Shade-loving Annuals, Perennials and Bulbs

Most gardens have that untouched area of shade that is neglected when the rest of the garden is majestic in full summer bloom.In small and in particular townhouse gardens, shaded areas can seem difficult if you desire a beautiful garden full of vibrant fragrant flowers but there are plenty of plants which actually prefer damp or dry, shaded positions.


alchemilla mollis (Lady`s mantle)

Use box, ferns and evergreens for background structure and texture, then bring the area alive by making use of pale, pastel colours adding alchemilla mollis (lady`s mantle) with its lobed leaves and bright lime green/yellow flowers and a hardy geranium such as cranesbill to compliment the dark evergreens. Azaleas can be grown in nearly any garden with full to partial shade. Full sun can scorch their leaves so these stunning plants prefer to be situated at the back of borders adding colour to conifers and ferns.

Bulbs, corms and tubers are an excellent way to add colour and height to your garden and with careful planning you can enjoy stunning displays all year long. Shade loving bulbs include the delicately beautiful Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley) and Anemone blanda, a herbaceous perennial with violet, pink or white flowers, which flowers in spring.

Summer flowering bulbs such as begonia will brighten up any garden and are ideal for containers and hanging baskets. Taking care of begonias is easy, especially when growing begonias from corms or tubers.

As summer eases into autumn there are plenty of bulbs to brighten up your autumn garden.  Gladioli is a firm favorite for creating height and drama to your border. While they prefer full sun, Gladiolus will still grow well in partial shade.  Dig up the corms after flowering and store in a dry place until they are ready to replant again the following spring.

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Crocuses are a well known autumn bulb for the garden. The delicate crocus can be spoiled by wet weather so plant them beneath trees and shrubs where their brilliant display will be protected from heavy rains. To complement the vivid colours of the crocus what could be better in the winter garden than the common snowdrop. This classic winter flower will brighten up any border as it gently sways in the winter breeze.

Other shade loving plants include Iris foetidissima with its purple flowers and unusual orange seed display. The purple-pink tubular flowers of foxglove, particularly loved by bees or the Lamprocapnos spectabilis (bleeding heart) so called for its delicate heart shaped purple/pink flowers. With a little imagination and selective planting, there is no reason why any garden should miss out on the joy of flowers and the bumblebees and butterflies will love you for it.

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