This week’s topics;
● Plants for shaded areas - some fruit, veg and ornamental plants that suit shaded or semi-shaded areas
Most plants do well in a sunny, sheltered spot but unfortunately those options are not always available to us, so I’ve a few suggestions for plants that are worth considering, whether it’s for beds or containers or a climbing plants for covering a wall.
Foxgloves, or Digitalis, are a wonderful perennial plant that does well in partial or dappled shade, if can be naturally found in woodland areas and is great for bees and butterflies. Some varieties prefer sunnier areas but most will do well in a bit of shade. They look great planted towards the back of a bed with spikes of tubular flowers in shades of pink, purple white and red
Aquilegias, or Granny’s Bonnet, are a beautiful cottage garden style perennial that's easy to grow and does well in partial shade. They come in a very wide range of colours, from white to pale pastel pink and from dark purple to red. They self-seed readily, so you’ll end up with some additional plants. They are readily available as plants in garden centres or you can grow them from seed.
The beautiful perennial “Bleeding Hearts” are another great plant for some light shade. They have pink-red, heart-shaped flowers with white tips that hang from arching flower stems, flowering from late Spring to early Summer - again an easy to grow plant that flowers every year.
Other flowering plants to consider for shade are Hotsas, Astilbe and Pulmonaria
For some fruit suggestions Rhubarb is an easy to grow choice for a shaded area, Timperley Early is one variety I’d recommend - dig in plenty of well rotted farmyard manure and multipurpose compost when planting or use some farmyard manure as a mulch on existing plants.
Alpine strawberries are a lot tougher than normal strawberries and will grow in shade. They’re a low maintenance variety and need little care once planted. Grow a good few plants for a good crop as they have a smaller yield.
Raspberries are another fruit that is happy enough in some light shade - easy to grow fruits - keep them well watered during the Summer - and if you plant a mix of Summer and Autumn fruiting varieties you’ll have plenty of fruit to keep you going and if you’ve extra they freeze quite well.
Gooseberries, Black Currants, Plums and Pears are all fruit that can adapt to a certain amount of shade along with Morello cherries are suited to areas that will be in shade for a while each day.
For veg plants in shaded areas Brassicas like Cabbage and Broccoli and Brussell sprouts will adapt well to shade - remember to use some plant protecting netting to keep birds and butterflies away from your crops.
Mixed salad leaves are also a good option - lots of cut & come again varieties - sometimes these can struggle a little in the heat so growing them in shaded areas makes life a bit easier for them - again these can be grown in containers, raised beds or straight in the ground - copper tape can be a good slug preventative for containers and raised beds.
Beetroot, carrots and radish are also worth growing in somewhat shaded areas - and can also be grown in containers.
Climbing plants to cover walls or fences that are in shaded areas can be very useful - plants like Ivy will do well in the shade and you can have dark green varieties or variegated varieties that can help lift an east or north facing part of the garden.
Honeysuckle will also grow well in some shade and you’ll have the added bonus of some beautiful fragrance.
Climbing Hydrangeas are a great solution for covering walls and fences in shaded spots - they have beautiful white flowers and nice foliage - they need a couple of years to establish and flower and they’ll cover a very large area by the time they mature - around 20 to 30 feet.
Star Jasmine will grow well on an east facing wall as long as it gets some sun during the day - again you’ll have the bonus of some beautiful scented flowers.
So there’s lots of choices for shaded locations - plants generally do better in sunnier spots so you might find that you need to support plants with a little extra feed or extra watering when they are growing in shaded areas.