landscaping ideas for 'dead space', Ice plant info?

grullablue(5)May 24, 2011

We've slowly been putting in a deck on the back of our house. We have an area alongside it that is now ready for landscaping, but I have NO idea what to do with it!

It's a small area, not really functional for anything, and it's also too small to mow with our riding mower, we'd have to pull the weed whacker out, or a push mower (we don't use one)...and hubby and I have differing ideas on what to do with this space. It's only big enough to perhaps put a small charcoal grill on...but I'd rather just landscape it with something that eventually may drown out weeds. But it's right between the deck and a rock wall.

Hubby's idea: landscape fabric and rocks. YUCK!

This is why I'm trying to come up with a plan quickly!

I've got two ideas... Pachysandra I think it's called...but my ice plant (delosperma). Anyone know much about it? I'm reading up about it...the foliage seems to me more like sedum actually, with beautiful purple or pink (and they have yellows too) flowers...I like the purple ice plant myself. Evergreen, it looks like... but I'm getting conflicting information, some say it's suitable in my zone (5), and some say 6 and higher. Could perhaps throw a few other things in there too...small shrubs....but I really want to cover this area up, really, no one would see it, unless you looked off the side of the deck. It's in the back yard, not facing any's not going to be highly visible at all. Back of the house faces south, but the deck will block the late afternoon sun.

I have a pic, will share. Thanks for any input! So many projects here, my head is spinning....

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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Would you be willing to consider something with some height to it? I could see a Smoke Bush, Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' here underplanted with Kniphofia uvaria, or maybe a combination of Verbena bonariensis and Euphorbia rigida or E. myrsinites.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 9:21PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Your "so many projects" problem as well as your recent post about these rock walls makes me see some merit in your husband's plan. You have a real problem with weeds in those rock walls that you need to beat, so it would pay off to take a long view. The long view of your plan says that if you leave this dirt exposed, no matter what you plant, you will have a weed-infested mess by the end of the summer.

I would actually think it quite a good plan to do the fabric and rocks thing for now, for a year or two, until you have the weed problem in this whole area more under control, possibly grass removed at the base of the rock wall. You could leave a little space open to try some of the plants you have in mind.

Try your delosperma in a sunny area and see how it spreads and grows before you commit a whole area to it. Plant and nurture some other ground covers as well in a sunny, open bed somewhere. As you get the whole property under control, you can gradually remove the rocks and fabric here and plant up a little more area. You can even plant in holes in the fabric, either a bit of ground cover here or a smoke bush there, and remove the rocks and fabric as they grow in.

By the way, this looks like a perfect place for some nice carpeting junipers - "Mother Lode" for example, with some of the blue ones.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 10:34PM
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Yeah, my property is a landscaper's nightmare. I worked on the front yard last year...I'm wanting to devote some energy to the back this year. I don't want to feel too I'll just take on little projects at a time. Our rock walls have since been weed whacked/round uped....and we'll take the next step from there.

As far as the question as to something with height... I forgot to mention that just above, out of view of the photo, is a window to our living would cover up part of the picture window. I know if I leave it exposed like this too long the weeds will come back.... =(, hubby had just finished the skirting on the deck on that side.

I haven't completely thrown out the idea of the rocks...I'd just rather not if I don't have to. Although, I wouldn't mind covering up some for the time being, and just starting out slow. I'll also check out the juniper you mentioned, Karin!

So many projects....not enough money to fund them


    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 9:33AM
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