Landscape with little sun

usnret04(7)February 2, 2012

Since putting a fence in a few years ago, I get very little sun in the my yard in the picture below. Inside the blue dashed area is basically no sun. The rest of the area is some morning sun only. It is a Bermuda lawn. I realize I have poa annua growing, which I will get rid of next season with a pre-emergent in the fall. The red arrow indicates some mold growing. I have red pavers going back to the gate which we use often. On the right, next to the house I have lava rock. The yellow line is my boundary.

In the foreground I used to have two Magnolia trees. The caused such a mess (with dead leaves) that my neighbor and I cut the trees down. But the magnolia is coming back and I want to get rid of that (small arrow). The tree in the front of the pic is a Red Japanese Maple - Fireglow, that I planted last spring.

I was thinking of putting in some kind of low maintenance ground covering. Really have no idea of what to do and need to keep it on a budget.

I live in Greenville, South Carolina.

Thanks for all your help in advance!


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There are lots of nice shade lovers you could put here. I would personally be looking for shrubs or taller things, although you'll want to keep your meters accessible. Does SC mean South Carolina? Is this an area you'd water regularly, or do you want dry-tolerant shade plants?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 6:20PM
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i re-designed your place,it is so small,don't need fence.illicium,schefflera,azalea,hosta don't need sunlight so much.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 6:58PM
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I think you should post a photo from a vantage point that is backed up a little and 10' or 15' left of the above photo...aimed showing the house, more or less, as a backdrop. How plants relate to building features (or lack of features) is a consideration.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 7:38AM
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Thanks to both ppl_ge and Yardvaak for your quick replies. I do like the idea you redesigned in the picture below mine. The only problem is that we use that gate quite a bit, especially to take my mower to the back yard. But I like the idea of not having any grass in that section at all. The gate opens to the left and it's 6 foot wide. I do have a gate on the other side of the house though.

On this side of the house (in pic) is the garage side. I really don't have much of a choice where to keep my garbage can as you can see in the picture. I don't want to keep it in the garage.

I will post another pic tomorrow with a better view as you requested.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 8:59AM
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I forgot to mention to ppl_ge that I have irrigation in that area. I turned the sprayer towards the front of the house (there is grass where I am standing in the pic). So I don't have a problem watering in that area, plus it stays moist quite a bit due to the lack of sun and good runoff.

Mostly I would like to be budget minded and mostly maintenance free. Not sure if that meter needs to be viewed or not...could be one that transmits its reading. It just an electric meter, plus where my satellite dish connects with the in house cable.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 9:05AM
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I found a couple of more pictures on my phone that I took.

The above picture shows more of my neighbors landscaping.

A little better view from farther out.

Some ideas I had was possible reversing how the gate opens (let it open towards the house). Then I could still access the backyard by walking down the neighbors yard and have a path directly in front of the fence to the gate.

Or a friend mentioned having a path down the middle of the yard with plants on both sides. I think that would be a bit tougher plus more expensive since I would need more pavers and stone.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 9:43AM
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The pictures that you've added show a pretty blank slate. I don't know if there's landscaping elsewhere that you would need to harmonize with in this area. Also, the house looks quite neutral. In some ways this seems like it would make it harder for people here to give you useful feedback. Although, full disclosure, there are very experienced designers here, and I'm not really one of them. Pure amateur hack, myself.

The point is that it might be helpful for you to write more here about what your goals are for this area.

Also, are you planning on doing anything with that bed in front? Or does it just look empty because of the season? It seems like these two areas should be working together. If there's stuff that comes up in that bed during the growing season, it would be helpful to know what's there.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 11:41PM
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