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Jo Stephenson

Hi guys,

So, I have a lot of shady areas under trees in my driveway and I want to plant a variety of plants that will look good throughout the year and help keep the weeds at bay.

My soil has a lot of clay.

Any suggestions?



Astilbes, ferns, hackonochloa, brunneras, Astrantias, many geraniums, Pulmonarias, aconitums, Bowles golden grass, Heucheras, hydrangeas...if there's reasonable moisture (white in shade is magical).....arum lilies, and acteas. (these are Purple/brown sculptural foliage plants with scented pink or white spikes of flowers)

Loads to choose from includIng shrubs to give height 

Good luck jo

Our hellebores are thriving in clay soil, and flowered right from January to the end of April (one is just about still going). If the trees are deciduous snowdrops and autumn crocus should be ok. I also understand that lungwort (pulmonaria) tolerates both shade and clay but have never grown it.

Samie Cain

I planted Honesty in shady area last year , worked very well, lovely flowers and wonderful seed pods for Autumn interest.


Jo Stephenson

As usual you guys have come up trumps. For an amateur gardener this forum is a wonderful resource. Thank you all.

We have heavy clay soil where we live.....have not had alot of success with anything lately but have planted an hydrangea.........I dug the soil.....broke it up......then dug a hole......grit at the bottom...fresh compost put in hole with a bit of soil.......slow release feed......have struggled with this garden but feel optimistic that the hydrangea will take.....fingers crossed.  A small Ivy I put there seems to be doing ok.

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