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Border Recipe: Shady Exotic

To create a vibrant exotic border under the deep, summer shade of a couple of Beech trees requires extra thought and consideration because many exotics prefer warmth and brightness to thrive. I chose a backdrop of reliable, shade-loving shrubs that had an exotic quality to them to provide a shelter belt. Then I planted up the remaining area (about 1.2m deep and 5m wide) that had some afternoon sun with a combination of grasses and herbaceous perennials. Some tender annuals (about 10% of the total) were added for temporary highlights.

Shady Exotic

Shady ExoticThis border was retained by a sleeper wall which ensured that the soil depth was generous. At the front of the bed, the soil was good; towards the back, along the line of the Beech trees, very thin and chalky and had to be improved. The bed was heavily mulched after planting. This photograph was taken on 4th September; the picture below shortly after planting at the end of May.

Plant List

Pittosporum tenuissima ‘Silver Queen’
Hydrangea quercifolia
Choisya ternata
Ricinus communis – treated as an annual

The Back Row – providing a shelter belt effect to protect tender exotics from easterly and northerly winds:
Aucuba japonica ‘variegata’ (spotted laurel)
Kerria japonica ‘Picta’
Jasminum humile ‘Revolutum’
X Fatshedera lizei ‘Annemieke’

The Herbaceous Perennials and Grasses:Shady Exotic
Arum italicum
Hakonechloa macra aureum – excellent grass for shade, vibrant lime-green leaves

Sisyrinchium striatum
Impatiens sp.
Hosta sp.
Asiatic lilies

Acanthus mollis
Liriope muscari
Anemone nemerosa
Persicaria  amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’
Canna indica
Heuchera ‘Persian Carpet’
Arisaema sp.

For further information: 023 8023 3768 or 07780 920653