The Q&A Archives: Planting Under A Shade Tree On A Bank

Question: I have a bank in my back yard that has no color. I would like to liven it up with flowers and greenery . What would be a good suggestion of plants for my area. There are roots of the tree to contend with. The grass is sparse in the area also. The area is shaded with little sun, but it would make a beautiful place to stop and look at if it just had some color.

Answer: Often it is difficult to plant under a tree due to root competition for water and nutrients, so you might try using a shade tolerant ground cover such as English ivy or the blue flowered creeping myrtle (vinca minor) as a basis for the planting. To that try adding some hostas with colorful foliage and some large planter tubs filled with colorful annuals such as impatiens. Then add a bench to sit on and enjoy the shade!

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