Gardening: Best plants for a shady north facing garden – from ferns to snowdrops

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Gardening experts at have shared what the best plants are for a north-facing, shady garden. Hostas, rhododendron and ferns are just some of the options available for shady garden owners. North-facing gardens can lack sunlight which means certain plants may not be suitable.

However, a shady garden doesn’t mean you can’t create stunning borders, tropical displays and cosy corners.

Chris Bonnett from said south-facing gardens are more attractive as they tend to have more sunlight.

But he assures that there are lots of options available for those with a north-facing garden.

He added: “It’s all about picking the right plants and shrubs – those which grow well in shade – and planting them in a suitable place in your garden. In no time at all you’ll have a flourishing space.

“South facing gardens can have their downsides too – some plants will find it too hot and sunny and constant summer sun can make the space too hot to enjoy.”

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley loves full shade and smells incredible.

The small, delicate flowers look truly beautiful in a shady garden, creating a welcome pop of white among the greenery.

However, it’s worth noting that Lily of the Valley plants are potentially poisonous which includes the red berries.

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Hostas are known for their bright green leaves with white borders.

They love the shade and only need a little bit of light to flourish.

They are perfect for borders in a north-facing garden.


Rhododendron are common in British gardens but it’s worth noting not all of them suit being in the shade.

The ones that do love the shade will provide evergreen colour throughout the year and beautiful blooms during the spring.


Astilbes love moisture and shade which means they are perfect for a north-facing British garden.

These herbaceous perennials come in white and pink flowers.


Ferns are a great way to add texture to a garden and create an almost tropical feel.

They love the shade so are perfect for a north-facing garden.


Snowdrops are usually the first sign that spring is just around the corner.

Snowdrops actually don’t last as long in the sun so a shady border is the perfect spot for them.

Snakes’ head fritillaries

These are wildflowers that are very easy to grow in a shady garden.

They are also popular with bees and butterflies.

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