No matter what size a garden is, there are bound to be some shaded areas. All gardens have areas which are shaded at least some of the time, and because of trees, buildings and fences, there are likely to be some patches which are in shade almost constantly. That does not mean, however, that nothing can grow there. There are many very beautiful plants and flowers which thrive in part shaded or full shaded areas. Here is a list of ten of our favourite plants that like shade –  five plants which can grow in both part and full shade, and five which are suitable for part shade only. (image credit:

Part and full shade plants


Cyclamen (Cyclamen hederifolium): These hardy plants are late-flowering and, once planted, they can stay in the ground for many years. They stay green in winter and have attractive marbled foliage. The pink flowers are as striking as they are tough. View Cyclamen bulbs


Ferns: The luscious leaves of the fern will bring a touch of the wilderness to your garden’s shady spots. Ferns are so reminiscent of woodland areas, that they give a as-nature-intended feeling to any garden. View Ferns


Ivy: This evergreen climbing plant looks great on shady walls. It grows quickly, and is an excellent choice if you want to cover an unattractive patch of wall. It also grows along the ground, so any disused area can be covered with a pleasant carpet of ivy. View Ivy


Lily of the Valley: Usually found at the foot of trees and shrubs, Lily of the Valley forms a gorgeous carpet of green leaves and small white flowers. In May the flowers emit a delicate smell, which is often used by perfumiers. View Lily of the Valley


Rhododendrons: These woodland plants are most at home in dappled shade and away from strong winds. The plants can grow as large as six metres tall, and the beautiful flowers make the rhododendron a striking addition to any shaded area. View Rhododendrons

Part shade plants


Bamboo: More than just Panda food, bamboo is a type of grass which is very hardy and grows in just about any type of soil you can think of. As long as you keep it out of strong winds, bamboo will provide lush foliage to any part-shady spot. View Bamboo


Common Bugle (Ajuga reptans): This flowering plant thrives under trees and shrubs and is excellent for covering areas of part shaded ground. It is fast growing and can cover an unsightly patch of ground quickly. It is also effective as a means of suppressing weeds. View Common Bugle


Hydrangeas: These shrubs have very attractive foliage and large flowers, which can be either blue, white or pink. The colour you will get depends on the soil’s pH. Acidic soil will produce blue flowers, pink will come from alkaline soil. The flower heads come in two self-explanatory shapes: round-head or mophead. View Hydrangeas


Japanese Maples (Acer palmatum): Native to east Asia, this maple has leaves which are stunningly beautiful, particularly in autumn when they offer a deep shade of burgundy. The bark is very attractive too. It is a good idea to keep Japanese maples out of strong wind. View Japanese Maples


Snowdrops: One of the first signs of the onset of spring, the bulbs of Snowdrops are often able to pop up through the snow. They flower early, and favour partially shaded areas or full sun. One of the most beautiful symbols of early spring and fantastic as plants for shade. Buy Snowdrops