Answer: Unfortunately, in my experience rose of sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) really needs full sun all day long to grow and bloom well. So I don't think it will do well for you there. Tree roots can be very difficult to garden around, they steal moisture and nutrients from the soil making it tough for a new plant to become established. Since your friend needs quick screening, I would suggest possibly a lattice frame and growing a vine on that. Most vines need full sun, but sweet autumn clematis will grow in partial sun, as will Virginia creeper or Parthenocissus. Most vines take a year or two to become established but are then strong growers and one vine will give a lot of coverage. In the meantime perhaps she could hang a few containers of annuals there. Another option would be to use large planters such as half barrels with patio trees in them. (You would need a protected place to overwinter these.) Yet another option would be to use a large patio umbrella angled to block the view. Depending on the space, a low but attractive fence, installed at some point between the patio and the edge of the woods might also do the job. This could have a bench seat added to it to provide extra seating for larger groups of guests, or a flat top where you could place container plants. I hope this gives you some ideas.
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