun.

Dappled shade from deciduous trees might present some problems in the summer, but before the leaves appear in late spring, there’s plenty of light to go around. And plenty of plants to choose from.

Part shade is relatively easy to deal with too, as there are lots of species that will enjoy a cooling off period in the shade for part of the day. And surprisingly most north-facing positions will get sun for the beginning and end parts of the day from April to September.

There are lots of great nurseries that offer species that are suitable for growing shade together with advice on planting and growing. Many offer plants for sale online including Plants for Shade, Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, Beth Chatto Plants & Gardens, Burncoose Nurseries, Penlan Perennials, Special Plants Nursery and Wootens of Wenhaston.

What to grow in full shade

Full shade, however, can be much more taxing to plant in. Such conditions generally exist in gloomy corners formed by high walls, buildings and evergreen trees. But fear not! Some plants are particularly tenacious and you don’t have to look far to find species that can cope. Here are SIX of my favourites that I grow here in my own garden…

Pulmonaria species and varieties

Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Rubra’

Epimedium species and hybrids

Skimmia japonica

Tricyrtis formosana and other species

Lamium orvala

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