The Q&A Archives: Recommendation For Shady, 1' Deep X 3' Wide Area

Question: Hello, thanks in advance for taking the time to accurately answer this! I need a Shrub/Plant or? to go in an area on the front of my house. The 19' high gable side of the garage is on the front of the house (with two 6' High x 2' wide windows in it). There is a sidewalk that runs in front of the garage, that gets full shade except for 30 min's of sun in the early AM and maybe 30 minutes of sun at the end of the day. The sidewalk continues across the front of the house to the front door, which is on the oppossite end of the garage. There is only 1 Foot of dirt between the edge of the sidewalk and the garage wall. Currently I have 2 foundation bushes (maybe their boxwoods?) on each end of the garage, but they grow out over the sidewalk and need constant pruning, and don't grow dense enough (the lower branches show).

Someone said: "Pencil Holly" but it doesn't do well in dense shade like this. Can you think of anything that you have or know of that would a foundational type planting? (Remember this is on either end of the gable end of a 19' High garage in full shade).

Answer: With the exception of boxwood, there are very few tall, narrow-growing evergreens that thrive in full shade. So, instead of trying to coax a shrub to grow in the area, why not consider placing a trellis in each area and planting an evergreen vine? You can train a vine such as Trachelospermum (star jasmine)or Parthenocissus (Virginia Creeper) onto a trellis to fill in the void between the gables without having to worry about it outgrowing the small planting space.

Good luck with your landscape!

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