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


10 shade-loving perennials

North and east-facing boundaries can be transformed by a surprising amount of attractive climbers. Some will do better on an east-facing boundary which should get sun for part of the day. Others will cope in full shade.

Here are our recommended plants for north and east-facing walls and fences.

Alan Titchmarsh's favourite climbers for shade

Alan Titchmarsh shares his favourite climbers for shade, including ivy, honeysuckle and star jasmine:

Rosa 'Wedding Day'

Rosa 'Wedding Day' is a fast-growing and fragrant rambler rose, perfect for covering a house wall or boundary in partial shade. It tolerates poor soil and a north-facing aspect, but likes moist, well-drained soil and plenty of space.


Ivy will cope in the deepest shade. The native form, Hedera helix, has beautiful dark green lustrous leaves. The variegated forms will help to lighten up dark corners in the garden. As an alternative consider Boston ivy.


Honeysuckles such as Lonicera periclymenum 'Serotina' (pictured) climb over walls and fences and many are happy in shade. They offer wonderful scent and great for wildlife.

Star jasmine

Although tiny, the flowers of pictured star jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides, are highly fragrant. It's happy on an east-facing wall that is shaded for part of the day, but gets some sun.

Clematis viticella

Viticella clematis such as 'Black Prince', pictured, are tough varieties that can cover walls and fences fast. Like all clematis, they do best with their roots in cool, moist shade.

Chinese Virginia creeper

Turning rich crimson as soon as the frosty nights arrive, Parthenocissus henryana is a fast-growing, self-clinging climber, ideal for a north or east-facing boundary. Its colour will be more vibrant with a bit of sun during the day.

Clematis alpina

Despite its dainty appearance, Clematis alpina is pretty tough, and tolerates a fair degree of shade, as well as cold temperatures. Plant it cascading over a fence or a low wall for graceful spring flowers. It doesn't need pruning.

Clematis x durandii

Enjoy indigo blooms all summer with this shrubby clematis, which has stems that are more likely to scramble than climb. To cover a boundary, tie stems to supports as they grow. Clematis x durandii likes shade for some of the day, so copes in most aspects.

When planting in shade, be sure to prepare the soil well. Here are our five tips for planting in shade.