The Q&A Archives: What to plant

Question: Just bought a new house and there is nothing for greenery on it, but a few shrubs and some sod in front. No privacy from back and side neighbors. Front faces north, back south...what do you suggest for shrubs and trees that are hardy and fast growing and will provide greenery plus privacy, as well as shrubs and flowers around the house that won't get that big. Sod in front is bermuda...suggestions for back without having to purchase a lot more sod? Thanks in advance.

Answer: There are several plants that will thrive in your front yard. Annuals such as impatiens do well in shady areas. Flowering perennials such as Astilbe, Aconitum, Aquilegia, Brunnera, and Alchemilla will put on a nice show. Try Asarum europeum, also known as European Ginger for something that is absolutely gorgeous and somewhat new to most gardeners. Of course Hostas are one of my top picks for shady areas and there are many, many varieties. Bulbs such as daffodil, most tulips, crocus, grape hyacinth, squill and dwarf iris. For flowering ground cover I would choose Ajuga or Epimedium. Pachysandra is a top choice for shady area ground cover. In the back I would opt for Coronilla varia or Crownvetch. It is a flowering ground cover, excellent for erosion control that spreads rapidly and efficiently. It grows to about 2' tall. If that is too high for you, consider Lamium Mac. 'Silver Beacon'. It also flowers and grows to 6" in height. Or, you could prepare the soil and plant grass seed, which is inexpensive compared to sod.

Some choices for privacy screening include arborvitae (tall and narrow) or junipers.

Best wishes with your new landscape!

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