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There are currently a couple of half dead conifers in the back that will soon be coming down. I have no idea what replace them with. There are conifers on the other side of the fence so the area is in permanent shade and very dry soil. Will anything grow? Even super hardy shrubs? Ideally I'd like something green that will grow to around 6 foot.
Here's a picture if it helps:
Any help much appreciated!
If you have conifers the first thing you need to do is add lots of enrichment 0 compost, manure , old pots compost. as the conifers leach the soil of all goodness. then you need some robust shrubs. will comeback later on that
If all you want to do is cover the fence, maybe something like Ivy (although this can be a bit of a thug, so be sure this is what you want). Another climber like honeysuckle or jasmine, or even a clematis would be nice - you need to be careful with honeysuckle as it will form berries that look tasty but are poisonous.
Like Matty says, you need to dig lots of goodness back into the border, well rotted manure, compost, spent compost from hanging baskets etc, as conifers do suck all the goodness out of the soil.
Places like the pound shop, Aldi, Lidl, poundstretcher are really good for cheap plants and equipment, sometimes you need to be there on the day things are delivered to ensure you get what you want (and that it's in decent condition). I find that the shopping channels can be expensive. The co-op was doing bedding plants last week, 2.50 for a tray of six, buy one get one free (so 12 plants for 2.50), sweet peas, marigolds, sweet william, snapdragons (and something else I can't remember - pansies maybe).
You could concentrate on getting the soil right this year, and buy some dwarf fruit trees in the autumn or next spring, it's a bit late to get them now (in spring Aldi was selling fruit trees for 3.99 each, a fraction of what they cost from the garden centre or by post. I also subscribe to the suttons and t & m e-mails, as sometimes they have offers on that would be rude to refuse - just rembember to add another £5 for p&p!
Keep an eye out at your local supermarket, sometimes they have offers on too. You will soon learn where to look for bargains! I only use the garden centre if there's something specific I want. Blooming direct is also brilliant for decent sized bedding plants, and you can choose the week you want them delivered.
Thanks very much for your suggestions. I had never thought of the 'cheaper' shops for gardening supplies! Will try to just sort out soil for now and not be too ambitious until I've given it some tlc.
These are reliable for dry shade
Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae
Jasminum officinale - the variety Fiona Sundrise 'Frojas' is really colourful, these may flower less than if in a sunny spot but foliage and stems are colourful
As ground cover - epimediums are very tolerant of dry and shade and some have quite colourful foliage as well as flowers
Have added a link to RHS article on top 10 plants for dry shade which may help inspire