Words by Jessica Peace
So you’ve not got that ‘south facing’ gaff, who gives a sh*t? Here’s how to sex up your darker bits…
OH YOU PRETTY THINGS
BLEEDING HEART (DICENTRA/ LAMPROCAPNOS SPECTABILIS)
In late spring this heart-breaker stretches out its bling limbs, flashing strings of juicy pink or ice-white white ‘bleeding hearts’. It’ll lap it up into mid-summer then wind down till next spring.
Catch a falling star with this hardass princess. Tiarella can handle any weather and pumps out flowers like tiny falling stars. Choose ‘Running Tiger’ or ‘Pink Skyrocket’ for flowers from now till autumn.
You’ll not find a better friend in a shady patch than a brunnera - and it’s a great alternative to hostas if you’re sick of slug wars. Plant ‘Jack Frost’ for massive, white heart-shaped foliage from spring to early winter.
Using astrantia is like adding nature’s fairy lights, it’s small, so great for working in pots, window boxes and vertical walls. A Summer shower, plonk in spots with just a bit of light to keep it happy.
This gets the x-rating. Foxgloves are the sexy demons unfurling in the dark corners of your garden - but they are literally toxic, don’t plant if you’ve got pets and little people and do not forage this one!
IN A FLAP
Big foliage for shade…
If you like your flowers not looking like flowers then grab this guy; it’s whacky, evergreen, hard as and great for bees. Go careful, its got latex in the sap so gets a bit itchy if you know what I mean.
JAPANESE PAINTED FERN
Yeah, looks like it’s been hand painted frond by frond with whites and purples. Rad. This prefers a soggier bottom and needs a little jacket putting on or dragging in when it’s really f’in cold.
This one’s a floor filler. With glossy leaves like massive hands and sci-fi style white flowers, this hardy dude is welcome to hangout at any of our shady knees-ups.
AND FOR A BIT OF SPARKLE IN YOUR DINGY GAFF
Pretty in pink, this sacred plant joins its hands like a prayer when the lights go out. Nice to have about if you’re livin’ on one.
This sultry little number shys away from the bright lights but likes it cosy, no drafts please. Fun fact, the white ‘petals’ are leaf adaptations, the flower is actually the knobbly bit in the middle.