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Hello all, I have a Wisteria covered pergola and underneath is an area about 8 x 5 ft which is pretty much shaded through the summer. At the moment it's just compacted soil with a line of stepping stones through it. I can't do anything much with it yet as OH is going to build a workshop beyond it this year and will be traipsing through with wood and hardcore, but my plan eventually is to plant some Cymbalaria pallida under there as it's the only low groundcover I can find that will flower, cope with the shade and not mind being stepped on occasionally. Now though, having looked at all the beautiful Snowdrop photo's on here I am wondering about planting them as well, Will it work, or will it look a terrible mess for ages while the Snowdrops die back?
Just a word of warning about Cymbalaria pallida - it's classed as invasive, and is not native to Britain, so you would have to be sure that there was no chance of it escaping into the wild.
I have Aubretia and daffodils under my Wisteria. The Aubretia flowers in spring before the shade from the Wisteria gets too dense, and can be cut back after flowering to neat mounds.
The area is kind of fenced in with a low scaffold board edging and I'll be vigilant about it not spreading into other beds, never mind the wild. Aubretia is lovely but I really want the longest flowering period I can get.
I'd put snowdrops there, they'll look gorgeous.
Also, have you considered some of the silver leaved lamiums? Beacon Silver is gorgeous http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/lamium-maculatum-beacon-silver/classid.3133/ as is Silver Frost - there are several silver leaved pinky mauve flowered lamiums - I think they're lovely and so useful in dry shade
Ashleigh - there's a nursery online called Long Acre Plants which has a lovely website and they specialise in shade lovers. I've not used them personally, but found them because I was looking for specific plants. They look very good.
Thanks Fairy girl and Dove, I'll have a look
Go for a mix of plants if you want long flowering Ashleigh.
The trouble is one side is my 'hot border' which starts off with purple, then yellows, oranges and reds and the other side is all softer pinks, blues, mauves and whites and directly in front of the pergola is the patio so I think if I have a mix of plants or anything taller than about 25cm it will all look at bit of a mess. I just want a low growing 'carpet' of one thing but it would me nice to have a carpet of snowdrops followed by the toadflax and then maybe autumn crocus but I don't know much about them at all, what I want to know is would these plants all cope with each other planted so close and would the snowdrops look awful dying back after flowering?