5 plants that will give you a great dis­play of colour

Amateur Gardening - - This Week In Gardening -

Au­tumn re­ally is a spec­tac­u­lar sea­son in the gar­den – at this time of year bor­ders should be ablaze with fiery fo­liage, bright berries and vi­brant flow­ers. In a shady gar­den this might seem hard to achieve, but it needn’t be. If you have dark corners or north-fac­ing bound­aries, it’s all the more im­por­tant to in­cor­po­rate colour into your plant­ing dis­plays, and there are a sur­pris­ing num­ber of plants that can help.

Whether it’s shrubs cov­ered in glossy berries or trees that turn a spec­trum of hot or­anges, yel­lows and reds as the tem­per­a­ture drops, there are many star plants avail­able from nurs­eries now that will give your shady space a lift. Choose wisely and you’ll be re­warded with an eye-catch­ing dis­play year af­ter year. Stand-out plants for the au­tumn shade gar­den in­clude Ja­panese anemones with their pretty flow­ers atop wiry stems, bold-berried skim­mias, and ac­ers, which of­fer sear­ing leaf colour.

nigel Row­land, owner of shade specialist Long Acre Plants in Som­er­set, be­lieves these dark dwellers can be every bit as ex­cit­ing as their sun-lov­ing cousins. So what are his favourite shade plants for au­tumn? “Kirengeshoma pal­mata is a lovely de­cid­u­ous peren­nial, with yel­low shut­tle­cock flow­ers in au­tumn. It’s in the hy­drangea fam­ily and needs sim­i­lar con­di­tions. then there’s Sax­ifraga for­tunei, a beau­ti­ful Ja­panese wood­lan­der that comes in a range of forms with white through pink to red flow­ers, from 10-60cm tall. It needs a mois­ture-re­ten­tive site to thrive.”

An­other must-have is Cy­cla­men hed­er­i­folium. “It’s such an adapt­able

and easy-grow­ing plant,” Nigel says. “It tol­er­ates very dry sit­u­a­tions and comes back in flower with the dew of au­tumn.”

To re­ally get the most from your shade lovers, com­bine a va­ri­ety of heights and forms in bor­ders, from climbers and wall shrubs to late-flow­er­ing peren­ni­als and or­na­men­tal grasses. Or, if you’re tight for space, use pots to trans­form a corner or en­trance.

And re­mem­ber: wildlife will also love many of these plants, which of­fer food and nectar when sup­plies are scarce.

Shade doesn’t have to be a prob­lem. Think of it in­stead as an in­vi­ta­tion to search out strik­ing spec­i­mens that suit the con­di­tions in your gar­den and will trans­form a po­ten­tially dull space into some­thing very spe­cial. Get it right and you will en­joy a last burst of glory be­fore the quiet beauty of win­ter.

Bring a shady spot alive with plants that do not need full sun to shine, such as Ja­panese anemone, cy­cla­men, gaulthe­ria and toad lilies

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