The Q&A Archives: develop great lawn and plantings in yard with difficult growing conditions

Question: Help! I have a great side yard with no grass or plants (only moss)due to two large and beautiful trees-maple and oak-that block light and suck moisture from soil. What can I do to make all areas of the yard look good? P.S. Very low budget. Thank you!!

Answer: Since lawn won't thrive in dry shade, how about a groundcover instead? Asarum europaeum (European Ginger) a shiny, evergreen carpet-like groundcover; thrives in deep to partial shade; tolerates dryness; Lamium maculatum (Spotted Nead Nettle) has white variegated foliage with purple or white flowers in early spring; tolerates dry shade; or Phlox stolonifera (Creeping Phlox) forms heavy mat under very shady conditions; has violet to lavender flowers. Hope these suggestions are just right for your landscape!

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