small fenced yard with a pine tree - Knowledgebase Question

merced, Ca
Question by towellb
March 9, 2010
i live in a mobile home park and deal with a large pine tree. It covers most of the yard. Put up a chain link fence to give my dogs a place to play. No grass hard soil very uneven what can i do to make it look more inviting

Answer from NGA
March 9, 2010


Turgrasses will have a hard time establishing and thriving in a shady area, especially beneath a pine tree, so I'd vote for putting in a ground cover rather than attempting to plant grass. You can use mondo grass which is an evergreen perennial that grows in a clump and looks very much like clumps of turfgrass. But, they don't need mowing and will usually grow together to give you a nice green patch. You can also grow pockets of color by planting shade tolerant perennials.

These include Impatiens, wallerana, trillium, lungwort, hellebores, Virginia bluebells, rhododendron, azalea, hydrangea, cardinal flower, hosta, Jacob's ladder, Canadian ginger, saxifraga, heuchera, hepatica, ferns, barren strawberry, big-root geranium, lily-of-the-valley, bishop's hat, dead nettle and sweet woodruff.

Others to consider include Aegopodium podagraria ?Variegatum?, a variegated Bishop?s Weed. It is a vigorous grower in dry shady areas. It?s indifferent to soil type so a good choice for clay.

Symphytum grandiflorum ?Hidcote Blue? (Blue Flowered Ornamental Comfrey) is an early spring flowering perennial with numerous clear blue nodding flowers. Not picky about soils it forms a weed resistant carpet of deep green foliage.

Lamium maculatum ?White Nancy? and ?Red Nancy? is sturdy and fast growing for shade and semi-shady spots. It tolerates a wide range of soils and moisture levels. The white-edged leaves light up dark garden corners.

Vinca major (Big Leaf Periwinkle) is best for most inhospitable of spots. It?s a large leafed evergreen and grows equally well in full sun or deep shade. It will overrun other flowers, however, so plant in a spot by itself.

Hope this information is helpful!

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