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The Garden’s Aspect

The aspect of the garden is something about which you don’t have any choice. Whichever direction it faces, however, there will be a range of plants suitable for growing in it. Selecting the right plants will produce a wonderful show of colour throughout the year.

Know your plants

The direction the garden faces will have a strong influence on the plants likely to thrive in it. If a plant originally hails from the warm, dry and sunny countries that border the Mediterranean, it is unlikely to grow well in a damp, shady corner. Similarly, a bog plant from a northern forest will not enjoy being placed between a south-facing wall and a path.

One of the keys to successful gardening is to match the position and the plant as closely as possible. Doing this when the plant is first acquired will save both time and money, because the plant will not have to be dug up later when it has failed to thrive and most of the growing season has been lost. A good nursery is invaluable for advice, but most plants will be labelled with the conditions they prefer.

Choosing plants with interest in
different seasons is vital for a small
garden as this Parthenocissus
henryana shows.

Plants for ‘morning-sun’ positions

  • Berberis darwinii
  • Bergenia cordifolia
  • Chaenomeles x superba
  • Clematis montana
  • Clematis tangutica
  • Cotoneaster horizontalis
  • Deutzia scabra
  • Dodecatheon meadia
  • Euphorbia griffithii
  • Forsythia suspensa
  • Galanthus nivalis
  • Hamamelis mollis
  • Helleborus foetidus
  • Hypericum ‘Hidcote’
  • Lonicera periclymenum
  • Pyracantha
  • Rosa rugosa
  • Vinca major

Hydrangeas like this creamy
petiolaris look good in borders.
They prefer shade. 

Plants for shady positions

  • Akebia quinata
  • Berberis x stenophylla
  • Camellia japonica
  • Camellia x williamsii
  • Clematis alpina
  • Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’
  • Choisya ternata
  • Crinodendron hookerianum
  • Digitalis
  • Euonymus fortunei
  • Garrya elliptica
  • Hedera colchica
  • Hedera helix
  • Hydrangea petiolaris
  • Ilex
  • Jasminum nudiflorum
  • Kerria japonica ‘Pleniflora’
  • Mahonia japonica
  • Parthenocissus
  • Piptanthus laburnifolius
  • Tropaeolum speciosum

Plants for sunny positions

Rosemary has a wonderful scent; it
may also bloom late in mild weather.
  • Aethionema grandiflorum
  • Campsis x tagliabuana ‘Madame Galen’
  • Canna indica
  • Cistus x pulverulentus ‘Sunset’
  • Dianthus
  • Dryas octopetala
  • Eccremocarpus scaber
  • Echinacea purpurea
  • Echinops ritro
  • Fritillaria imperialis
  • Geranium cinereum ‘Ballerina’
  • Helenium ‘Waldtraut’
  • Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’
  • Lilium
  • Moluccella laevis
  • Osteospermum
  • Reseda odorata
  • Salvia officinalis ‘Tricolor’
  • Sempervivum
  • Senecio (syn. Brachyglottis) ‘Sunshine’

Plants for ‘afternoon-sun’ positions

  • Abelia x grandiflora
  • Campsis radicans
  • Ceanothus x deleanus ‘Gloire de Versailles’
  • Ceanothus impressus
  • Cistus x cyprius
  • Crocosmia
  • Deutzia scabra ‘Plena’
  • Eccremocarpus scaber
  • Fremontodendron ‘California Glory’
  • Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’
  • Helichrysum italicum
  • Hosta
  • Humulus lupulus ‘Aureus’
  • Kolkwitzia amabilis
  • Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’
  • Lavandula stoechas
  • Papaver orientale
  • Penstemon
  • Rosmarinus officinalis
  • Vitis coignetiae