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.


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Answer from NGA
March 28, 2005

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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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