Last week I spoke about starting to plan for next year and one of areas I really want to focus on is the right-hand side of my garden. This part is in partial shade and if I’m being honest, it is a little neglected. My ambition is to rectify this, and my action plan with a list of shade-loving plants I’ll be purchasing for Autumn planting is below. I hope you find it useful, especially if you have a similar area in your garden that is not blessed with full sunshine.
Establishing a garden that is in part shade
As they say, it is all in the preparation, so come September/October I will be laying some mulch to help add nutrients and lock moisture into the soil. Mulch is something I add every Autumn to my garden borders, hedges, and (for the first time this year) my cut flower borders. It really does help give them the best start come the Spring. I’ll talk you through the ‘how’ as and when I add it.
First, you need to pick the plants. I personally love a little bit of structure in my borders so I always start by adding these first. I’ve planted a Buxus hedge along with Buxus balls, hebes and sedums but as you can see I’m now ready to add the all-important flowers – this is what I’ve chosen.
Roses – to compliment the other three borders I had to have some roses in here. I’ve chosen David Austin’s ‘William’ and ‘Catherine’ rose which is a white, repeat-flowering, shrub rose. It forms an attractive shrub with bushy, relatively upright growth so I’m hoping it will help fill some of the gaps in this border
Anemones – a beautiful flower and one that is often used in floral arrangements. I’m choosing the Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ as it can grow up to 1 meter in height. I’m going to purchase six of these and dot them throughout the border towards the back, due to their potential height. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for these as I think they will bring a beautiful delicate feel and sense of movement to this side of the garden, and also soften the structural plants
Foxgloves – I haven’t as yet grown foxgloves in this garden so I thought it was about time that I did and I’m going to start with this border. I’m going for the digitalis purpurea f. albiflora which is a lovely cream foxglove which I think will bring a lovely contrast against the green structural plants along with some height. Again, due to the height, I shall position these closer to the back of the border.
Alchemilla Mollis – This is a gorgeous acid green flower, quite fluffy in nature and is a fabulous foliage plant. It doesn’t grow high (only 45cm) so I’m going to dot these through, following the pattern of the Buxus balls and plant close to the front of the border.
Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Moerloosei – I’ve chosen this to inject some height and add a gentle contrast to the white. I’m going to buy three and plant them at the back of the border. They are a very delicate pink and flower from March through to May so a fabulous flower to remind you when Spring is on its way.
Clematis Montana var. wilsonii – In an attempt to hide my fence I’ve chosen a clematis. Again, keeping in with the white theme I’ve gone for this one as it has lovely little white flowers and is scented. Apparently it’s quick-growing so I’m going to buy two and hope I have flowers covering this fence next Spring and Summer.
One of the things when planting up a new border is to not go overboard on the ordering at the start and instead do it in stages. As I’ve got the structure, I’ve focused on tackling the things I want more of in this border – flowers and movement. I’m going to start with planting all of the above in as and when they arrive and come September/October see how they look planted in. You can always add more in late Autumn or wait until the Spring when things start to bloom to see where the gaps are.
Other jobs to be getting on with include:
– Cut lavender for drying – the key is to choose newly opened flowers for the best fragrance, then hang up in a cool, dark place.
If you have french lavender and its finished flowering like mine then now is the time to give it a prune. Word of warning, do not prune it hard as it’s unlikely to recover. I tend to remove around half to two-thirds of the current year’s growth and ensure I leave new green growth where new shoots will shoot from the following season.
– Give dahlias a liquid feed and keep them well watered. Make sure you also tie the shoots of tall varieties to sturdy stakes as they grow.
– Don’t forget to hand-weed borders often, so weeds don’t have time to set seed. In my raised cut flower beds I use a kitchen fork to ensure I don’t disturb seeds that are not as established.
– Keep watering and feeding sweet peas and pick the flowers every few days, and remove seed pods to prolong flowering.
– Feed and deadhead roses to keep them flowering strongly
– Keep watch for pests such as lily beetles, snails and aphids and remove before they do too much harm
With love and stay safe, Flowers and Lifestyle by Margot – www.instagram.com/flowersandlifestylebymargot/
Find out more about me – www.flowersandlifestylebymargot.co.uk