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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default HELP! Shaded front yard is an embarassment to our new home and beutiful neighborhood

    We bought our house about 8 months ago and the front yard is just a horrible eye sore. I've been told by the neighbor that the previous owner could not grow grass (fescue and st. augustine) Plus the yard is is alomost completely shaded by Live Oak Trees. I do not want to waste a bunch of money on trying different ideas. I'm scared to get started! I need an inexpensive way to make my yard pretty. We are first time homeowners.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,381

    Default Re: HELP! Shaded front yard is an embarassment to our new home and beutiful neighbor

    You can shred the leaves in the fall and then leave them on the ground, they make a nice mulch to walk on. There are many plants that thrive under the shade of trees. A few dogwoods would add a mid level interest in the spring when they flower. Azaleas, hostas and hydrangeas make good foundation plantings around the trees. There are many woodland flowers that would look nice too like bleeding hearts and jack in the pulpit.

    Check out some nursery catalogs like Michigan Bulb Co for some pre-planned shade gardens and more ideas.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,160

    Default Re: HELP! Shaded front yard is an embarassment to our new home and beutiful neighbor

    Much of the problem may be the live oak keeps the soil too dry for grass. even shade tolerant grass needs a few hours of light.
    Selective trimming of the tree may let in more light. Get a real nursery to suggest ground covers or plants that should thrive(not a big box store). Most will help you design if you have pictures & dimensions

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,081

    Default Re: HELP! Shaded front yard is an embarassment to our new home and beutiful neighbor

    Look into non-plant type of landscape. Almost zero maintenance, inexpensive and attractive for difficult areas.

    There are a zillion ideas in landscape magazines and books.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: HELP! Shaded front yard is an embarassment to our new home and beutiful neighbor

    Maybe raised planting beds with good soil and watering? Shade is not the enemy...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: HELP! Shaded front yard is an embarassment to our new home and beutiful neighbor

    I too have massive trees shading the front 'lawn'. Instead of grass, the area is covered with shade loving plants poking through a thin leafed Liriope, which looks like 8" tall uncut, dark green grass. I must water with sprinklers or the tree sucks up any available moisture. Don't rush, it took 8 years to get it to look filled in. Plants growing in the shade are often slow growing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,381

    Default Re: HELP! Shaded front yard is an embarassment to our new home and beutiful neighbor

    There are deep shade ground covers available like Periwinkle (Vinca Minor), Creeping Wintergreen and Ajuga. These will be taller than grass. I like moss too. A lot of people don't, but it is a low, dense, green ground cover and needs no maintenance or mowing. The no mowing is my favorite part.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: HELP! Shaded front yard is an embarassment to our new home and beutiful neighbor

    Quote Originally Posted by daspyda View Post
    Maybe raised planting beds with good soil and watering? Shade is not the enemy...
    Agreed! My favorite gardens are shady gardens. There is a world of plants that love the shade. If you want low maintenance and low need for "expertise" type plants, opt for HOSTAS, FERNS, & IVYS. Each of these families have a number of options.

    When you plan your beds, perhaps you could shoot for a 'night time' garden - whites and purples give a beautiful glowing effect at dusk.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    140

    Default Re: HELP! Shaded front yard is an embarassment to our new home and beutiful neighbor

    My wife is the gardener, so I'm out of her league but have some experience.

    Ivy -- very hardy, but they easily jump their perimter and are very invasive and will be grow EVERYWHERE. I have weeping holes in a retaining wall, and have pulled 10 ft of ivy from one small root in soil that drained into weeping holes.
    I don't know if there is an less invasive species, but my type of ivy will overtake anything if left alone.

    Vinca -- I have some species of vinca (don't know what) which my wife likes. You won't need to mow for grass, but you will need to trim & pull 2-3 times during the growing season as they will overflow the edges and surround the bases of trees, shrubs, etc.

    Vines -- I also have some form of climbing ones, and they are awful. They attached to my exterior brick walls, and this year also can grew laterally and literally blocked out nearby plants. The previous owner let them grow up the side of the house for a "charming" look, until we moved and inspected what the vines were doing; cost $400 labor to remove 2.5 stores of the stuff and pounds & pounds of plant stuff.

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