Fionnuala Fallon from irishtimes said that Tell people that you have a shady garden and they’re likely to offer their commiserations, as if you’d confessed to having some unfortunate food allergy or inconvenient medical ailment such as bunions or fallen arches.
This is because, in the eyes of many, a shady garden equals a gloomy garden, a place where plants will always struggle to grow well if they grow at all. Which I’m very happy to say is bunkum.
Yes, yes, it’s true that shady gardens can be challenging and that, when done badly, they are uninviting, melancholic places where too many good plants go to die slowly and sadly. But done well, the best are sophisticated, elegant, atmospheric spaces that completely “own” their shadiness and the sense of mystery and tranquillity that it confers.
Key to their success is taking the time to choose suitable species of plants, which are those that will happily cope with a north- or east-facing aspect and/or the shade of nearby tall buildings or mature, established trees.