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Hi I wonder if someone can advise I have a front border with poor soil conditions and would like an idea what will thrive and survive. Last summer I planted a Wisteria which is coming on leaps and bounds but below I planted at the same time as the Wisteria, 15 Schizostylis Pink Princesses and they are not flowering and although watered through the summer the leaves and growth are really poor. I was under the impression these would thrive in poor soil conditions. The sun arrives early morning only, also I had planted between them Geranium Kashmir White which were green last year with no flowers and did not come through again at all this year. The front of the border is thriving with lavender but as this side of the border is edged in grass I would not want to plant lavender as mowing would damage the flowers. The back of the border is the garage wall. Any thoughts would be gratefully received - a blue and white theme is something that appeals as well.

Hiya Stilllearning

You seem to have been overlooked....the forum has been having problems lately so maybe that's why.

It seems you get very little sun there.  How much sun do you get?  Would you say it was shady and dry?  Your lavendars ?  Are they in a sunnier position?

Schizostylis need lots of sun and reasonable seems you are giving them very little sun and dry soil.  Don't think they will do well there at all.  By the way, they flower now not,during the summer.  Same with your may not be sunny enough. 

So, can you say how sunny it is there?  And can you enrich your soil?  There are plants for dry shade and it may well be those you need.  


Agree with Verdun, Schizostylis needs rich moist soil, I grow it in sandy soil that I have to keep adding to it does ok but could be better.  It just starting to flower now as well.


Kashmir White likes rather better soil as well. Geranium renardii will put up with poor soil but like the sun. G x cantabrigiensis does better in shade and can cope with not very good soil 'Biokovo' is white(ish). The white version of Geranium macrorrhizum isn't as robust as the coloured ones but tolerates the shade. There's a white form of G. phaeum as well, good for shade

Hope stillearning hasn't given up on us.  




Hope not Verdun. I missed that one.


Hi sorry for the late reply and thanks for the help - the soil is really poor and only gets the sun for a couple of hours early morning and the lavender is in the sun for the most of the morning. The soil is really sandy, gritty and dry I did horse manure it at the beginning of the year believing it may help. All through the summer I kept it well watered the wisteria is doing well though - I am wondering Verdun if you could advise on an alternative for dry shade with a blue and white colour - thanks again

Think you are right to consider dry shade plants.

What about brunneras?  I grow hadspen Cream.....beautiful forget me not blue flowers in spring for a few weeks.  Many geraniums, ESP,the phaem  group, will grow there.  I grow Margaret Wilson,which has pinky blue flowers over white foliage.  This is stunning. Heucheras too....snowstorm has white foliage....most of them have white flowers.  Japanese painted ferns,,although non flowering, have grey/blue folkage.  Pulmonarias too would thrive there.  Blue Ensign has gentian blue flowers in spring.  Heucherellas come  with white flowers.  aster frikartii monch should grow well there too, ESP if you can incorporate some compost.

How about hellebores?  Get plenty of goodness in there and go for white flowered varieties.  I grow lithodora heavenly blue in the shade.  Euonymous,emerald gaiety has white variegated foliage.  white busy guinea hybrids,.....would fit in, again if you add something to the soil. Blue and white periwinkles, some,of the campanulas, epimediums with white flowers, white Japanese anemones (although they are invasive so need comtrolling) white lilium regale with scented white flowers in summer. Liriope is a late summer lavendar blue evergreen grass like plant. How about hydrangeas?  Lovely white varieties.  You need to add plenty of compost, manure,etc to the soil though. If your soil is acidic blue hydrangea would be fine.  Think about hostas....I grow Fire and Ice.  It has mostly white leaves. 

I grow lots of blue flowering plants but generally my garden is mainly a sunny one so most of those I grow would not fit your,situation.

Im sure others will offer suggestions for blue and white flowers. I too will have a further think


Wow Verdun - sounds amazing!  Can we have pics when it is done StillLearning??

Hi absolutely Chicky.

Verdun your ideas have given me lots of scope and lots ideas and has cheered me up - really excited about planning and revamping it.... and I wont be forgetting the compost - Thanks so much for the advice

Most welcome Stilllearning

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