fi_red
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Need Ideas for low light corner of small back garden

Hi there, I am in Ireland and looking for some ideas for design or plants/shrubs for corner in a small back garden which gets no direct sun throughout the year. It is a very shady area where grass wont even grow (despite numerous attempts at sowing grass etc). So at the moment it does not look great, patches of grass and soil.
It really needs a revamp with either a bed of plants or shrubs that don't require much light or good soil, paved slabs just to sit potted plants on, wall creepers, bamboo, build a BBQ... i really can't figure out what the best solution is. Any advice on plants, design or other ideas would be much appreciated.

The area is approx 1.5 metres by 1.5 metres.

Here is a photo of the corner: http://i1067.photobucket.com/albums/u43 ... 17de9z.jpg
Last edited by fi_red on Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Need Ideas for low light corner of small back garden

I love shade gardens which I think can be so pretty and cool looking (cool in the literal sense of cooling off, refreshing).

But first you have to tell us where you are located. Shade plants for Boston are very different from shade plants for Los Angeles! :)

Your corner looks moist and dampish. Is that true? That makes a difference also.
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imafan26
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Re: Need Ideas for low light corner of small back garden

I would nix bamboo. It would grow there but it is very invasive and hard to remove and it will be too close to the foundation.
It would be a good place for a corner seating area. I would do a concrete slab. Since it looks like it stays wet a long time, wood would rot. You can color concrete or put an astro turf rug on it or you can tile it with pavers. Because it looks like a wet area, you want something that won't be hard to clean because you will probably have to deal with algae. I would have a fire pit with a cover, so you can use it as a table instead. The wall in this seating example was also a planter. Raising the height of the planter could get it more light depending on how tall the walls are. Instead of planting directly in the top, just build a box and put potted plants in there. the box should be lined and sealed with drain hole and tubing to take the excess water out into the lawn ares. In the box you can put annuals that tolerate shade like wax begonia, impatiens , coleus, syngonium, ferns or ivy. If the plants don't work out you can easily change them out or put in more if they work out well. You can always change the plants for different seasons. I would also build in a drip watering system with a nearby faucet and timer to make watering easier.

http://www.olive-landscaping.co.uk/port ... ting-area/

The other thing I would do with a wet corner like that is to build a pond and waterfall there and you could use bog plants around it. It is not a very dark space so most of those should be able to grow. Water lilies in the pond, a few fish to keep mosquitoes down, Some irises and lilies are tolerant of wet ground and so are papyrus and horsetail but they are invasive and have to be kept in pots. It still would depend on how much light they would receive and where you live.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

fi_red
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Re: Need Ideas for low light corner of small back garden

Thank you so much for you replies. Very helpful.

rainbowgardener sorry I forgot to mention where in the world I am located - Ireland.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Need Ideas for low light corner of small back garden

Image

All you have to do is paste in the IMG code photo bucket gives you. 1.5m square is a very small bit of space. I'm assuming it does stay dampish pretty much? Damp shade is a perfect spot for growing ferns and you have lots of nice native ferns in Ireland.

I might put something taller in the back corner, possibly a yellow foxglove or rocket ligularia, astilbe, or black cohosh/ cimicifuga.

Then fill in your space with a mix of a fern or two and a hosta or two.

If it were me, I would plant all this in a little bit of a U shape, leaving a little space at the front for a bird bath sitting on a paver.

Inspiration pictures:

Here's a shady spot with hydrangea, hosta, painted fern
Image

Here's a bowl bird bath which might be nice for your small area, with brunnera, ferns, and canna lilies
Image

Here's a small water feature with coleus and impatiens (annuals) moss and other stuff
Image

Have fun! Don't forget to take before and after pictures and come back and show us! :)
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

fi_red
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Re: Need Ideas for low light corner of small back garden

Thanks so much for the helpful responses.. they are very helpful to a complete novice gardener like myself. Typical Irish weather has prohibited any garden work the last few days so maybe over this long weekend ahead I might make some progress on it. Thanks again

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