10 shade loving plants to brighten up your garden

Jul 19, 2021 | All Posts, July

Along the front of my front garden, this rhododendron hedge (above) provides welcome privacy and also an opportunity to underplant a shady area.  Although the front garden is south facing, the canopy of the rhododendrons can provide peaceful respite for shade loving plants.  I aimed to create some highlights under the dark depths of the hedge which would also improve the view from my front windows.

I live amongst a lot of woodland and on my feeble but stubborn attempts at forest running, I’ve noticed the variety of plants that make their home in the shade such as: anemones, bluebells, ferns, primroses and so on.  Observing these plants in the wild provided some inspiration for my planting scheme.



So the work began! First I dug up turf and weeds beneath the rhododendrons, following a string marker, then gave it a good turnover and composted the planting areas.

Border Plan

I’m not a designer, but I have created the simple arrangement below as a basis for the underplanting, which I have repeated along the hedge 3 times.  I inserted the remaining 5 plants (some of which I rescued from other parts of the garden) in the gaps between the 3 repetitions.

Border Plan

A        Fern

B        Astrantia

C        Anemone

D        Thalictrum

E        Hosta

My 10 plants for a shady spot




Japanese Anemone








Before & After

The plants are in and I am so pleased I did it.  Its a little shady area that I took no notice of before and now it attracts the eye and brightens up a once boring, shady and overgrown part of the garden.

Watch the Instagram Reel

Get the look…..

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