Plant Directory

Q: Need some planting ideas for a shady corner or difficult soil?

A: You've come to the right place!

Below are some of the many plants we've used over the years to cope with tricky situations or just to give a particular effect, be it tall, showy plants for a prominent position or drought-tolerant plants for the side of a dry, sunny bank. 10 plants are listed for each section. Of course, there are thousands of others and these are but a small selection of plants that are usually easily found in garden centres and nurseries which are worthy of attention. All these plants have been used by myself in the South East UK. Please note: local climates in other parts of the world may determine what can and can't be planted. An approximate height and spread are also given in metres for each plant which should be taken as their ten year growth height.

  • T - Tree
  • S - Shrub
  • P - Perennial
  • B - Bulb
  • Tb - Tuber
  • F - Fern
  • C - Climber
  • Co - Conifer
  • G - Grass
  • E - Evergreen

There are many thousands of other plants which can be used to great effect and if you would like to know more about the beautiful art of creative planting, email me and let me know.

Site

Dry Soil and Sunny

Ceanothus 'Puget Blue'    2.5 x 2.0 S / Small T E
Cistus x purpureus    1.2 x 1.2 S E
Convolvulous cneorum  0.3 x 0.3 S E
Cosmos 'Sunset'    0.9 x 0.9 P  
Euphorbia robbiae   0.5 x 0.5 P  
Lavandula spica 'Hidcote'  0.6 x 0.6   S E
Teucrium fruticans   1.2 x 1.2  S E
Tulipa (most varieties)  0.20+ x 0.1 B  
Robinia pseudoacacia 'Frisia' 10 x 5 T  
Rosmarinus officinalis             1.5 x 1.0 S E

Shady and Dry

Acanthus spinosus 1.2 x 1.2 P E
Cornus canadensis 0.15 x indefinite S  
Cyclamen neapolitanum 0.15 x 0.15 Tb  
Dicentra eximia 0.4 x 0.4 P  
Dryopteris cristata 0.9 x 0.6 F  
Liriope muscari 0.2 x 0.2 P E
Mahonia aquifolium 1.2 x 1.0 S E
Ribes 'King Edward VII' 2.0 x 1.2 S  
Sarcococca humilis 0.6 x 0.6 S E
Viola cornuta 'Alba' 0.2 x 0.2 P  

Shady and Damp

Aruncus dioicus 1.8 x 0.9 P  
Astilbe x arendsii 'Fanal' 0.6 x 0.6 P  
Carex morrowi 'Variegata' 0.2 x 0.2 P E
Cimicifuga simplex 1.5 x 0.6 P  
Hosta fortunei 'Aurea' 0.6 x 0.6 P  
Osmunda regalis 1.5 x 2.0 F  
Primula florindae 1.0 x 0.3 P  
Rodegersia pinnata 'Superba' 1.0 x 0.6 P  
Symphoricarpus rivularis 1.8 x 1.8 S  
Symphytum x uplandicum 1.2 x 0.6 P  

Coastal plants tolerant of salty winds

Eryngium alpinum 0.5 x 0.3 P  
Eucalyptus niphophila 7 x 5 T E
Fuchsia 'Riccartonii' 1.5 x 1.5 S  
Hebe 'Midsummer Beauty' 1.5 x 1.5 S E
Lupinus arboreus 1.5 x 1.2 P E
Pinus mugo 4.5 x 5 T E
Quercus ilex 18 x 20 T E
Senecio laxifolius 1.0 x 1.0 S E
Tamarix tetranda 4.5 x 4.5 S  
Viburnum tinus 1.8 x 1.8 S E

Soil

Acid Lovers

Blechnum spicant 0.45 x 0.45 F E
Camellia 'J C Williams' 2.4 x 2.4 S E
Cornus kousa chinensis 6 x 6 T  
Iris innominata Hybrids 0.25 x 0.25 P E
Leptospermum 'Nichollsii' 2.5 x 2.5 S E
Lilium tigrinum splendens 1.2 x 0.6 B  
Primula pulverulenta 'Bartley Strain' 0.75 x 0.75 P  
Rhododendron (Azalea) 'Glowing Embers' 2.0 x 2.0 S  
Rhododendron 'Cilpinense' 1.0 x 1.0 S E
Sorbus aucuparia 10 x 10 T  

Chalk Dwellers

Acanthus mollis latifolius 1.2 x 1.2 P E
Ceratostigma willmottianum 0.9 x 0.9 S  
Cotoneaster 'Cornubia' 5 x 3 S / T E
Crocus vernus 'Yellow Giant' 0.15 x 0.10 B  
Echinops ritro 1.2 x 1.2 P  
Hoheria sexstylosa 'Stardust' 3 x 2 S / T E
Papaver orientale 'Mrs Perry' 0.9 x 0.9 P  
Perovskia atriplicifolia 'Blue Spires' 1.2 x 1.2 S  
Sambucus racemosa 'Plumosa Aurea' 1.8 x 1.8 S  
Viola labradorica 0.15 x 0.15 P E

Clay Tolerators

Aesculus x carnea 'Briotii' 15 x 15 T  
Ajuga reptans 0.10 x 0.5 P E
Anemone nemorosa 0.2 x 0.2 Tb  
Anemone x hybrida 'Whirlwind' 0.9 x 0.9 P  
Cotoneaster dammeri 0.2 x 2.0 S E
Helenium autumnale 'Moerheim Beauty' 0.9 x 0.9 P  
Monarda didyma 'Croftway Pink' 0.9 x 0.9 P  
Viburnum plicatum 'Lanarth' 2.0 x 2.0 S  
Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn' 3 x 2 S  
Weigela 'Bristol Ruby' 1.5 x 1.5 S  

Character

Aromatic Leaves

Angelica archangelica 1.8 x 1.0 P  
Choisya ternata 1.8 x 1.8 S E
Geranium macrorrhizum 0.4 x 0.6 P  
Helichrysum angustifolium 0.5 x 0.5 S E
Lavandula spica 'Hidcote' 0.6 x 0.6 S E
Mentha spicata 0.6 x 0.6 P  
Rosmarinus officinalis 1.5 x 1.0 S E
Satureia montana 'Coerulea' 0.3 x 0.3 S Semi E
Thymus vulgaris 0.3 x 0.3 S E

Ornamental stems

Acer griseum 12 x 10 T  
Acer hersii 12 x 10  T  
Betula pendula  15 x 10 T  
Cornus alba 'Sibirica' 1.8 x 1.8 S  
Cornus stolonifera 'Flaviramea' 1.8 x 1.8 S  
Cornus 'Winter Flame' 1.2 x 1.2 S  
Corylus avellana 'Contorta' 2.4 x 2.4 S  
Eucalyptus niphophila 6 x 4 T E
Prunus lusitanica 3 x 3 S E
Salix alba 'Chermesina' 4 x 4 S  

Remember! Ornamental stems of Cornus and Salix can be enhanced by coppicing (cutting hard back) each spring.

Fragrant Performers

Clematis armandii 5 x 5 C E
Cytisus battandieri 3 x 2.5 S E
Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill' 1.8 x 1.2 S E
Lavandula spica 'Munstead' 0.9 x 0.9 S E
Lilium regale 0.9 x 0.6 B  
Lonicera similis delavayi 5 x 5 C E
Magnolia grandiflora  5 x 5 T E
Philadelphus 'Manteau D'Hermine' 2.0 x 1.5 S  
Rosa 'Albertine' 10 x 10 C  
Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn' 3 x 2 S  

Winter Flowering

Chimonanthus praecox 2.0 x 2.0 S  
Clematis cirrhosa 'Freckles' 2.5 x 2.5 C E
Cornus mas 3 x 3 S  
Galanthus nivalis 0.2 x 0.2 B  
Hamamelis mollis 2.5 x 2.5 S  
Iris reticulata 0.15 x 0.15 B  
Jasminum nudiflorum 1.2 x 1.5 S / C  
Mahonia x 'Charity' 2 x 2 S E
Prunus subhirtella 'Autumnalis' 6 x 5 T  
Viburnum tinus 1.8 x 1.8 S E

Ground Cover

Ajuga reptans 0.1 x 0.5 P E
Alchemilla mollis 0.5 x 0.5 P  
Anthemis nobilis 'Treneague' 0.5 x indefinite P E
Blechnum penna-marina 0.15 x indefinite F E
Cotoneaster dammeri 0.2 x 2.0 S E
Geranium dalmaticum 0.1 x 0.2 P  
Juniperus horizontalis 0.5 x 2.0 Co E
Lamium maculatum 0.2 x indefinite P E
Lonicera pileata 0.6 x 2.0 S E
Prunus laurocerasus 'Otto Luyken' 1.5 x 1.8 S E

Remember! Ground cover plants like Alchemilla mollis spread by self-seeding.

Hedging

Buxus sempervirens 4 x 4 S E
Carpinus betulus 5+ x 5+ T  
Crataegus monogyna 2.5+ x 2.5+ T  
Escallonia 'Donard Seedling' 1.8 x 1.8 S E
Forsythia x intermedia 'Lynwood' 2.5 x 2.5 S  
Ligustrum ovalifolium 3 x 3 S E
Lonicera nitida 1.5 x 1.5 S E
Rhododendron ponticum 3 x 3 S / T E
Tamarix pentandra 3 x 3 S  
Taxus baccata 10+ x 5+ Co E

Remember! Keep Buxus, Lonicera, Ligustrum and Taxus trimmed to any height for formal hedges and topiary.

Spires

Aconitum 'Ivorine' 0.9 x 0.5 P  
Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' 1.8 x 0.6 G  
Cimicifuga simplex Atropurpurea Group 1.5 x 0.6 P  
Digitalis parviflora 1.2 x 0.6 P  
Epilobium var album 1.2 x 0.3 P  
Juniperus communis compressa 0.9 x 0.2 Co E
Kniphofia 'Atlanta' 1.2 x 0.9 P  
Verbascum nigrum 0.9 x 0.6 P  
Verbena hastata 0.9 x 0.6 P  
Veronica spicata 0.9 x 0.6 P  

Grasses for motion

Achnatherum calamagrostis 0.9 x 0.75 G  
Eragrostis curvula 1.0 x 0.75 G  
Miscanthus sinensis 'Flamingo' 2.0 x 1.0 G  
Molinia caerulea ssp. 'Transparent' 2.4 x 1.2 G  
Panicum virgatum 'Rotstrahlbusch' 1.2 x 0.75 G  
Panicum virgatum 'Squaw' 1.2 x 0.9 G  
Poa chaixii 0.9 x 0.4 G E
Stipa gigantea 2.2 x 1.0 G  
Stipa pennata 0.8 x 0.4 G  
Stipa pulcherrima 1.0 x 0.5 G  

Please note: no responsibility will be taken for the accuracy or the subsequent use of any information on this page.

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