Best Evergreen Shrubs For A Shady Area Of The Garden

Best Evergreen Shrubs For A Shady Area Of The Garden

Vinca major (Greater Periwinkle)

Follow our hints and tips for year round colour in a shady spot

Here at Hayes Garden World our most asked questions are about what to plant in certain problem areas. Nearly everyone has a shady area of the garden so this video will give you some idea what shrub to plant in that difficult spot. Unfortunately shady areas don’t tend to allow for a great display of flowers, but you can add interest with variegated or glossy foliage which reflects the light. If your problem corner is in deep shade for most of the day the variegated foliage may lose its variegation, but will regain it when it reaches a bit of sunlight.


 We show you a good range of evergreen shrubs which will provide interest throughout the year and cover the whole area, from something to grow up a wall to a ground-covering Periwinkle for the front of the border. The Sarcocca is an excellent shrub for shade and produces the most amazing fragrance in winter when there is not much else of interest. It also makes a good alternative to Box for a parterre edging as it can be clipped to maintain its compact shape.

Camellia is a fantastic shrub for spring colour and is available in a range of pinks and reds, as well as white. It is originally a woodland tree so some varieties can still grow to make a small tree eventually. Nandina domestica is a small shrub with fantastic red delicate foliage and feathery white flowers in summer. Even though it’s common name is Heavenly Bamboo it is no relation and is quite capable of withstanding our British winters.

Leucothoe is another plant with red foliage, this time on the top of the plant, and white flowers in summer. Kalmia latifolia is an unusual shrub which flowers anytime between late spring and early summer, usually with pink flowers, but this variety has most unusually marked burgundy and white flowers. Vinca, or Periwinkle, is excellent ground cover with usually blue flowers, but they do come in pink and a deep rose. There are also varieties with variegated foliage which will brighten up the front of the border.

If your shady area is under deciduous trees then you can have a fantastic display of spring flowers, which take full advantage of the light before the tree bursts into leaf and the canopy closes over.

Profile Image Angela Slater

Angela Slater

Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas.