A Shady Patio Bed in London

I am finding the Patio Bed another difficult area – semi-shaded, good soil but chalky a few feet down. I was not happy with the positioning of plants last year and so I have made some changes this year, the second year.

Patio Bed

The shapes of the plants were not working well – the spiky Libertia Grandiflora did not mix well with droopy Stipa Tenuissima. So I have moved the Stipa to droop between the Deschampsia Cespitosa and replaced them with spiky Blechnum Spicant. I have also grouped all the Libertia closer together. I think this will be more pleasing and eventually the Libertia will be the dominant feature of this bed, flowering in May and evergreen. In Suffolk there are Hesperis, white and scented and seeding themselves around the Libertia and I wonder if that would work in London?

Libertia Grandiflora
Libertia Grandiflora in Suffolk, 3 years old

The patio bed is alongside the Flint Wall Border, now filled with pink Japanese Anemones and I have continued the colours on the patio with Persicaria Superba, Ajuga for ground cover, and Heuchera for drama. I would love to add bulbs (Alliums?) but the squirrels dig up any bulbs I have ever planted!

Persicaria bistorta 'Superba'
Persicaria bistorta ‘Superba’

The patio bed in March 2015.

Late afternoon

And the patio bed on 27 March 2016 after the birds had been scratching for nest materials!

Patio Bed in London, 27 March 2016
Patio Bed in London, 27 March 2016


  1. The white flowers of Libertia will really sing out in the shade…do you have any euphorbias some of these can be good in semi shaded spots and their lime green colour can really lift an area….?

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