I have a fairly large paved area at the back door that faces north-east and gets a minimal amount of sunlight – but being close to the house, it is well used. Last year we started planting up containers, and the past 12 months have been quite successful with colour from both foliage and seasonal flowers. If you need some ideas for container-planting for shade, then you might wish to try some of the following;
Try a large container of bamboo Phyllostachys nigra for year-round greenery that whispers in the wind.
Adam and Eve used leaves similar to those on Fatsia japonica to cover their embarrassment. You can use fatsia in a pot for coverage too – the mature leaves almost look tropical due to their size.
Hostas, although deciduous, are marvellous in pots – try different colours such as the blue Hosta sieboldiana ‘Elegans’ or the variegated ‘Stiletto’ or ‘Loyalist’.
Again deciduous, though the winter dead leaves still look great in a container, the grass Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ looks like a beatnik hairstyle as it cascades out of a pot.
Try a summer hanging basket simply consisting of bacopa – now available in pink and purple as well as white and spider plant. The bacopa will continue flowering right through until the frosts in autumn, with no dead-heading needed.
Create a sensory splash with pots of scented lilies, the oriental ones such as ‘Stargazer’ last twice as long in the shade as they do in direct sunlight.
Whatever you choose, give them the best start by lining the inside of clay pots with a punctured black bag to stop water-evaporation. Add water gel crystals and a slow-release fertiliser to compost before potting. Incorporate an old bowl near the bottom of your pot to act as a water reservoir.
Ann Burns, Team Leader Horticulture and Landscape Construction, Oatridge College (firstname.lastname@example.org, www.oatridge.ac.uk)
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: West