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Heavy Shade Area Around Deck, No Ideas..

Posted by ukbradc 6 (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 26, 12 at 10:51

Can anyone help me with shrub\plant ideas to spruce up this deck area at a rental property I just purchased? The entire area gets shade for pretty much the whole day from a large water maple tree located near the deck. I would like to make it look nice with a minimum investment. Any ideas for plants that tolerate almost total shade would be greatly appreciated. thanks!
Louisville, KY

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RE: Heavy Shade Area Around Deck, No Ideas..

  • Posted by raee zone 5 OH (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 2, 12 at 13:21

I see that it gets some dappled sun. I have a similar area.
First you need to decide if you want the simple groundcover look, or more texture/variety of a mix of plants at more cost and likely a bit more work, at least at first. But even ground cover and shrubs need maintenance (weeding, trimming)

I have one really full shade area with just pachysandra spiked with ferns for interest.

Another bed under a large maple (which competes for water) has vinca, ferns, bishops weed, tradescantia 'blushing bride', hostas, sweet woodruff, and a viburnum which gets the late afternoon light.

A third area has dappled light like yours and has boxwood, variegated weigela, mahonia, liriope, geraniums, bleeding heart, pulmonaria and hosta. Daffodils planted in there too.

I would avoid ivy and houtennia (sp?), both are too difficult to control. The other groundcovers of course spread but are more easily controlled with pulling I find. Well, the large leaf variegated vinca is also a pretty vigorous spreader too, although very attractive! the small leafed vincas seem to be better behaved.

Burning bush and privet are invasive--avoid.

Some other euonymus (like "emerald n gold") will do well in the dappled shade and add a lot of interest with low maintenance. Might be nice in front of the foundation.

Depending on how much work you want to do--could collect some old bricks, pavers or rocks from Craigslist and build a raised bed in front of the foundation, so shrubs can be more of an accent instead of a wall to hide it.

congratulations on your investment--good luck!

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