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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
H x S: 3m x 3m