Walls and fences in shady gardens are easily covered if you know what to plant.


North- and east-facing sites can be transformed with a combination of hedging plants, which enjoy a break from the sun in partial shade. Even in deep shade there’s a choice of hedging plants that can cope with the lack of light, and even thrive, adding shape and form – from stately yew to variegated holly.

Not sure what aspect your garden is? Find out with help from our guide to the types of garden shade, and use our quick tips for planting in shade to help you along.

Discover six of the best hedging plants for shade, below.


Brighten up a partially shady spot with berberis, which has yellow flowers in spring, red-tinged foliage and bright red berries in autumn. This shrub makes a good informal hedge and windbreak, and a useful barrier because of its thorns.

Flowers: April and May
Height x spread: 1.5m x 60cm

Small, burgundy leaves of berberis


Virtually all hollies will grow in a little shade. Ilex altaclerensis makes up a group of hybrid hollies that are more robust than our native Ilex aquifolium and more tolerant. ‘Argentea Marginata’ (pictured) has dramatic, golden variegated foliage that will stand out in a border. Grow them in partial to full shade.

H x S: 2.4m x 1.2m

Red berries on golden variegated holly


The aristocrats of the early spring garden, camellias bring style and glamour at a time when it’s most unexpected. Shrugging off the winter cold, tough evergreen Camellia x williamsii thrives in quite deep shade and prefers acid soil.

Flowers: January to March
H x S: 5m x 2.5m

Pink camellia blooms


With clipped yew in your garden, you’re assured of year-round shape and form. Taxus baccata can be used as a hedging plant for shade, putting on about 30cm of growth a year, and will thrive in most soils, apart from soggy badly drained spots, and in all aspects including deep shade.

Video: How to plant a yew hedge

H x S: 10m x 6m

Yew hedge
Low hedges of yew

Euonymus fortunei

This handy evergreen shrub can be used to create a low hedge along boundaries in partial shade. There are many varieties of euonymus to choose from, including several variegated types, and it’s easy to clip into shape.

Flowers: May and June
H x S: 60cm x 90cm

Variegated, white and green euonymus


The vibrant berries of this evergreen shrub almost glow during autumn in a shady spot. Pyracanthas make attractive hedges, or they can be trained against a north-facing wall. Small white flowers in summer are followed by orange, red or yellow berries.


Flowers: June
H x S: 3m x 3m

Red berries and small, green leaves of pyracantha

More shady spots to fill?

If you're looking for more plants for shade, we've got you covered. Take a look at some of the best plants for full, partial and dappled shade, plus flowering plants for damp shade.