Studying plant development over time is fascinating and highly educational. In the studio yard, fully shaded and surrounded by walls on all sides, the evergreens, Junipers, Camellias, Sarcococca confusa, Pachysandra terminalis, even Pinus pinea, all are noticeably shinier leaved than they might be were they enjoying more direct sunlight. The deciduous planting of Hostas and Athyrium filix-femina provides more vibrant greens from May onwards, yet all are dark leaved.
Here we see a shaded border within a walled garden in South West Scotland where dark leaved plants revel in the Scottish rain and shade. Euphorbia stygiana and Dicksonia antarctica scramble over low box hedging, their larger thinner leaves made darker green by the greater levels of chlorophyll necessary for plants in shade that struggle with photosynthesis due to lower light levels.