Long Acre Plants15th October 2013 • Independent Nurseries • Stephanie DonaldsonMy garden has many shady areas, and after years of optimistically thinking that my favourite plants wouldn’t really object to a lack of sun – and then watching them gradually lose the will to live – I have finally decided to embrace shade-loving plants. This was made much easier by a visit to Long Acre Plants – a nursery that specialises in them. Everything at the nursery is beautifully grown, brimming with health and offers the opportunity to make shady borders really interesting.
I indulged in Actaea simplex ‘Chocaholic’, Persicaria virginiana ‘Lance Corporal’, Deschampsia caespitosa ‘Bronzeschleier’, a lovely crinkle-leaved hart’s tongue fern Asplenium scolpendrium ‘Cristatum’ and Begonia sinensis ‘Red Undies’, so called because of the red undersides to the leaves. A number of these we used in my garden pot makeover here.
I called into the nursery on my way back from seeing the wonderful Penelope Hobhouse, the garden designer. Now in her 80s she said to me
“the wonderful thing about gardening is that you go on learning and learning, no matter how old you are.”
My most recent lesson is that shade plants may not always be as colourful as the sun worshippers, but planted in a shady corner they look twice as good as their straggly predecessors. The nursery is at Charlton Musgrave, near Wincanton and is just a few minutes off the A303, but it is worth remembering that their opening hours are very limited – March to October on Thursday and Fridays only from 9am-4pm and closed 1-1.30pm for lunch. If you can’t get there in person you can buy online from plantsforshade.co.uk