Gardens below street level can be very damp and gloomy places. Plants with dark green foliage tend to do best here but you need some flowers to bring in the light. Colours can be difficult to use and my preference would be stick with white.
White busy lizzies (Impatiens) are safe choice and so are white begonias. You could try the larger tuberous begonias as well as the smaller waxy-flowered bedding types. Zantedeschia aethiopica, the giant white arum, commonly sold as a houseplant, is perfectly hardy and will provide a striking display in a damp basement. For more subtle effects, try Aquilegia ‘Munstead White’, with its cute upturned bonnets in early summer, or one of the many tellima varieties with there delicate frothy flower heads in white or cream.
At Little Green Space (the online urban gardening site) there are shady ready planted boxes available for those who are busy and want instant splendour.
Written By Alistair Ayres
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