Gardens In Shade
Shady areas can be daunting or uninspiring when thinking about planting, but there is a huge array of fantastic plants that thrive in shade, providing beautiful flowers and architectural and dramatic foliage which can brighten and enhance any dark corner of the garden.
Actaea - arching spires of white scented flowers and purple lacy foliage
Ajuga - low growing evergreen foliage, perfect for groundcover and short blue spikes of blue flowers in Spring
Aruncus - fern-like foliage and creamy white plumes in Summer
Anemone hupehensis - cup-shaped flowers on upright stems in late Summer/early Autumn and dark green divided leaves
Anemone x hybrida - cup-shaped pink or white flowers on upright stems and dark green divided leaves
Aquilegia - Happiest in part shade. Clump forming perennial with nodding star-shaped flowers in Spring and Summer.
Astilbe - large upright plumes and fern like foliage (like moist but only part-shade fpr optimum flowering)
Astrantia - pin-cushion flowers from June to September (happiest in part-shade)
Bergenia - large evergreen leaves and clusters of bell-shaped flowers on tall stems
Blechnum - beautiful evergreen mat forming fern
Brunnera - small blue star-shped flowers (similar to forget-me-nots) and attractive heart-shaped leaves.
Caltha palustris - Clump forming perennial with heart shaped leaves and marigold-like flowers.
Camellia - Autumn or Spring flowers and evergreen foliage
Convallaria - Scented bell-like flowers in early Summer.
Corydalis - blue tubular flowers from Spring to Summer
Cyclamen - dainty pink or white flowers and attractive leaves, great for naturalising under trees.
Digitalis - Tall flower spikes of bell-shaped flowers, often with different colour spotting on the inside
Dryopteris - deciduous and evergreen varieities of fern
Epimedium - great groundcover plant with arractive foliage (some with Autumn colour) and flowers held on stems in Spring.
Erythronium pagoda - lovely Spring bulb with yellow star-shaped flowers. Perfect for woodland planting.
Euphorbia amygdaloides robbiae - excellent evergreen ground cover plant with vibrant lime green flowers and glossy foliage.
Galium odoratum - excellent ground cover plant with bright green leaves and tiny white star flowers.
Geranium phaeum - single flowers in May/June. Good groundcover
Geum - Happiest in part shade. Clump forming perennial with saucer-shaped flowers on tall stems.
Gillenia trifoliata - starry white flowers on attractive red stems in Summer
Hamamelis - scented spidery flowers on naked stems in Winter
Helleborus - evergreen foliage and saucer shaped flowers in Autumn/Winter
Heucherella - Attractive evergreen foliage with sprays of bell-shaped flowers in Spring and Summer.
Hosta - Simple attractive leaves, often variegated with bell-shaped flowers on tall stems in ealy Summer.
Hydrangea macrophylla - showy flower heads in late Summer, and climbing varieties (Hydrangea anomala)
Hydrangea paniculata - upright and spreading shrub with showy dense flower panicles from mid Summer.
Impatiens - Exotic looking and low growing, flowering in late Summer.
Lamium - Excellent ground cover plant, flowering in late Spring/early Summer.
Ligularia - Clump forming perennial flowering on tall stems in Summer.
Lychnis - Erect perennial with star-shaped flowers in Summer. Evergreen and deciduous varieties.
Lysimachia - clump forming perennial with star-shaped flowers
Magnolia - Stunning large goblet or star-shaped flowers in Spring or Summer. Evergreen and deciduous varieites.
Mahonia - evergreen shrubs with scented yellow flowers in Winter
Meconopsis - Himalayan Poppy
Omphalodes - great groundcover with vivid blue flowers in Spring/Summer
Osmanthus - evergreen shrub with scented white flowers
Oxalis - low growing with star-like flowers
Pachysandra - excellent evergreen groundcover with white flowers
Persicaria - low growing herbaceous perennial with flower spikes (does well in part shade)
Philadelphus - upright shrub with fragrant flowers
Phlox - do well in part shade. Erect perennials with simple leaves and clusters of star-shaped flowers.
Podophyllum - large umbrella-like leaves with distinctive markimgs and flowers that hand delicately beneath.
Polygonatum - arching stems with delicately hanging white flowers in May/June time.
Polystichum - evergreen ferns with attractive divided fronds.
Primula - rosette forming perennials with flowers either arranged in tiered whorls on tall stems or singular flowers from the rosette itself.
Pulmonaria - great ground cover plant with pattened leaves and funnel-shaped flowers in Spring.
Rheum - ornamental rhubarb with large leaves and strong flower stems in late Spring/early Summer.
Rhododendron - great woodland shrub with masses of funnel-shaped flowers in Spring.
Rodgersia - attractively divided leaves with large pannicles of small star-shaped flowers in Summer.
Sambucus - attractive foliage (tolerant of shade)
Sarcococca - evergreen shrub with strongly scented flowers
Saxifraga - creamy white flowers in Autumn/early Winter
Skimmia - Glossy evergreen, great for Winter interest
Tellima - good evergreen groundcover, flowering in Spring
Thalictrum - fluffy flowers in early Summer (tolerant of shade)
Tiarella - clump forming perennial with palmate leaves and stems bearing panicles of tiny star-shaped flowers.
Viburnum tinus - evergreen shrub with good year-round interest
Tricyrtis - exotic looking flowers in late Summer/Autumn
Vinca - perfect for ground cover
Viola odorata - pretty mat-forming perennial with delicately scented flowers in Spring. Ideal for woodland planting.