Q & A

Go on then, ask me a question! I’ll do my very best to answer it.

4 Responses to “Q & A”

  1. Dear Garden Hero,

    I have just bought a new house and my garden is quite shady with over hanging trees.

    As I am new to gardening I was wondering. What would be a good selection of shade loving plants that both provide colour and interesting foliage throughout the year?

    Hope you can help.


  2. swebster3004 says:

    Hi Tim,

    Thanks for your question!

    I’ll assume you’re in the UK, and there’s some light getting through the overhanging trees….

    There’s plenty of choice for partial shade/shady spots; so i’ll just name a few of my choices. One of my favourites is the Hosta, particularly H. Seiboldiana, with beautiful blue-green foliage and pale lilac flowers in the summer.

    For a variety of ground cover foliage, try something like Epimedium, with bronzy leaves turning to green, spring flowering. Also the Heuchera family, there’s an amazing range of colours available; ones to look for, and again, my favourites are the Plum Pudding, Sweet Tea, Caramel, and Electric Lime.

    Ferns also thrive in shady spots, Osmunda is a good choice, with bright green leaves, and rusty fronds.

    Depending on your soil type, a shrub such as a Camellia gives you bright flowers in the spring.

    Hope that gives you a start; there’s no reason why you can’t brighten up those shady areas!

  3. Hi Garden Hero!

    I want to fill 3 large pots down the side of my decking with something that will provide a bit of height. I was thinking 3 different bamboos. Could you suggest any particular varieties? Or something else that you think would be a good alternative?

    The area does not get much direct sunlight, only late in the evening during summer and hardly anything during the winter months.

    Hope you help.



    • Garden Hero says:

      Hi Matt,

      Most bamboos prefer a sunnier condition, but there are a few that tolerate shade, particularly the Fargesia bamboos – although you’ll probably want something with an upright nature. If you could class the site as partially shaded, then you’ll have a much wider choice. Look for something with decorative stems; three different varieties, and three different stem colours would look pretty good. Try a Phyllostachys Nigra for a black cane, P. Aurea for a yellow cane, and P. Bissetii for green.

      You might also want to consider some ornamental grasses, I would recommend my particular favourites, the Blood Grass, Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’, or Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’ (incredible blue leaves) but they only reaches around 30-40cm in height. For height and decoration, go for something like Miscanthus, or Anemanthale (Pheasant’s Tail)…

      Dogwoods are another good choice for decorative stems; although the decorative effect is more pronounced in a sunnier spot. Look at Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ or ‘Kesselringii’ – superb red or black stem for all year interest. Not usually seen in pots – but to see three of these together with different stem colour in large pots would be something..

      Hope that helps… and send pics once you have potted something!


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