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We have the neighbours conifer hedge at the bottom of the garden. The border is about 2ft deep and 10ft wide. This year I had a monarda, lupin, dahlia. Heaucra, hellbore in. But they all pulled badly to the light.

any ideas fir something that can cope without pulling so much the hedge is probably 10ft tall. 


Cyclamen Hederifolium should so well under there as will Dryopteris Ferns

Are the ferns ok with dogs and are they tender or hardy??


The ferns are completely hardy. They die back in Winter and re-emmerge in spring


and should be ok with dogs. Never known ferns to be harmful to animals! 


Never had a fern before but quite fancy trying it. Do they grow large??


I've never grown them either so I have no idea how large they get :P

I'm sure someone else will come along that knows better than I do :P

I have been eying up the cyclamen on GW last week and this. I'm v jelous. Liked the look of pulminaria or however you spell it! 

Bergenias would grow well,there....some have burgundy coloured leaves and vivid flowers  in spring.  Pulmonarias, yes, ESP those with white/ silvery leaves.  try liriopes too....evergreen grass like plants with purple spikes right now.  there are hardy geraniums that would fit the bill.

Ferns come in a large range so check them out carefully. Consider grassss too.  Festucas, stipa Tennuissima, etc.  

Consider tulbaghia too.  They  have fantastic silver blue foliage topped with pink flowers in summer.

Loads you could consider for that spot.


Think my problem is that I have picked on flowering times to spread interest and because my garden is so small I have treated it all the same. This year I have noticed it has 3 zones ( it's only 30ftx30ft if that! And a 2ft ish boarder on all sides. Will find a picture....


the conifer boarder is shaded more and plants pull. To the right is a sunny and dryer boarder as garden is built up higher and is backed by concrete gravel board. Then other side on left is sunny but holds more moisture.


next year I'm planning what to do. I'm going to lift my dahlias to over winter then have a think.


i have some large allium to put in but unsure which side yet. The sunny side will take most of what I have but the dry sunny and shade is making me wonder.


astilbe- which side??

Picture one hope you can see my beds...



Astilbes need moisture and at least some shade. Can't see,your pictures.  

On the sunny dry  border consider grasses.  Easy good looking plants like stipa Tennuissima provide colour all summer.  And if you provide some "mounds" to provide comtrast, like thymus Silver Posie. (beautiful silvery/grey foliage with pnk flowers) and some winter flowering heathers ( like Ann Sparkes which has dark orange/red foliage and red flowers) you will have an attractive, easy border.


Pulmonaria will struggle in dry shade, which is what you'll have at the foot of a conifer hedge.  Mine struggle under ash trees where they get rained on for half the year. 


Ferns prefer filtered sunlight with damp soil - Ferns die more from drying out than anything else. That does not sound like the bottom of a hedge which will be shaded and very dry depending on which face you plant. Soil is also very acidic under a conifer unless you can find a Fern variety that like dry soil I would steer you away from them.



Dryopteris is a classy fern that will grow on dry shade.  I have grown one for years in dry spot. Check it out


Red Dahlia: try cropping your photos before sending - that sometimes works.


Not the most thrilling of things until it flowers but I have Crocosmia at the base of a short conifer hedge. It does get sun from mid-day.


@Verdun, am sure that you know that the bottom of conifers is especially dry and raped of nutrients. Dryopteris will not do well there - they can deal with dry spells but are hardly succulents and they prefer dampish well draining soil.


I've also got some Kerria growing there as well. But as I said it does get "some" sun.