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I have a small flower bed which is in a very shaded corner. It never gets any direct sunlight, and tends to be very damp (although it's well-drained - but the water never evaporates).

I'd like to be able to grow something in it - can anyone suggest anything? Ideally, something that adds colour, and also anything which is beneficial for insects or wildlife would be great.

It's about 0.5m x 1m or so, so not very big - and maybe 0.5m deep. I'm in Belfast, so we don't tend to get very hot or very cold weather.

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mushrooms! Shiitake are easy to grow on logs, and very space efficient –  David Mar 27 '12 at 17:13
    
Ha! I was just going to ask an almost identical question. Though I am in a different climate, and have different soil. Its too shady for even ferns. they stretch and turn pale. –  jmusser Mar 28 '12 at 1:20
    
search google with "plant suitable damp soil" - google.com.hk/… –  lamwaiman1988 Mar 28 '12 at 7:16
    
Well, what about shade? –  jmusser Mar 28 '12 at 13:27
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2 Answers

Forget-me-nots seem to like damp and shaded places and have nice blue colour. You could also try planting some mint there.

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Be careful with mint. It's very invasive and quickly takes over. Be sure you want it for a long, long time. –  ashes999 Sep 2 '13 at 10:06
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You don't say where you are, but some general answers:

Mosses and ferns. Perhaps you have too many where you are, but this is probably what I'd go for here in N.Texas. Some all round verdant green!

Bog plants are another answer. ("make lemonade" and all that). Which bog plants would depend on your location, but if you want some novelty, then carnivorous plants would be worth investigating. Drosera (sundews) and Sarracenia (trumpet pitcher plants) would be a good start. The latter could be expensive if you're filling an area with plants, so I would be tempted to buy as seeds and then cultivate in pots first. If you have little kids or little kids visiting - they'd love these!

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You can't plant carnivores plant in such place. They require full sun, wind, high AIR humidity ( instead of soil humidity ). Constant high soil humidity kill them, like most other plant. –  lamwaiman1988 Mar 28 '12 at 7:07
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No, you are wrong on most counts. Full sun will kill most (they dry out too quickly), and most are bog plants. So shaded saturated ground is ideal. I have seen drosera and sarracenia in the wild surrounded by small amounts of standing water (ie. bogs) - in Scotland (d only) and E.Texas (the Texas location was very shaded under low trees). Humidity requirements vary a lot but bogs are usually humid. Nepenthes must have humidity (tropical vine) but drosera are fine with what evaporates off the bog in a shaded area like this. Also wind is generally bad because it blows the insects away. –  winwaed Mar 28 '12 at 12:50
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Some CPs I photographed in a bottom-land bog (and dam seep) in East Texas: winwaed.com/pics/gusengeling/gusengeling.shtml The Sarracenia are larger so you can't see their bases, but there's a close up of a drosera that is clearly in standing water. It was all bog. –  winwaed Mar 28 '12 at 12:56
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