A shady border under a tree, is often a place that i'm told by my clients "nothing grows there". There is a more limited range of plants that can cope with and thrive in a dry shady place, but in this garden we've been developing this border for the last 5 years, and it is now looking great, and proving there are some hardy varieties.
This is how it looked in March 2006
The beech tree, shades most of the border in summer, and at the far end, the fig and lilac between them, create a really shady patch.
With so little light, plus very well drained soil, the flower colours are not going to be very bold, but with careful planning, we do have something flowering every month of the year.
Spring is still the best
After cyclamen and snowdrops to start the year, the Hellebores, Epimediums and daffodils take over. plus some fantastic Dicentra (although we had to plant them in groups to get them to show off like this)
By late spring, even last year when we'd had 10 weeks with hardly any rain, (the lawn is parched) the Alchemilla, Alliums and geraniums had taken over to give colour
Summer is the hardest in a dry border, so we've added some fuchsias to give some interest when the sun is at it's highest.
and by the autumn, the Asters are doing their thing, and sedums are giving a touch of pink.