I am looking for a plant that will grow well in an area that will get full sun from mid-Oct to mid-Feb, and during the rest of the year is in full shade. Also, due to a large Californian pepper tree (9m high approx.), the backyard is in full shade from about 3pm onwards. Due to the area's location, the soil remains relatively damp. Do you have any suggestions of what can be grown in this area? I was thinking of something fruiting but I don't think it will get enough sun early enough.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
We have a collection of articles about gardening in the shade here:
You will find many ideas for ornamental plants in those articles. Of course, you'll also have to consider your local climate and soil type when you choose plants (I'm not sure where you live.)
As for vegetables, here are some ideas for shade:
Radishes, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, and many herbs can also grow in partial shade. The only places you should attempt to grow anything fruiting are in areas that will get at least 6 hours of sun during their growing season.
Since you mentioned the soil remains damp, improving drainage and reducing any compaction will be beneficial to almost anything you can grow there. You could try aerating and/or taking other measures in the following articles:
Then, add garden soil mixed with compost on top to build up the beds so the plants can enjoy deeper soil.