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Plants for difficult places

We all have a corner of the garden where conditions are tough either because of the soil or a lack of light.  Here are some suggestions for getting the best from diifficult places:

If possible improve the soil & work with nature instead of fighting it & losing! Organic matter helps improve soil strucutre, wter holding capacity and also drainage.

Shade is seen as a problem but light/partial shade is great for many yellow leaved shrubs that scorch in full sun

Partial shade: yellow leaved Philadelphus & Choisya; Fatsia, Hydrangea, Ferns, Bergenia, Camellia

Many woodland plants flower early & need a shaded spot: Epimedium, Hellebore, Bluebell, Primrose, Foxglove

Deep shade is tricky especially dry soil under trees: Aucuba, Ivy (variegated), Pachysandra. rely on intereting foliage as relatively few shad eloving plants have bright flowers

Wet soil: Make a Bog garden & have loads of fabulous plants to choose from bu the soil must remain moist all year round

Bogs & moist soil: ferns, Hosta, Astilbe, Filipendula, Candelabra Primula, bog-loving Iris, Gunnera, Dogwood

Hot & dry: create a Mediterranean garden: lavender, rosemary, Cistus, Helianthemum, Caryopteris. Look for plants with small or grey leaves

Shallow soil especially over chalk: build up soil depth and consider installing raised beds; once again add organic matter.

Chalk: look for plants that grow on Downs & chalk cliffs: Valerian, Thrift, Pinks, native Field Maple is one of the few trees that thrive in chalky conditions

Exposed & windy: plants must be very hardy, often plants labelled for coastal gardens are suitable

If nothing thrives, admit defeat lay fabric & mulch to avoid weeds, add statue or pot of seasonal plants

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