We have had some nice weather so far over the bank holiday weekend ... interspersed with some nasty, we mustn't grumble ... it's far better than it being all nasty!
I put myself to work by making a small rockery out of this previously miserable area near the entrance to my greenhouse.
We had quite a bit of rockery stone lying in a heap in the front driveway when we moved in. Some of it was frost shattered and was used in hardcore for the steps going down to the raised veg beds. I selected the best bits and arranged them as attractively as I could and also enriched the soil with what I had left over of a bulk bag of compost (that went into the raised vegetable beds to enrich them a while ago).
It's a small area so I need plants that won't swamp it. They need to be slow growing or easy to keep in check with trimming or pulling it up. It only gets half a day's sun tucked away in that corner so I'm thinking about what to plant in the little nooks and crannies.
Here's my preliminary list of non-invasive plants that I've used previously in part-shade:
- Saxifraga x urbium (common name London Pride), I'll see if I can get some of the variegated variety as a preference
- Ajuga reptans (smaller green leaved variety)
- Red stonecrop (already got some of that I can transplant)
- Pulmonaria (common name Lungwort), I really love the blue and white varieties, particularly those with spotty leaves!
- Lamium Beacon Silver - there's some down the road next to the river dog walk which has escaped from someone's garden. I can take some free cuttings when the weather warms up a bit.
EDIT on 4 April 2016
There was an article in Saturday's paper featuring plants that will thrive in shade so I clipped it out. I was pleased to note that some of those in my list above made it into an expert's top picks! In addition, I've added the following to my list of possibilities:
- Epimedium x versicolor "Sulphureum "(barrenwort) has lovely light yellow flowers and bronze foliage in autumn
- Omphalodes cappadocica (navelwort) lots of bright blue forget-menot flowers. I'm sure this is in a garden of one of my friend's in the village so will be nagging him to give me a little of his!
- Dicentra "Stuart Boothman" (bleeding heart) finely cut greygreen leaves and pink flowers; apparently "Bacchanal" is another variety with deep red flowers
- Siberian bugloss Brunnera "Jack Frost" has made it into my list, it might be a bit big for this area but I love it so much, I used to grow it many years ago. I'll give it a try and maybe transplant it if it outgrows its welcome here.