London (change)
15 messages
18/12/2013 at 10:50


I'm trying to find a supplier for the fern Filix Mas Aphenis, as used by Month Don when he planted beneath the trees on one of his paths. I am also interested in plants that might survive beneath my Yew-plus-Beech-plus-fence shaded area. Dry, acidic, and at the moment empty.

18/12/2013 at 12:20

How sunny and open is it under the trees?

18/12/2013 at 13:29

Hiya phil

I thought it was a Dryopteris filix mas

18/12/2013 at 14:00

yes definetely Dryopteris. As the name suggests all Dryopteris do well in dry shade.

I have a very dry shady area under a yew tree where I manage to grow: geranium phaeum, Iris foetidissimus, sweet woodruff, Pachysandra, Bowles golden grass, Hachenochloa and Vinca. All these should do well in that environment, especially if you plant them into some good "muck" and water well till established.

18/12/2013 at 14:19

Maybe Dryopteris affinis, different species, same genus, lots of cultivars

18/12/2013 at 14:25

You'll need some cyclamen as well

18/12/2013 at 15:07

And brunnera hadspen cream.  Try geranium Margaret Wilson too.....lovely "white" foliage

18/12/2013 at 15:29

I wonder how much space we need to fill Verdun

Honesty goes well in dry shade as well. and Pulmonaria rubra for the first of the bumblebeees.

and some snowdrops.

Most will be happier under the beech than they would be under the yew

18/12/2013 at 16:19

I have Dryopteris filix mas cristata 'The King' (known to his friends as Elvis) in dry shade under my ash trees and he appears to be happy there.  Cyclamen hederifolium are in seventh heaven there.  Vinca major seems happy there but doesn't want to flower so is going to be hoiked out.  I have some lamiums which will be going there soon and I'm confident that they will be happy.  

We also have pulmonaria and hosta there, but they do need watering in dry spells. 

18/12/2013 at 16:40

I'm not sure if D. affinis is as tolerant of poor conditions as D. felix-mas. I'd choose Elvis if I were you Phil

18/12/2013 at 17:56

If you dont mind wild spreading Sympytium species will also do well.

18/12/2013 at 17:57

Sorry should have been  Symphytium.Like most men I cant do two things at once, am trying to cook and type. Potentially very dangerous.

18/12/2013 at 19:29

Thanks for all those replies.I obviously can't spell... should have been affinis, not aphenis.

The area is open,about two metres by three and almost 2m (height)clearance but gets almost no sun because of the yew canopy, and the proximity of the (2m close-boarded) school fence.The yew and the beech are only 1.5 m apart, so the yew canopy "wraps round" the beech trunk, and the higher beech canopy covers the yew

Looks like I'll be putting in some muck, (thanks punkdoc), then shopping to see what my local nurseries have got on my new list.I think ferns will be my first choices, but some of the other suggestions sound interesting.

18/12/2013 at 22:11

"The area is open,about two metres by three and almost 2m (height)clearance but gets almost no sun because of the yew canopy, and the proximity of the (2m close-boarded) school fence"


Ok, I was thinking out of the box and a hardy Agave. Agave americana medio picta alba would actually do OK in a dry spot. It is hardy to -10C and  does not require full sun.

19/12/2013 at 15:11

Check out

They have a section just on ferns and other plants suitable for dry shade.



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