Garden Plant Lists
The following, all of which grow to a height of 3 ft (1 m) or more, are useful for creating year-round structure.
As well as the plants listed here as suitable for general container gardening, a number of rock garden, or alpine, plants are suitable for troughs.
The following plants tolerate or more commonly thrive in moist shade, although many will also grow in full sun provided the soil is reliably moist. Plants marked with an asterisk* will grow in boggy conditions.
Finding plants that can grow in shady areas is just half the battle. You also want to pick plants that can lighten up the area by reflecting the limited light.
The following plants have impressively large leaves and shapes that make a strong impact in the garden.
In most years the foliage of the following plants colors well in autumn, but the display is more reliable in a continental climate.
Some grasses are grown mainly for their foliage, but those marked with an asterisk* are grown principally for the long-lasting display of their flowers and seed heads.
The following plants require free drainage and are generally drought tolerant. The range of plants that can be grown in dry sunny gardens can be enlarged if the soil is improved by the addition of organic matter.
The red, purple, copper, yellow, blue or cream foliage color of plants in the following list is generally strongest in spring and early summer. Plants marked with an asterisk* have grey or white-backed leaves. For other colorful foliage see Shrubs and Trees for Autumn Color and Perennials for Autumn Color and Plants with Variegated Foliage.
Age of flower, time of day, temperature and other factors affect the strength of floral scents and their appreciation is highly personal. Some of the following are worth siting to give the best chance of their perfumes being enjoyed, but the fragrance of others can only be fully appreciated close to.
The leaves of the following plants are edged, spotted or otherwise marked in white, cream or yellow.
- Acer pseudoplatanus 'Brilliantissimum'
- Ajuga reptans 'Burgundy Glow'
- Aralia elata 'Aureovariegata'
- Aralia elata 'Variegata'
- Arum italicum subsp. italicum 'Marmora turn'
- Aucuba japonica 'Crotonifolia'
- Comus alternifolia 'Argentea'
- Daphne odora 'Aureomargmata'
- Disporum sessile 'Variegatum'
- Elaeagnus pungens 'Maculata'
- Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald Gaiety'
- Fuchsia magellanica 'Versicolor'
- Hedera colchica 'Suphur Heart'
- Hedera helix 'Adam'
- Hedera helix 'Glacier'
- Hedera helix 'GokJheart'
- Hosta fortunei vat. albopicta
- Hosta fortunei var. aureomarginata
- Hosta undulata var. univittata
- Ilex x altaclerensis 'Golden King'
- Ilex aquifolium 'Ferox Argentea'
- Ilex aquifolium 'Handsworth New Silver'
- Iris pseudacorus 'Variegata'
- Lunaria annua 'Alba Variegata'
- Piens 'Forest Flame'
- Pleioblastus auricomus
- Rhamnus altemus 'Argenteovariegata'
- Tropaeolum Alaska Series
None of the following is suitable for very small gardens, where climbers on structures such as arches are a better way of creating height and shade.
Although the following plants generally succeed on close-textured clay soils, they do better when the ground has been improved by the addition of grit and organic matter such as well-rotted garden compost.
The plants in the following list are of value because they have more than one feature of ornamental value.
The leaves of the following plants are of architectural value in the garden and in most cases are useful as cut foliage too.
Close planting of shrubs and perennials will help to create an attractive weed-excluding cover. However, effective cover can only be achieved by planting into soil from which perennial weeds have been eliminated. The following plants are particularly useful because of their dense foliage.
A large number of plants are automatically excluded from this list because they will not tolerate alkaline (limy) soil. The improvement of shallow chalky soil by the addition of moisture-retaining organic matter allows lime-tolerant but moisture-loving plants, notably clematis, to be grown successfully.
Where windbreaks and hedges give protection from salt-laden winds, a wide range of plants can be grown in coastal gardens, including many that benefit from the sea's moderating influence on temperatures.
The following shrubs and trees create a year-round structure for the garden.
Plants in the following list that are marked with an asterisk* will only grow satisfactorily on soils that are free of lime. Other plants in the list thrive on acid soils, although they may also grow satisfactorily on soils that are neutral or to some degree alkaline.
None of the following is suitable for very small gardens, where climbers on structures such as arches are a better way of creating height and shade. Some are more commonly grown as large shrubs rather than as trees.
The following plants grow most vigorously where there is a regular supply of water, but generally succeed in such difficult conditions as the shady base of walls or where roots of overhead trees and shrubs are near the surface.
The plants in the following list are of value because they have more than one ornamental attribute.
In the case of many aromatic plants the scent of the leaves is only detectable when they are bruised.
In addition to the following, many other plants provide material for small, sometimes short-Jived, displays. The flowers of plants marked with an asterisk* are suitable for drying.
- Agapanthus (all)
- Amaranthus caudatus 'Viridis'
- Amaranthus caudatus
- Anagallis monellii
- Antirrhinum Tahiti Series
- Arctotis x hybrida 'Flame'
- Argyranthemum (all)
- Begonia semperflorens Organdy Series
- Begonia 'Orange Cascade'
- Brachyscome ibendifolia Splendour Series
- Calendula officinalis 'Fiesta Grtana'
- Calluna vulgaris (all)
- Calluna vulgaris 'Darkness'
- Cleome hasslereana 'Rose Queen'
- Convolvulus tricolor 'Royal Ensign'
- Dahlia 'Figaro Red'
- Dianthus chmensis Baby Doll Series
- Diascia 'Salmon Supreme'
- Fuchsia (most)
- Heliotropium arborescens 'Marine'
- Hemerocallis 'Stella de Oro'
- Hydrangea macrophylla 'Blue Wave'
- Hydrangea macrophylla 'Madame Emile Mouillere'
- Hydrangea paniculata 'Unique'
- Hydrangea 'Preziosa'
- Impatiens New Guinea Group
- Impatiens walleriana Tempo Series
- Isotoma axillaris
- Lihum (all)
- Lobelia ennus 'Crystal Palace'
- Myrtus communis subsp. tarentina
- Nemesia 'Carnival'
- Nicotians Domino Series
- Osteospermum 'Jucundum'
- Pelargonium (all)
- Petunia Surfima Series
- Petunia 'Purple Wave'
- Rosa Gentle Touch
- Rosa Magic Carpet
- Rudbeckia hirta 'Rustic Dwarf'
- Salvia farinacea Victoria'
- Scaevola aemula 'Blue Wonder'
- Tagetes (all)
- Tropaeolum Alaska Series
- Verbena (most)
- Viola 'Belmont Blue'
- Viola 'Molly Sanderson'