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Old 05-23-2019, 07:01 AM
 
80 posts, read 30,479 times
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I've decided the yard needs some love this year. We moved in to our current home a few years ago and been improving as we go along. Year 1 was almost an entire interior remodel. Last year was a new garage door, some masonry work and cutting in a couple new flower beds and play area for the kids with swing set. This year will be some more landscaping.

I have 2 areas of the backyard I am focusing on for now. One is adjacent to the swing set area which I made a border of landscape timbers with some playground mulch under the play things. Near that is a large silver maple tree that has a few roots slightly exposed in the little grass that grows around it and a lot of shallow roots. Since grass is hard to grow under this tree I decided to cut a sweeping edge around the tree leaving a decent amount of room for planting or just mulching. Another area has some older plantings that are around a large rock that sticks up out of the ground there. The are behind this rock had a small strip of grass (maybe 3' wide) before a row of arborvitaes. Beyond those are some trees (ash and maple) that again lead to a root filled area. I have already dug up the patchy grass in the area of this and the strip behind the rock and intend on mulching this area, and cut a similar sweeping edge which mirrors the cut near the tree in the other area near the play area.

I am looking for ideas for plants that can tolerate less than idea conditions below trees and areas that have a lot of roots in the ground.

So far near the rock there is a rose of sharon that doesn't do much, not sure if I should just try and remove it, or hard prune it and see if it'll fix itself. It hasn't ever bloomed all that much and tends to look somewhat bare the last couple years. Some sort of evergreen shrub near the rock, some day lilies that need to be thinned out and some daffodils. I was able to squeeze in a small dappled willow in the area that I have cleared there in between roots and there are a few hosta's, one with enormous leaves (sum and substance) and a blue angel hosta along with a couple more common ones.

Are hosta and day lilies good choices to try and get to grow in these conditions? I figure may be able to break up larger plants and allow small portions to squeeze in and eventually fill out more. Any other suggestions? The areas do get some sun early in the day, but largely filtered through tree leaves most of the afternoon.

I intend on mulching these areas and figure it'll look better than spotty grass trying to grow and weeds. Thanks for any ideas that I may be overlooking. Right now I think hostas are mostly what I was thinking that would likely work since they tend to grow just about anywhere, and there are plenty of different varieties out there. Just looking for some other ideas as well. Almost forgot this is in southern new england for zone specific plantings.

Last edited by shiver916; 05-23-2019 at 07:52 AM..
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Old 05-23-2019, 08:52 PM
 
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Columbine is a good choice under trees in root zone. They'll provide nice blooms throughout summer. Ferns and hostas also work.
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Midvale, Idaho
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Day lilies like lots of sun but are fast to fill in. I totally agree on Columbine It takes two seasons for them to bloom but then the start to spread and they are such cheerful flowers. Very hardy in cold climates too. I have several colors and different flower styles.

I have a ground cover actually two of them that do great with compromised soils for roots . I know the names or neither of them. Photo shows the pretty silver one and it blooms either a dark berry colored blossom or white. I seem to have both varieties. I love both ground covers and often let them roam among each other. But then my garden plan is just slightly controlled chaos.

I can not find a good photo of the other ground cover I will take one and post it here tomorrow.
Attached Thumbnails
plants for area with lots of roots close to the ground-6-3-18-ground-cover.jpg  
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Old 05-25-2019, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
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Think e-z to grow e-z to establish hostas and day lilies. They also grow and fill in fast.
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Old 05-26-2019, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Former LI'er Now Rehoboth Beach, DE
7,810 posts, read 10,474,818 times
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I "may" be able to save you some work. That Rose of Sharon you have, if it is too shaded by the trees, that is why it is not blooming. It needs at least a fair amount of sun to bloom. I had 3 on my property when we moved in on the border between our home and the neighbors. They were fully and bushy in the front and thin and sparse toward the back. It is possible the soil is to blame, but the back ones were under the canopy of their crepe Myrtle. So you may want to skip doing anything to it or pull it out.
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:02 AM
 
80 posts, read 30,479 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuts2uiam View Post
I "may" be able to save you some work. That Rose of Sharon you have, if it is too shaded by the trees, that is why it is not blooming. It needs at least a fair amount of sun to bloom. I had 3 on my property when we moved in on the border between our home and the neighbors. They were fully and bushy in the front and thin and sparse toward the back. It is possible the soil is to blame, but the back ones were under the canopy of their crepe Myrtle. So you may want to skip doing anything to it or pull it out.
I think the rose of sharon may just be on it's way out, not sure if it was just in a bad spot between some afternoon shade and maybe too many other roots competing with it as there are some pretty large trees close by and the arborvitaes too. I have tried to trim off some dead portions each year since we moved in, and each spring it seems like another section of it has died. I trimmed off a good size dead leader last year and left all life portions of the plant. It didn't leaf out much or produce many flowers last year but it looked better than it had. This year another maybe 10% of the branches are clearly dead and have no new growth on them.

Thanks for posts with suggestions. The areas do get a few hours of direct morning sun, before getting dappled sun and shade in the afternoon. There are some day lilies thriving near the rock area so i think they will do fine with the amount of light as long as I can squeeze them in between some roots. I think I am going to try and find some different varieties of hosta to plant together and still give some interest to the area.
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