Apr 21, 2020 - If you garden in dry shade, you know how hard it can be to find tough plants. By this time of year, the bearded irises in the Dry Garden are … Here trees suck out available moisture and the leaf canopy cuts out the light. The native wild form of this easy and very useful evergreen fern. Through trial and error, I've discovered 10 plants that work in zone 5. Monty Don selects ferns for dry woodland shade. Strap shaped, long undivided fronds giving the plant it's common name Hart's (deer) Tongue fern. The challenges for plants, of course, are lack of light and lack of moisture. Plant elegant, shade-loving ferns in the shade, says Monty Don But the roots take up most of the moisture and goodness, and it is in almost total shade from October through till late April. A shady spot can be challenging to work with in your garden, especially if it tends to stay dry. ROSEMARY - Rosemary is a superb garden plant and is wonderful with potatoes, lamb and any oily Mediterranean dish. But there are bright corners of flower with cyclamen under the hedges (they always do well in dry shade and the hornbeam hedges soak up most of the water on what would otherwise be too wet soil for the cyclamen to be happy) and hyacinths that we have grown in pots in the shelter of a cold frame can be stood outside to add a blaze of colour. According to Rice, the main characteristics to look out for in plants suited to dry shade are those that (1) lose limited moisture through leaves, (2) can store water in rhizomes, tubers or stems, (3) are Evergreen, (4) start their annual life cycle early to store sufficient light and finally (5) are adapted to low light conditions. At Longmeadow Monty checks the progress of the potatoes he planted earlier in the year and recommends plants for dry shade under trees. Some will flower better in at least partial shade than in full shade. It does best in hot, well drained soil and will cope with dry conditions. The fact is that most plants that are suitable for dry shade will grow better if supplied with average amounts of moisture. find out more Dry shade is a challenge that unites town gardeners, cursed by neighbours’ trees and walls, and country gardeners who have it at the foot of walls and in the shade of trees they have inherited. Ferns for dry places. Grows better on alkaline to neutral soils. This is a situation most of us have in our own gardens, found under shrubs and trees. Happy in damp shade but also in dry shade once established. We usually associate ferns with moist shady situations. This fern works brilliantly with other ferns, hostas and bergenias. So many gardeners asked me about plants to solve the problem of what to grow in dry shade, at the same time as I moved to a garden with extensive dry and shady areas, that I ended up writing a whole book about just this one problem: Planting The Dry Shade Garden. But there are those more suited to dry shade. PERENNIAL HERBS. 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