patio & roadside challenge

woodswalker88(6)April 14, 2012


I have a few landscaping challenges. First...I built a patio and have to landscape the area around it. A year ago I planted a maple, oak and redbud tree about 15 ft to the rt of the patio. In 10 years or so there will be lots of shade. But right now it's a sunny spot. So I am looking for part/shade plants... I planted a few Encore Azaleas, also a Japanese maple. I also want to plant some privacy-type evergreens off to the right. Or else maybe some climbing plants & a trellis? I really don't know where to go with this. PS the soil is Clay. Awful....

The second challenge is the roadside. There is a row of dogwood trees & a great tall it is a shady-ish area. On the other hand this thing faces east, so most of the afternoon shade goes in the opposite angle (away from the road.). I want to plant some screening shrubs along this roadside. Preferably ones that stay green all year. The climate is zone 6, southeast PA, and we can get droughts, heat waves, etc. I have thought about some arbor vitae or leyland cypress, but I'm not sure if they would be happy so close to the dogwoods. Right now I just have some random shrubs like a viburnum from Lowes discount last fall.

I hope my flickr link works. Thanks for any suggestions!

Here is a link that might be useful: my flickr photos

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I re-design the patio add some plants for you.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 10:11AM
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    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 10:35AM
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(To post photos from flickr, see the screen snip below yard photos. After clicking on the second link, you'd be shown options for various codes. You'd be looking for html code for a medium size picture which you would copy and then paste into your message here. It might take a little experimentation.)

I know that after creating a paved area it is common to hem it in with plants as if one is surrounding it with a mixture of soft, green barricades. As you're early on in the process, I'd urge you to consider another strategy and that is keeping the area surrounding the patio relatively open, and instead placing the objects that will create the view, closer to, or at the perimeter of the yard. In the end, it's a much less claustrophobic look and opens the whole yard to being the view rather than just what's under one's nose. It doesn't mean that adjacent to the patio you can't have shade and a "ceiling" and some very low plantings... a sense of shelter and protection. It means that you should keep the view as open as possible in order to see what's beyond. A tree adjacent to the patio with some low groundcover below it would work well. But surrounding the patio with lots of shrubs and perennials would seem as if you're trying to re-create the sense of being indoors by having some low walls nearby.

For an evergreen hedge that would screen the road, you might consider 'Sky Pencil' Holly. (Check to make sure that it performs well in your area first.) The Arborvitae and Leyland Cypress get HUGE and would overwhelm your yard. I would not be so quick to rule out deciduous plants as after they've been maintained for a while, they can produce fair winter screening without leaves just from the twigginess. This would considerably open up the possibilities of what plants you can use.

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    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 3:08PM
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