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Ideas for small shaded courtyard

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by Kathrynmichaud, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. Kathrynmichaud

    Kathrynmichaud Apprentice Gardener

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    Hello, I would be grateful if anyone has any suggestions for what I can plant in the border against the old wall in my garden and/any other suggestions to make it look less drab! It is a small courtyard garden which is quite shaded. Thank you!
     

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    • redstar

      redstar Total Gardener

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      First I would power wash the sidewalk, power wash the brick walls, see what that looks like. if those vines are not anything then rip out. I don't see where your at, location wise. anyway what then comes to mind is color. Lots of big colorful pots with shade loving plants in them. there is a Japanese Maple that is soft that can handle shade. Colorful pillows for that bench. there are some climbing vines that like the shade, Hydrangea has one. others I am sure have ideas. Also lighting, if you can build a pergola at some location, you can hang lights from it for a interesting look.

      Also an idea of some flat stones to take up some lawn so a larger cute table and chairs can be placed. the back door replaced also. build something to house the trash cans.
       
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      • BeeHappy

        BeeHappy Total Gardener

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          Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
        • BeeHappy

          BeeHappy Total Gardener

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        • BeeHappy

          BeeHappy Total Gardener

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          @Kathrynmichaud
          As you can see from the photos and links - Plants to consider are Hardy geraniums, Primroses, Ferns, Campanula, Foxgloves, Heucheras, Fuchsia's, Tiarella cordifolia, Pulmonaria, Japanese Anenomes well the list is endless as you can see from my post...so i best shut up now :heehee:
          And some lovely shade-loving Clematis varieties such as 'Guernsey Cream',"Hagley Hybrid" "Nelly Moser" and "Arabella" who is more of a scrambler than a true climber all these plants are in my shader part of my garden.
           
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            Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
          • Verdun

            Verdun Passionate gardener

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            Kathryn, you dont say how much shade you have there but I would make those borders between the lawn and the walls much wider. If you can widen them to a metre plants would have a chance to make an impact. Those borders are way too narrow.

            For me a white hydrangea is a must....it would light up that area dramatically. Plant it in the corner. Some astilbes....red, pink and white .....add feathery plumes in summer and many, like Fanal, have wonderful copper coloured new growth. Cimicifugas/acteas would thrive there; they have fantastic dark purple/black foliage and would look sensational next to the white hydrangea. Dicentra spectabilis, esp the white form, is splendid with flowers from spring to early summer.
            A fern or two as well would look good there.
            Hostas in pots; use some of those terracotta pots for them to add a lush foliage effect. Often maligned but a plant I love for shade is the white arum lily and I would have one there.

            You must have some scent there too......Daphne mezereum is an upright shrub with red or white scented flowers in late spring.
            A scented honeysuckle, Serotina, against a wall will give you plenty of scented red flowers throughout summer.
            If you have some sun in that area put in some Regal lilies.....they will add powerful scent in June and July. Another daphne, odora aureomarginata, has delightful perfume on attractive evergreen variegated foliage. A few hyacinths, daffodil cheerfulness and the annual tobacco plant, alata Grandiflora, will fill your yard with superb evening and night time fragrance. A gem of a plant is zaluzianskya ovata.......commonly called night scented phlox; this will give immense fragrance overnight and first thing in the morning it is intoxicating.

            Next to arum lily, a persicaria amplexicaulis like Blackfield will produce mid height red flowers for months. Add a white anemone like Wild Swan.
            Could be a wonderful little sitting area Kathryn esp if you use pots to add aromatic tactile foliage like lippia citriodora (amazing lemon scent) and heliotrope (cherry pie) around your sitting area.

            Yes, clean up the stone work too if you can

            Have fun and enjoy your garden Kathryn:)
             
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              Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
            • Selleri

              Selleri Gardener

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              Hi Kathryn, welcome! :sign0016:

              You have a lovely little garden with character and loads of potential. Beehappy posted some great pics for inspiration :)

              If you want to have a lawn, why not make it a bit formal shape, that would bring some feeling of order and planning. Oval one would be easy to fit in, and would allow you ample planting space around. Lush, tall plants and climbers in the back to hide the corner, tall arching stems (ferns come to my mind), lower evergreens towards the front (hardy geraniums? Vinca? )...


              oval lawn 2.JPG

              The bins need a hiding place. Where does the black door lead to? Looks very exiting :)

              I'm controversial here and would suggest not to wash the walls and the flagstones. That's not dirt, that's Patina and Character :biggrin: (but each to their own... )

              You have a very exiting project, please keep us posted with loads of pictures!
               
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              • BeeHappy

                BeeHappy Total Gardener

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              • silu

                silu gardening easy...hmmm

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                Lots of good advice already. Unless you really want the bother of the small patch of grass that you have I would get rid of all the grass and rid yourself of the task of cutting it and increase your growing area, If this idea appeals people on Gardeners Corner will be able to tell you the best way to go about it.
                It looks like you have a whole load of rubble/old bricks etc sitting on top of the wall. Perhaps you could use some of this to create a path across where the grass is to effectively make a big flowerbed split into 2. The path would enable you to access at least most of the beds without having to step on the soil. If cost is not an issue then you could use the old bricks etc as foundations for a path of materials of your own choice, altho a path made out of old bricks would match your wall and be "in keeping". With a much bigger growing area you could then plant lots of Spring bulbs, at the back of the beds and then have all sorts of shade loving herbaceous plants growing up in front of where the bulbs are which will have stopped looking good as the herbaceous starts to grow. Depending on what you like you could have herbaceous flowering plants from February to Christmas. 1 or 2 small specimen trees would also look lovely. Being a courtyard and therefore sheltered I agree 1 or 2 lovely Japanese Acers would do well being sheltered from wind that they do not like. These trees are unfortunately rather expensive to buy as they are slow growing.It is worth spending a decent amount on them as they should last a lifetime. Do not buy the Japanese Acer rooted cuttings you see for sale in supermarkets. They will take forever to look anything and more often than not die. The old expression about getting what you pay for.

                With a bit of time money and effort I could see you turning you area into something really lovely.
                 
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                • Jack Sparrow

                  Jack Sparrow Total Gardener

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                  I once had vinca here growing under my arbour. I couldn’t keep control of it. It’s very vigorous. I think, to be fair, I was impatient and bought too many plants and planted them denser than was ideal. I won’t be doing that again. It was very pretty though.

                  :snorky:

                  G.
                   
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                  • Gail_68

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                    Hi @Selleri there's no way you can hide the bins...they do my :wallbanging: in :whistle:
                     
                  • Gail_68

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                    Hi @Kathrynmichaud
                    :sign0016: to GC,

                    You have a nice little spot there...members have given great advice besides mixtures of plants and @BeeHappy as added some beautiful links :wow:

                    If it was me it would be done in a nice seating area...surrounded by beautiful shrubs :)
                     
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                    • Jack Sparrow

                      Jack Sparrow Total Gardener

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                      I have a wooden bin tidy for my bins. It keeps them tidy and it stops them blowing away.

                      G.
                       
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                      • Jack Sparrow

                        Jack Sparrow Total Gardener

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                        C385ABC5-D561-4381-96FC-49DA18D08406.jpeg

                        It’s worth considering :thumbsup:

                        G.
                         
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                        • Gail_68

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                          Hi @Jack Sparrow through our gate we have the black bin, then my hubby did a wall and after that is the green bin, it's all tidy but you still see them from the bottom of the garden...those wooden bin tidies look good :thumbsup: but then it's another looking shed...no more sheds...i know the garden carries space but we have 6 sheds already...my hubbies doing :snorky: :whistle:
                           

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