How do I make the best possible use of a micro-climate?
Trees and shrubs decorate and lend character to any garden. Under-tree planting is sometimes a real challenge. To prevent beautiful shrubs and ground cover from leading a shadowy existence, take a moment to consider the special conditions of dry and damp shade'. If dense foliage keeps off the rain, varieties which grow low to the ground like a carpet, such as ivy, waldsteinia or daphnes, thrive superbly well. Combinations of shrubs such as foxgloves and hostas with shield-ferns and ornamental grasses are extremely attractive in 'damp shade'.
What about sunny spots which are protected from the wind, next to south-facing walls, for example? First, make sure that the soil stores more moisture, so that plants such as lavender, mulleins and eryngiums, which prefer dry positions, can thrive in abundance. If, however, there is a fresh breeze in the area you are looking at, wind-tolerant plants such as common yarrow, hornbeam or knapweed will do very well.