What to do between houses?

dallasblooms(Dallas)April 13, 2011

There is a swale that drains water between my house and the neighbor to the east. We both have trees to shade the front portion and over time the Bermuda grass refuses to grow there, naturally. I have raised and thinned my Chinese Pistache and Lacey Bark Elm trees but his Bradford Pear is just too dense we believe to ever get grass back. So we are looking for solutions to have some kind of cover, whether softscape or hardscape, to prevent erosion and provide a path to walk front to back.

The space is approximately 20 feet wide at the front tapering to 10 by the driveways in back, and about 50 feet long. Grass grows just fine by the driveways and a row of Bridal Wreath Spirea does well next to my house. But in between is bare - not even weeds, just tree roots and dirt. We thought of stepping stones, alternate grass, river rock, walkable ground cover, extending the planter under my trees, but don't know what's best for an area that gets a range of morning sun, dappled shade, 2 or 3 hours of intense sun, afternoon shade, and intense heat in Texas summer. Any suggestions are appreciated.

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bahia(SF Bay Area)

It would seem like the tried and true ground covers for Texas shade would be useful here, Liriope or Ophiopogon. In areas that do get direct mid-day sun, perhaps switching to Trachelospermum asiaticum, Vinca minor or one of the Carex species that does well in your part of Texas, or even Hemerocallis. You could probably get a bit of massed height at the edges with some ferns or Nandina domestica 'Harbour Dwarf', and perhaps some Crinum bulbs would also give you some seasonal color. You might also want to have stepping stones, flagstone or cut pavers as a walk through the plantings, so you aren't having to traffic over plantings.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 8:31PM
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Thanks for the input. I will check these options out at my local nursery. Definitely will put down pavers thru it or I'll end up with 6 inches of clay stuck to my shoes every time it rains! :)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 5:35PM
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