sun-tolerant shade plants?

emme-dc(7b DC)March 11, 2012

I have a city garden, with walls on all sides. Various parts of the garden are in full shade, deep shade, or partial shade. But in some seasons or hours, some spots get quite a bit more sun than most shade plants like. For example, now with the trees leafless, and the sun still to the south in the afternoon, my lightest-shade bed is in full sun. What's more it gets extra reflected sun from the windows on the nearby houses. By the middle of April, this bed will get only brief licks of sun, and about half a day of dappled shade. There's another area that gets no sun at all, except in the middle of the afternoon in the middle of summer. So what can I plant? Nothing that needs sun can live in my garden, but neither do things do too well if they are sensitive to sun. Suggestions for some perennials that are nice on a small scale?

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A good number of shade loving plants will tolerate much brighter conditions in winter, typically because the sun is much lower on the horizon and a good bit weaker during this period. I'd consider hellebores for sure and any other spring woodland ephemerals you like or can locate. These tend to be plants that emerge early to take advantage of increased light levels provided by deciduous woodlands to bloom now or early in the season and then they go dormant later in the season.

FWIW, pretty much any shade tolerant evergreen shrub will be perfectly happy in a more sun exposed position in winter as long as it is out of direct wind and receives adequate moisture. It is attempting to grow these types of plants in a year-long exposed position that will get you into trouble :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: spring ephemerals

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 6:20PM
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I think there are some hostas that will tolerate sun and there are some that will tolerate deep shade. Im not entirely sure on the subject but a look in the hosta forum may 'shed some light' on the subject :)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 1:25PM
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spring flowering bulbs such as crocus daffodils and tulips would do nicely and then die off as your other pernnials came up, providing a sucession of bloom from the beginning of the season and with minimal care

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 8:28PM
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