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Midlothian, United Kingdom Gb

Having had some help last year to developing part of my garden. I am now concentrating on an other area of the garden. I planted some snowdrops last year and they are looking great but rather lonely! I have bought some cyclamen coum and a hellebore to plant with them this year. However, I found last year that neighbourhood cats were using this area as their toilet once the snowdrops had disappeared. Am I right in thinking the cyclamen will also disappear? What can I plant to cover the ground in summer, in a bid to stop the cats? Last year I stuck sticks and canes in the ground but not the best of looks. I would prefer something that comes back every year as am not always in the greatest of health to bother with seeds and annuals.
The area faces west and gets sun from later in the afternoon. There is a buddlea at the very back of the area that grows well. The surface area in front the shrub is a couple of meters wide and from the edge of the border (where the snowdrops are) to the base of the shrub is about the same.



Try one or two ferns. You'd need those that die back in winter (not all do. )Which ones you choose depends to some extent on what your soil is like - there are a few that will be OK on dry ground but most prefer a bit of moisture.
If its not too dry have a look at Aythirium filix femina, which is dainty and not too tall.To fill the gap between snowdrops and fern how about English bluebells? Don't get the Spanish ones as they spread much too fast and get out of control. (the English ones will spread too but not uncontrollably)You are right, the cyclamen will disappear.
Arum maculatum will give you leaves in spring and early summer and red berries in autumn. The variegated one is a very attractive plant that does well in shade.
If you don't mind a bit of bedding out some begonia sempervirens would brighten it all up for the summer but needs replacing every year. All these are very trouble free and take little maintenance.

22 Feb, 2017


I'd echo ferns but I'd also go for some evergreen ones as well to give the winter areas some foliage too.
good ground cover plants also include the Lamiums 'deadnettles and they come in pinks/white with variegated foliage, then there are also ajugas. there is a range of foliage colours and late spring there are blue flower spikes.

if you want other plants consider brunnera, evergreen epimediums, hardy geraniums [lots of colours in the pinks/blues/whites] pachysandra, I have all of these in shade/west facing bit of the garden.

firming the soil down discourages cat digging as its not too soft form them.

22 Feb, 2017


Heuchera varieties are worth considering, so long as the area doesn't constantly dry out - leaf colours on those range from almost black through to purple, reddish, orange, yellow and lime.

If you want something shrubby with a bit of height (between 2-3 feet) then Skimmias and/or Sarcococca varieties, both evergreen.

22 Feb, 2017


Thank you all for your suggestions, I will look them up and make some choices.

24 Feb, 2017

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