Shade Garden Update!

There are two last places in the front yard that have been needing some planting attention.  One is a bare area underneath the two large pine trees on the lower level (still yet to be tackled).  The other was the full shade area along the one retaining wall, under a bunch of trees.

The previous owners (or whoever they hired) had planted the worst possible items in this area…roses, some unidentified plant (possibly some kind of pomegranate), and an ornamental strawberry tree.  All of these plants were needing full sun, and were planted in full shade.  They all looked horrible.  I will show a before shot in an upcoming post, detailing all of their mistakes that I have cleaned up lately.  The strawberry tree and the mystery plant were also both sending out runners and seedlings, all over the lawn.  I couldn’t handle it any longer, so I took action.

I dug up everything along that wall except for the apple tree and the pine tree (obviously I wouldn’t touch those!).  I double dug the very compacted soil, and added tons of compost and fertilizer.  I planted a variety of colorful shade plants including an asparagus fern, sword fern, polka dot plants, coleus, heuchera, iresine, and caladium.  I love all of these plants for this area since they have a variety of bright colors and don’t require much sun at all.  There are literally no flowers in this section but it is full of color!

On a side note…We recently had some trouble with our sprinklers in the upper part of the front yard.  There are no sidewalks in our neighborhood, and the grass goes all the way to the curb.  Some neighbors (or their guests) kept stepping on the sprinklers near the edge of the curb and breaking them.  I was trying to water the grass by hand and with those little hose sprinklers until my husband had the time to fix the sprinkler heads, but it was quite difficult to get everything evenly watered this way (especially in the middle of the hottest summer ever!).

Much of the grass started to die off in the upper part of the front yard.  I was so discouraged since I had done so much work on this grass to revive it when we first moved in.  I started again with dethatching the dead areas, and used my cultivator to work in new shade grass seed and fertilizer.  I also poured my compost weed tea on the troubled areas.  After daily watering for a few minutes each day, the grass is back to full and green and lush!  I am so happy. 🙂

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