The Shady Area

The shady area in June 2010 - and the Gunnera is starting to come out in the background

This area of the garden is against a North-facing wall and is bordered by tall conifers, trees and shrubs so is in constant shade. The ground is also very wet as there is a plate of clay just beneath the surface on which the water lies. This provides an ideal environment for our Gunnera.

The Gunera - July 2010

We planted a couple of Tree Ferns here a few years ago. These are native of New Zealand and so one needs to cover the growing crown with straw and sacking over the winter months to protect it. The last two winters ( 2009 - 2010 ) have been particularly cold and we were worried they had succombed but we were relieved to see that they have survived.

The Tree Ferns beginning to open out - July 2010

In early Summer 2011 we decided to make a start on tidying up this bed, which is rather overgrown with laurels, yew, rhodedendron and camellia with mature conifers behind. Rather than carry out a complete strip-out like we did with the Long Border, we intend to clear small sections at a time - but leave the tall conifers which lie at the back of the border and form a screen.

The North-facing border

The North-facing border alongside the pool

The North-facing border

Ivy and ground-elder cleared and a large holly bush cut down

The new shrubs safely brought back from English Woodland

The shrubs ready for planting

We chose shade-loving evergreen plants for this new area and they are above from left to right - Euonymous ( variegated ); Elaeagnus - which has a beautiful perfume; Japanese Laurel with variegated leaves; Golden Thuja conifer.

The new area planted by the side of the 'hut'

The next area cleared out ready for planting

Winter - Spring 2012

We were quite surprised at how quickly we had been able to clear out the rest of this border. By the end of February 2012 we decided it was a good time to start planting out the rest of the bed that we had spent the winter months clearing. After planning what plants we needed we made a trip to English Woodlands to choose the shrubs and arrange delivery. As before, we chose shade-loving plants that would continue the theme we had already started.

The plants just delivered ready for sorting

The ground elder, ivy, holly and laurel removed ready for planting

First we placed the plants - still in their pots in the positions we had originally chosen. We usually do this and leave them in situ for a couple of days just to make sure we have the design right.

Initial placement of the shrubs in the side border

It was our intention to plant along the Western boundary of the garden at the same time, as we had cleared out this bed in January 2012. There is a fairly new fence along this boundary that we wanted to obscure. It can be seen that this bed is rather narrow at some 4 feet compared to the North and South facing borders which are over 12 feet deep.

The bed along the Western border

Initial placement of the plants

Looking along the Western border from the opposite direction

Planting here is really hard work as there are a lot of thick roots from the old conifers to cut through

The planting from last year by the side of the 'hut' has become well established now

From left to right an Elaeagnus , Euonymus, Aucuba and a Thuja ( Aura ), with a Sarcococca in the foreground interspersed with foxgloves

Similar but somewhat reduced planting seen from the other end - once again a Sarcococca, which has a beautiful winter perfume, in the foreground

The Western border looking North towards the folly

A view of the Western border looking down from the tower of the folly

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