Landscape Design forum: U-Shaped Bed Under Tree -- any ideas?

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bikinibottom
May 17, 2018 12:34 PM CST
Hi, I'm new to this forum, and appreciate any help I can get. I moved to a new house a year ago and I'm just now getting around to dealing with this flower bed under a maple tree (so... dry shade), which is on the corner of our lot. We can barely even see the bed from the house, so I suppose the intent was to have some visual display for passers-by. To me it' s a strange shape -- kidney-ish, but turned with the concave side away from the viewer. There were small rose bushes, very small hydrangeas, lamb's ears and some other kind of rapidly-growing, geranium-like perennial growing there when we moved in. The hydrangea didn't survive the winter, and the rose bushes look iffy for a comeback. The lamb's ears are going strong, and we've ripped out the perennial. Wondering how folks would design this in terms of a focal point. For plants I'm thinking of keeping the lamb's ears and adding hydrangea, ferns, heuchera, astilbe, etc. Would you put taller plants through the middle of the shape, with lower and lower layers fanning out to the edges? The attached photo was taken, I believe, around December 2016, right after which I think the previous owners planted the roses and hydrangeas that failed.
Thumb of 2018-05-17/bikinibottom/8db1a9


bikinibottom
May 17, 2018 12:54 PM CST
BTW, I'm in Zone 7a.
Name: Joanne
CT (Zone 6b)
Jmh311
Jul 11, 2018 10:13 PM CST
Do you want to plant and maintain a flower/shrub border that distance from the house where you don't get to enjoy it yourself? Maybe you would consider taking it out and returning the area to lawn?
If not, maybe you could raise the area with a low berm of soil and plant rhododendron, pieris, hosts, creeping juniper so they could get established before having to compete with tree roots. I did this successfully under maple trees. You might be able to establish pachysandra to fill in as a ground cover.

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