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Old 31-03-2011, 02:01 PM
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Default Small shady spot - what to plant?

Hello

We have just moved into a new house and have inherited uncared for gardens.
The back I'm not to worried about at the moment as it's a quite big and mainly laid to lawn so with a bit of general housekeeping done to it and a few summer pots it will soon look better.
It's the small patch out the front which needs sorting.
It's only about 4ft x 4ft and was a complete mass of weeds, which have now been pulled out. It slopes slightly towards the house and has steps on 2 sides. It's also west facing but is shaded from the south by the storeroom so doesn't get hardly any sun.

I would ideally like to plant something there which can be left to pretty much look after itself but I'm drawn between planting a conifer with ground cover plants or a fern or a hydrangea....

Any inspiration much appreciated!!
BTW I'm in Stevenage Herts

Thanks
Lisa

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Old 31-03-2011, 04:21 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Small shady spot - what to plant?


"Lisap470" wrote in message
...

Hello

We have just moved into a new house and have inherited uncared for
gardens.
The back I'm not to worried about at the moment as it's a quite big and
mainly laid to lawn so with a bit of general housekeeping done to it and
a few summer pots it will soon look better.
It's the small patch out the front which needs sorting.
It's only about 4ft x 4ft and was a complete mass of weeds, which have
now been pulled out. It slopes slightly towards the house and has steps
on 2 sides. It's also west facing but is shaded from the south by the
storeroom so doesn't get hardly any sun.

I would ideally like to plant something there which can be left to
pretty much look after itself


Yourself. With a long cool drink.

Steve

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Old 31-03-2011, 06:32 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default Small shady spot - what to plant?

On Thu, 31 Mar 2011 13:01:46 +0000, Lisap470
wrote:

pruned a bit

I would ideally like to plant something there which can be left to
pretty much look after itself but I'm drawn between planting a conifer
with ground cover plants or a fern or a hydrangea....

Any inspiration much appreciated!!
BTW I'm in Stevenage Herts

Thanks
Lisa


First of all, I'd suggest that you avoid conifers. They have a habit
of growing a lot larger than you want and the slower growing ones can
be susceptible to browning at the bottom if neighbourhood cats choose
to "scent" them.

If you want "low maintenance" then as a first step you might want to
consider digging up the small front lawn (as otherwise you'll have to
cut the grass and you'll still get weeds), then lay some
weed-supressing membrane, planting through the membrane (you cut
cross-slits where you want to plant something and then fold the
membrane back over the root ball) and then covering that with
chippings.

As to planting, you could then create a decent centre-piece with the
fern and hydrangea you've already thought of together with, maybe, a
skimmia and a sarcococca. The latter two are evergreen and have the
added benefit of flowers and berries in the first case and flowers and
glorious scent in the second so you have year round interest. The
hydrangea will need a little bit of seasonal attention and the fern
will need its dead fronds removed once a year but that's all the work
you'll have, really, at least until you need to do a bit of
"containment pruning" in a few years' time.

Cheers
Jake
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Old 31-03-2011, 08:55 PM
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Location: Lanner. Cornwall.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisap470 View Post
Hello

We have just moved into a new house and have inherited uncared for gardens.
The back I'm not to worried about at the moment as it's a quite big and mainly laid to lawn so with a bit of general housekeeping done to it and a few summer pots it will soon look better.
It's the small patch out the front which needs sorting.
It's only about 4ft x 4ft and was a complete mass of weeds, which have now been pulled out. It slopes slightly towards the house and has steps on 2 sides. It's also west facing but is shaded from the south by the storeroom so doesn't get hardly any sun.

I would ideally like to plant something there which can be left to pretty much look after itself but I'm drawn between planting a conifer with ground cover plants or a fern or a hydrangea....

Any inspiration much appreciated!!
BTW I'm in Stevenage Herts

Thanks
Lisa
Hi Lisa, Personally, I think something with foliage colour would be good and if it flowered, so much the better, so yes, a conifer would be good but I'd go for a Pieris 'Flaming Silver' or 'Carnival', attractive foliage all year around, stunning red new spring growths and masses of 'lily of the valley' like flowers in winter. Plant something low growing around it like, Euonymous fortunei 'Emerald and Gold' and it will be easily mantained, look stunning all the year and really make a feature of a dark spot. Obviously thats my own view and really its what you like thats important and isnt this whats the exciting thing about gardening, we none of us are the same so, within reason, go with what you like and nobody can say its wrong !
Mulch with some very dark coloured mulch or even sedge peat to bring out the colour of the foliages !
best of luck, Lannerman


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