The Q&A Archives: Recommended Plants for a Deck in the Pacific Northwest

Question: I have a large north facing deck in North Vancouver. A corner of the deck gets some morning sun but that is about it, the deck is very shaddy. We get a lot of rain throughout the year, sometimes even into the summer months. Can you recommend various trees, shrubs or perennials that, not only can survive out on the deck, but can provide some privacy as well (3' to 6' in height). The plants must be able to grow in pots and containers.

Answer: Some flowering perennials that do well in the shade include Viola (pansy), Trollius (globeflower), Tradescantia, Tiarella (foamflower), Senecia, Saxifraga, Primula, Myosotis (forget-me-not), Lobelia, Lily, Lamium (dead nettle), Impatiens, Heuchera (coral bells), Helleborus, Clivia, Cyclamen, Campanula, Begonia, Astilbe, Fuchsia and Anemone (windflower). For contrast, plant hosta, Polygonatum (Solomon's seal), and a variety of ferns. Shrubs for the site could include Nandina (heavenly bamboo), Pieris, any number of pines, Salal, Oregon Grape (Mahonia) and Ilex (holly). All the shrubs are evergreen and well adapted to growing in the Pacific Northwest. Best wishes with your patio garden!

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