Shady spots can be tricky to plant, but they have a special beauty if done right.
First, make sure you amend the soil with lots of good compost. Shade gardens tend to have dry soil, so adding compost will help hold moisture.
Next, choose several classic English Garden perennials for your shade garden. The following ones have interesting leaves that will add texture to a shade garden.
For height, add one Polygonatum or Solomonís Seal, in the back of the bed. They have long arching stems with white bell-shaped flowers in late spring. My favorite is the variegated one with white stripes on green leaves.
Plant three Alchemilla mollis commonly known as Ladyís Mantle, in front of the Solomonís Seal. They have large, pale green leaves and small yellow flowers and will bloom in early summer.
Add fragrance with the old-fashioned Convallaria majalis or Lily of the Valley in front of the Alchemilla. Plant five to seven plants, depending on the amount of space you have.
Place one hardy geranium ĖGeranium sanguineum - on each side of the planting. These have large leaves that do very well in dry conditions. Theyíll bloom all summer.
For a climber, choose a Honeysuckle, one of the few vines that can take some shade. In warm climates, try Jasminum nudiflorum commonly known as winter-flowering Jasmine which will give you scented bright yellow flowers from November to April.
In the fall, plant some Galanthus (snowdrops). These are late-winter flowering bulbs that have small white flowers. Also plant some English bluebells for blue flowers in late spring. Plant at least a dozen of each bulb, in groups of three.
Finally, be sure you water frequently after planting. Follow my watering guideline: 3 X 3: Three times a week for three weeks after planting. Additionally, water regularly the first year after planting whenever you donít have rain for over a week. This will help your new shady garden get off to a good start.