While the palette is definitely more limited for shaded areas in your garden, there is still a wide variety of shrubs and herbaceous perennials that can provide texture and colour all year round.

With any planting area we normally start with creating an evergreen ‘back bone’ so that the garden still has greenery during the long Scottish winters. Evergreen shrubs provide some structure to the planting in a garden and in shaded areas can include Rhododendrons, Camelias, Aucuba and Laurels as a ‘back drop’ with smaller shrubs, ground cover and herbaceous perennials in front. A layered look looks good if you have the space, with higher shrubs and trees to the rear of the bed and lower shrubs in front.

Camelia, Hosta and Vinca

Smaller plants for the front of borders include the evergreen Vinca minor ‘Variegata’ which we love as it has a bright creamy variegated leaf that can brighten up dark areas. That applies to Hosta choice too and there are several variegated varieties to choose from. Hostas are herbaceous perennials and disappear below ground in winter. Skimmia is a fantastic evergreen medium size shrub. They flower over winter and the females provide bright red berries.

Other shade tolerant species include Buxus (normally seen as balls or used in low hedging), Mahonia which flowers in winter, the herbaceous perennials Achillia Mollis and Pulmonaria.

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