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Top 10 bulbs for shady areas


Shady areas of the garden can often present a challenge to gardeners, but you may be surprised to know that many bulbs will happily grow in part or full shade. So, what better way to brighten up a shady area of your garden with the vibrant colours that bulbs offer?


1. Snowdrops


Due to their natural, woodland habitat, Snowdrops are ideal for a partly shady or woodland style of garden. There’s nothing that signals the start of spring quite like the bright white, sparkling blooms of Snowdrops peeking up above the ground.


Galanthus Nivalis (Common Snowdrop)

Loved by everyone, you can’t go wrong with the classic common Snowdrop, Galanthus Nivalis. Perfect for planting under shrubs where they will quickly grow to form dense clumps, or for naturalising on a lawn where the blooms will glisten like gems above the ground.

2. Anemones


Another woodland garden essential, Anemones will create a carpet of blooms in those dull, shady areas. Beautifully delicate, they’re low maintenance too, so you can easily create an impact with minimal effort required.


Anemone Naturalising blanda Mix

Actaea Pink Spike is a particularly attractive variety with sweetly scented, fluffy pink flowers. The striking dark, purple-bronze flowers are what really makes this plant something to be admired.

3. Fritillaria

If you’re looking to make a statement, these unusual Turkish beauties are nothing short of majestic. Loved by bees, they’re perfect for adding height to the back of a border and also make excellent cut flowers for in the home.



Fritillaria Aureomarginata

One of our favourites has to be the glorious Fritillaria Aureomarginata. Tall, stately stems hold elegant circles of bell-shaped blooms each spring, with tufts of variegated foliage crowning them. It’s sure to be a talking point in your garden.

4. Crocus


A true sign of spring, Crocus are an ideal choice for planting at the front of the border, in containers or naturalising on a lawn for swathes of cheerful colour.


Crocus Golden Yellow


Given an RHS Award of Garden Merit, Crocus Golden Yellow is perfect for brightening shady areas. Its joyous yellow blooms will give a splash of sunshine into your garden, signaling that the dull days of winter have finally come to an end.

5. Narcissus


If you have a partially shaded area of the garden to fill then Narcissus is a perfect choice for you as, whilst they are not to be planted in full shade, they will be quite happy in a partly shaded location.


Narcissus Erlicheer


We just can’t get enough of this exquisite Narcissus Erlicheer. The beautiful ruffled flowers will fill your garden with fragrance for years to come. If you’re going to plant just one bulb this autumn, why not plant the most highly fragrant Narcissus of all time?


6. Muscari

No garden should be without Muscari, as they are one of the best and most-loved bulbs. Ideal for planting under shrubs and trees, they’re such an easy plant to grow and give you lots back for very little effort, so are ideal if you are new to gardening.


Muscari Grape Ice


Muscari Grape Ice truly is a showstopping variety, as it’s so unique. Sweetly scented, bi-coloured spikes of white and deep purple tubular blooms are held over luxuriant, glossy green foliage that will create a weed-suppressing mat. Plant in a pot to really make a feature of this interesting plant.

7. Scilla


If you’re looking for something a bit different, feast your eyes on the gorgeous and dramatic Scilla. Dense cones of sparkling, star-shaped flowers appear over fleshy strap-shaped foliage during early summer, creating a striking display in partially shaded pots, borders and beds.


Scilla Peruviana


No variety is quite as striking as the exotic-looking Scilla Peruviana with its deep purple-blue blooms that appear above lush, semi-evergreen foliage. Perfect for giving your garden that Mediterranean feel. .

8. Eranthus


Create a dense carpet of flowers with the bright buttercup blooms of Eranthus in part or fully shaded areas of your garden, or planted underneath shrubs and trees. Flowering in February to March, this sunny plant is such a welcome sight, as they are one of the very first plants to come into flower and are perfectly suited to shaded areas as they grow naturally in damp woodlands.


Eranthus hyemalis (Winter Aconite)


9. Cyclamen


A wonderful addition to a rock or woodland garden, Cyclamen are a go-to plant when it comes to those tricky shaded areas of the garden. They will happily thrive in dry shade, which can prove to be one of the most challenging areas of the garden to fill.


Cyclamen hederifolium


A graceful RHS award-winning beauty, Cyclamen hederifolium is ideal for difficult, shady areas of your garden. Dainty pink, fragrant blooms appear above above a carpet of heart-shaped, ivy-like foliage in autumn.

10. Bluebells


Nothing is quite as charming as the English Bluebell, a quintessential sign of a British spring. Growing naturally in woodlands throughout Britain, it’s perfect for a shady garden where the bell-shaped blooms will make an incredibly impact. Our Bluebells are supplied ‘in the green’, meaning they are delivered in spring whilst they are growing, making them much more reliable.


Hyacinthoides English Bluebell


Don’t forget to use the code BU2020 for 20% off our entire bulb range online throughout the whole month of August!

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