1. The best plants for shade: which species like dark places in the garden?

    No plant can survive in dry shade, right?

    Wrong. A shady place presents an exciting challenge if you want to have some fun. There are always areas of a garden that pose a problem, even to keen gardeners. The most common situation in which it's difficult to find things that will grow is that of dry shade. Under trees, next to a north-facing wall or at the base of hedges.

    But even this seemingly inhospitable environment opens up a world of possibilities.

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  2. Plants that can cope with extremes of weather. Living on the edge

    The right plant in the right place is the thing to do. Choose appropriate plants for a dry garden as it's possible for them to survive without extra water. And use plants to soak up water in flood and waterlogged zones.

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  3. How to keep cool in the summer garden

    There are many ways to try keeping cool during hot, dry and sunny weather. Some are obvious and others, less so. Garden umbrellas are probably the first line of defence. Put up several before the sun rises, and not only will the shade provide a mini-refuge, but the air flow around the umbrella will create a little breeze too. You don't need a fancy stand, some garden parasols, such as the Eazy Shade from Cave Innovations, come with multi-function clips and clamps so that they can attach to chairs and tables. 

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  4. 10 Garden plants suitable for shady and dark places

    Are garden plants a bit like people, perhaps? Many British folk seem to be obsessed by the weather and a multitude feel unable to contend with rain, gloomy skies, shade, or indeed, winter in general. Their inability to cope could be compared to the way that plants behave when they are placed within an alien environment. Not on the planet Mars, but in bright sunlight when they crave shade, for example. Let's look at what plants need - each one is different...

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