Using Shade in the Garden

Shady areas are no longer a challenge; they are an opportunity to introduce a whole new world of plants into the garden.

Many shade loving plants grow naturally in woodland situations, with dappled light coming through the trees above. In a natural woodland, leaves and other bits of plant matter fall, and a nice layer of leaf mould forms, so the soil tends to be rich and well mulched. Recreating these conditions, by incorporating organic matter into the soil before planting and applying a good layer of organic mulch will ensure great results.

Helleborus 'Ivory Prince'

It flowers prolifically in winter and early spring with ivory-white blooms that fade to musky pink, then age to green. The stunning flowers stand above the dark green, leathery foliage. This grows to 30 cm x 60 cm and is easy to grow. It is dry tolerant and frost hardy.

Lamium 'Orchid Frost'

The silvery-white leaves edged in green, brightens dark shady areas. It is fast growing and being a groundcover, it creates a weed suppressing matt. It is beautiful enough to be grown for its foliage alone; however it has short lilac flower spikes that are present from late spring through to autumn. There are pink and white forms also available.

Heuchera 'Mocha' or 'Brownies'

This is a great foliage contrast to the silver leafed Lamium. It forms attractive mounds of foliage that grow to 30cm x 50cm. It has fine stems of tiny bell flowers in autumn, but the foliage is the real attraction. They thrive in light shade and moist well-drained soils. They are quite versatile as they tolerate full sun if given protection from hot afternoon sun and can also be grown in full shade but will form a more open habit.

SUPPLIERS - (soil conditioner/fertilisers) - (plants)


Garden of St Erth
Simmons Reef Road, Blackwood, VIC

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