I need some ideas for empty area of my yard - Knowledgebase Question

Charbonneau, OR (Zone 8A)
Question by stephanie67
March 28, 2005
I live in a manufactured home and the front of my house is the nerrow end of the home. It is approx. 30ft wide. I have 6 windows along this side (2 set of 3 windows) in the center i have approx. 10 ft. of just wall. I already have grass down but I had my grass stop 3 feet from the house along the whole front. To top it all off this area doesn't get a lot of sun. I was thinking of putting a tree in the center (that doesn't go taller than the house) and some kind of evergreen (with seasonal color) underneath the windows on each side. I know nothing about plants and trees so I was hoping to get some help with some ideas of what kind of trees or evergrees to use or maybe even some other ideas for this area.

Answer from NGA
March 28, 2005


With the exception of boxwood, there are very few tall, narrow-growing evergreens that thrive in full shade. If the area gets a few hours of sunshine a day, you can plant flowering broadleaf evergreens such as camellias, escallonia, and azaleas. If this site is really more shady than sunny, instead of trying to coax a shrub to grow in the area, why not consider placing a trellis in each area next to your windows 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 windows without having to worry about them outgrowing the planting space.

You can plant shade-loving annuals and perennials beneath the shrubs for season color. Some of my favorites include viola, hosta, maidenhair fern, impatiens, lobelia, houttuynia, and vinca. You might even include a hardy fuchsia or two. These plants grow into a fountain shape and hummingbirds love them.

Depending upon the extent of the shade, some tree choices include dogwood, ornamental pear, hawthorn (will need pruning to keep it small), or a Japanese maple.

For even more ideas, take a walk through your neighborhood to see what other's are planting and visit several nurseries and garden centers. I'll bet you'll end up with a list of plants that really appeal to you and your only problem will be in finding space for all the plants you love.
Good luck with your landscape!

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