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By Samjp

Staffordshire, West Midlands, United Kingdom Gb

Plant suggestions please.

I've got a shady corner on my house patio I'd like to put some potted plants on. Unfortunately it's north facing so gets no direct sunlight.

I quite like the idea of having something like a pot of bamboo in the corner behind the seats (something architectural), with a couple of pots of hostas, heucheras or acers at the sides of the chairs and along the patio towards the rockery. But would it survive there.

The patio gets some direct sunlight but only as far as the edge of the chairs. It used to be quite breezy along here as well but the new fence seems to have helped shelter the garden more.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated. As well as this corner I also have the other side of this patio (narrower bit) which is also in the shade to do something with and no inspiration yet.

The first photo is the corner I'm think bamboo for, it leads into the rockery. The second photo is the other side of the house patio.

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If it is windy Acers, assuming they are Japanese Acers, will not be happy as the wind will scorch the leaves.

17 Apr, 2014


Thanks Moon_growe, I thought they would if it's too windy. It used to be a wind tunnel down that side of the garden but thus far it's much more sheltered now, so I think it may be ok.

17 Apr, 2014


A christmas box would be happy, but they do grow quite slowly. If you removed one or two of the slabs (which you've just so carefully laid!) by the house wall you could grow something against the wall too - there are a few climbing roses that will do OK on a north wall. Had you thought of having some bedding plants in troughs up against the wall - bulbs for Spring and perhaps begonia semperflorens for summer. Ferns would also be happy anywhere on the patio and there are some lovely ones.

17 Apr, 2014


Heucheras will be happy and give a long season of colour. I grow several in pots on my north-facing patio.

17 Apr, 2014


Love the idea of the Heucheras, and you could choose silver to pink varieties to complement the colour of the stonework.
Have you considered Nandina as an alternative to bamboos? Evergreen, with red-flushed new growth, and when established they have big sprays of red berries in winter. The thing that annoys me about many bamboos in pots is how the leaf tips get dry and scorched, so the plant looks ratty all over if you don't water it like a mad thing.
Other good doers in shade, for foliage impact, Fatsia in green or variegated options, and if you are mild enough, Tetrapanax 'Rex' is gorgeous.

18 Apr, 2014


As Teadrinker suggests, Nandina is brilliant . . . looks good all year and needs no maintenance; maybe with Epimediums at its base?

18 Apr, 2014


Added this to GoYpedia.. Shade container plants.

18 Apr, 2014


Thanks guys, really appreciatd the suggestions.

Quite like the idea of a variegated fatsia or nandina. Just had a quick look, most of the nandina info suggests it prefers full to part sun though.

Hadn't thought of bulbs or begonias, nice idea, thanks - same for the ferns. Thought of ferns for my shady border, but never occurred to me for the patio lol.

Stera, I can just see the look on my OHs face if I ask him to lift a slab. There's so much cement and hardcore under there I doubt much would survive. Pots are probably better

I'm contemplating going with wooden containers - maybe a half whiskey barrel style, not sure if it'll be a bit dark though.

18 Apr, 2014


Yes, I knew it was naughty to suggest it! Does it matter if the containers are dark? They give the plants more chance to show off.

18 Apr, 2014


Lol Sterra.

Hmm fair point. Might be nice to have something that will brighten up the corner though - especially in winter.

18 Apr, 2014


Yes, I suppose Nandinas do 'prefer' sun, but a friend has one in shade that's fine. Do you like Pieris 'forest flame'? That would brighten up any garden, but as I'm sure you know, needs to be in ericaceous compost!

19 Apr, 2014


If you plant one of the evergreen variegated euonymus beside the fence, it will climb it (in the same way as ivy). 'Silver Queen' is my favourite, but 'Susan' is smaller and will take heavy shade.

19 Apr, 2014


Thanks Sheliabub, I may give the Nandina a try. Ooh Pierris, lovely plants. Wouldn't have thought they would be happy in shade. Will definitely keep that one in mind.

19 Apr, 2014

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