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.







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