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Create a shade-loving pot display of Nandina, Heuchera and Dryopteris

You will need

  • Nandina domestica
  • Heuchera 'Bronxe Beauty'
  • Dryopteris erythrosora x2
  • Black cube planter, or similar
  • Multi-purpose, peat-free compost
  • Horticultural grit
  • Old plastic plant pots


A shady garden might seem like a challenge, but in reality there's a huge range of plants suitable for growing in dark places.

This container display is made using a bold selection of plants, combining different leaf forms, colours and textures. The Nandina domestica makes an an eye-catching centrepiece all year round, with attractive flowers and berries, and fantastic autumn colour.

Plant it: Summer
At its best: All year round
Takes just: 40 minutes

How to do it:

Adding upturned pots to the base of the pots

1Place upturned pots in the base of the pot to aid drainage and minimise the amount of compost used in the pot.

Adding compost to the pot

2Pour the compost into the container until it's about two-thirds full.

Adding horticultural grit to the pot

3Add horticultural grit to the pot to aid drainage and root penetration. Mix it thoroughly into the compost.

Planting the Nandina

4Tease out the roots of the Nandina domestica and plant it in the centre of the pot.

Planting up the container

5Fill the container with plants, adding one to each corner. Let the foliage trail over the sides.

Watering the plants

6Fill any gaps between the plants with more compost, firm down gently and water well.

Adam's tip

In really dry weather, wrap hessian around the pot and keep it damp. This will cool down the plants' roots.

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