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Cork Independent

Home & Property

Brighten up that shady corner

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019 4:34pm

The biggest question I get asked at Griffins Garden Centre is 'What can I grow in a shaded corner?'

I love planting shade loving beds. It is where I can plant some different plants and still have so much interest and colour. A cottage garden in the shade can be bursting with colour if you select the right plants.


These are one of the easiest perennial flowers to grow. They have long-blooming, plume-like flowers in soft shades of white, pink and red, and the flowers are held on tall, stiff stalks, above the airy foliage. They are virtually pest-free and are very low maintenance. I grow it to provide colour to darker areas of the garden and soften the look of sunnier spots. The fern-like green leaves add to the whimsical look to this plant. Some varieties even have copper coloured leaves. After the main flowering has passed, the flowers will often dry on the plants and remain attractive for weeks. If you ask me, group planting of astilbes will definitely brighten up your shaded garden.

Astible Vision in Red is an exceptional perennial that produces an amazing dense display of red purple spikes atop lush bright green foliage.

This premium astilbe looks sensational planted in borders or patio pots and will provide wonderful cut flowers for the vase. It flowers all through the summer. Astible White Wings have deeply cut shiny leaves and feathery plumes of white flowers in summer followed by rusty-brown seed pods that remain attractive into winter. This compact plant makes a nice ground cover in the shady garden or can be used as an edging or in the front of the border. Remember astilbes are not that difficult to grow if you prepare the soil well.


Tall and stately foxglove plants have long been included in garden areas where vertical interest and lovely flowers are desired. Foxglove flowers grow on stems which may reach six feet in height, depending on variety. Foxglove flowers are clusters of tubular shaped blooms in an array of colours. Growing foxgloves thrive in full sun to partial shade to full shade, depending on the summer heat. My favourite is the foxglove Dalmation which stands tall and proud with white bells. While bringing an elegance to a perennial bed, it will flower all summer long if you continuously dead head it and prevent it going to seed. This will give great height in the background creating a tiered effect in the garden. Foxgloves also grow so well in a container - complete it with a skirt of white pansies and bacopa. They love very good drainage and thrives in dappled shade. Monday 20 May is World Bee Day and to celebrate it, Griffins Garden Centre will be giving out notelets for all customers on the day which include a list of the best bee-friendly plants, shrubs and bulbs for your garden.

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