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By Wendiam

West Sussex, United Kingdom Gb

We are moving from an 80 foot East facing, tree-shaded garden to a 40 foot open south facing garden. How can I acclimatise my shade loving / tolerant plants, which are in pots, to their new environment. The plants I have are acer, camelias, solomons seal and helibores. I also have lily of the valley and snowdrops / mixed bulbs from our woodland garden in pots. I have 3 bamboos in very large pots which I know will be okay as they are already in the sunnier part of the garden. We are also moving further South towards the coast (a couple of miles inland, though) - in case that affects them.
Would hate to lose any of these as they have been with me for some time, the Acer and Camelia are 15 yrs old and the bamboos are about 5 yrs old. Nearly forgot to mention the ferns!

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There isn't really a way of acclimatising shade loving plants to sun. The onmly way is to create a shady part of the garden with taller sun loving shrubs/trees. This will take time but will work. Keep them in pots somewhere shaded if you can or else they will soon suffer in the sun. Wouldnt of thought snowdrops would mind to much as generally out before the heat of the spring/
summer comes

15 Feb, 2011


The bamboos would help provide some shelter. Would shade netting help in the meantime Nicky, while the sun loving shade providers get going?

15 Feb, 2011


Shade netting would help, but would need to be permanent as they can only cope with semi shade or shade.

15 Feb, 2011


Camellia's not an issue, it doesn't mind full sun - what it doesn't like (or rather, what you won't like) is an east facing position where early morning sun hits it in winter - frost on the buds, sun hits them, buds drop, no flowers. Otherwise, plant it where you like, it'll be fine. Hellebores will tolerate some sun, but being smaller plants, they can be planted underneath shade giving larger plants. The bulbs will be fine wherever you put them. The Acer may be a problem - it needs dappled shade, so that will need to be positioned carefully to avoid its being out in the midday sun, so to speak. if the garden is full on south facing, the right hand side should be out of sun by lunchtime, so may be less trouble for your Acer.

15 Feb, 2011


Thanks all - the acer and camellia are currently shaded by a beautiful contorted hazel that shields them from the early morning east sun, but lets them enjoy the light later in the day. The new garden will be full on South, currently with no shadey areas, but a garage runs along the width of the bottom of the garden and I could construct a shade canopy attached to that, or use the summer gazebo, temporarily? The bamboos are over 8 feet tall, so that will be fun moving them. The garden is very much a blank canvas, no borders and just grass, so we are looking forward to creating some 'rooms' to shield our shade plants (that we have come to love) and looking forward to re-acquainting ourselves with the sun-loving plants, that we haven't seen for 7 years!! Will be moved before Easter, so at least it won't be too hot to start with. Any suggestions with the shrubs and trees to provide the shade?

16 Feb, 2011


Buddleia davidii for a start - that'll be at least 8 feet by the end of its first summer if you buy the right variety. Provides lovely dappled shade beneath. Another rapid grower is Sambucus (Elder) - S. 'nigra' is very popular, and there's a yellow form S. plumosa aurea. Cornus alba 'elegantissima' is reasonably fast - all three of these are deciduous and can take (and in the case of Buddleia, needs) hard pruning. Otherwise, you have a wide choice of almost everything else in terms of shrubs.

16 Feb, 2011


Oh, bamboo thanks. I have a self-seeded buddleia about 2 feet high in a pot and an S Nigra black lace, that I took as a cutting about 2 years ago, and they are both doing quite well. I suppose we have just got used to the plants in our garden being 'shade' plants, when there is some sun down one side (but not in the Winter and not for long in the Summer). My head is plotting and scheming with plans for the OH to construct a pergola backing on to the garage to grow something over and provide a shady area for some of them and there is a little path down the side of the garage that will probably be ok for the Lily of the valley and some of the ferns. Have got other shrubs - a lovely white Hydrangea Paniculata, a Magnolia Susan and a Salix 'Hakuro Nishiki' just waiting for the right spots to go in. I kept them in pots to make the most of the Spring and Autumn sunshine that I do get and then settle them down for the Summer - sounds daft, I know but they haven't objected so far (apart from being smaller than if they were in the ground).

16 Feb, 2011

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