Time to plant: Spring or autumn.
In a small garden it’s likely that you’ll have pockets of shade created by neighbouring buildings, trees or the planting in your own garden. Rather than curse these gloomy spots and leave them vacant, look on it as an opportunity to grow plants that thrive in limited light.
If your patio doesn’t get much sun, brighten it up with a group of hostas in pots. These plants thrive in shade, rewarding you with large, textured leaves, plus lavender-coloured flowers in summer. Protect hostas from slugs by sticking a band of copper tape around each pot.
Choosing a selection of different hostas is a great way to play around with colour, but just a single variety, especially if it has golden or lightly variegated foliage, will really brighten up the gloom. Plant your hostas in different-sized pots to give the display greater impact.
Group pots in odd numbers for a balanced display. Alternatives to hostas include busy Lizzies (Impatiens walleriana), sweet flag (Acorus gramineus) and several types of sedge, (such as Carex comans ‘Frosted Curls’ and C. phyllocephala ‘Sparkler’), which are equally good in pots in a shady spot.