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15 messages
10/04/2013 at 11:40


Could anyone recommend plants for a shady damp area?  The soil is heavy clay and the area is shaded by a tree and also the shadow from the house behind me.



10/04/2013 at 11:49
Hi Michelle
Astrantias will love it there. ,from white to pink to red and flower most of the summer. I grow acteas....Usually dark purple or brownish foliage, quite statuesque with scented late summer flowers...and they too will go there.
Astilbes, ferns, certain grasses.
Aconitums have tall normally blue flowers .....and love damp shade.
If you like arum lilies...I do..they would grow there too. White"spathes" / flowers that light up dark,spaces. Large evergreen or semi evergreen ...depending where you live...foliage.
Lots of options
10/04/2013 at 11:54

I tried Astrantia's last year and they died?  Could it have been due to all the rain though that we had?  Or something I didn't do!?  The other plans I have not tried though therefore I shall look them up thank you!

10/04/2013 at 12:19

Chelone, hostas, fritillaria meleagris, hemerocallis, dicentra spectabile and its white form, lily of the valley........... 

10/04/2013 at 13:11
Astrantias often wither away where soil is dry. Don't think damp would have been problem. Sometimes they sulk when planted
10/04/2013 at 13:35

Verdun-do Astrantias cope with the heavy unforgiving clay though? I've not grown them but I'd be slightly worried if they didn't have a bit of drainage. Would you advise a bit of extra grit under those circumstances?

Michelle- Verdun's and Obelixx's suggestions are excellent I think. Can I also suggest Solomon's Seal? (Polygonatum) although make sure it's not waterlogged -it likes a bit of drainage so some grit worked in would benefit. The white flowering plants help lighten the dark area. Some of the ferns are very attractive although lots of people don't like them. The white Dicentra is lovely and the white form of Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium) might be ok with a bit of grit too.

10/04/2013 at 13:39

It is very heavy clay so that is probably why they Hydrangea doesn't seem to have survived either I have white stalks?!  I also planted a japanese aneomone and that also died.

I'll definitely add some grit going forward for any new plants I put in.  I'm not a lover of ferns.......I'll definitely try Dicentra, Astibes, Aconitums and Jacobs Ladder those are all beautiful plants!  Thanks so much for all your suggestions.

10/04/2013 at 13:53

Would Bergenia's be any good?  They are evergreen so provide an all year round interest......

10/04/2013 at 14:04

Bergenia is a bit like S's Seal and J's Ladder in that you might need a good bit of grit and something to open up the clay a bit. I have the white ('Bressingham White') as I'm not keen on the pink ones but they are great for shade. It's worth giving the soil a bit of help before you start as it'll probably benefit anything you plant there.

10/04/2013 at 14:11

I'll do that thank you!  Lots of digging ahead for me!  Lol.  I also read that Heuchera's were suitable for damp shade and they are also evergreen.

10/04/2013 at 14:38

Heucheras are great and there are tons to choose from now! The purpley ones might be a little dark for your site but there are plenty of lighter greens etc. I had a toffee coloured one some years ago but I can't remember the name. No doubt someone else here will know it though!

10/04/2013 at 15:09

Are you sure the area is damp and shade all year? I have damp shade half the year then the other it gets a good dose of sun and can get very dry.

It makes a difference to plants.

10/04/2013 at 16:29

It's in constant shade at one end of the patch because it's overshadowed by a house and a tree - the top end of the patch is semi shade.  The soil is always really wet and thick clay no matter what time of year it's never dry :0(

10/04/2013 at 16:35
Fairygirl, astrantias won't like constant wet feet....added grit would be good idea. Heuchera marmalade or Caramel sound similsr to your lost ones and do well for me.
14/04/2013 at 21:45

Ferns will do well - Japanese Holly Ferns are evergreen and have lovely foliage. Latin name is Crytomium falcatum, there is a giant version which would make a specimen plant.

Mahonia and Japanese Anemone also do well.

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