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Heavy Shade Area Around Deck, No Ideas..

Posted by ukbradc 6 (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 26, 12 at 10:48

Can anyone help me with shrub\plant ideas to spruce up this deck area at a rental property I just purchased? The entire area gets shade for pretty much the whole day from a large water maple tree located near the deck. I would like to make it look nice with a minimum investment. Any ideas for plants that tolerate almost total shade would be greatly appreciated. thanks!

Louisville, KY

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RE: Heavy Shade Area Around Deck, No Ideas..

I know you're asking about shrubs that will survive the conditions, but I think you're getting the cart before the horse. Tree canopies are like ceilings. How low or high they are has a tremendous impact on the feel of the overall space. Contrast what it feels like to walk into a mobile home home with a 7' ceiling vs. into a cathedral with a 60' ceiling. Obviously, there are other factors that contribute to a difference in feeling, but the ceiling height itself is a principle factor. Low hanging limbs and branches produce a claustrophobic feeling. If their shade is dark it feels gloomy. Keep in mind that whatever height limbs of trees are today, next month and next year the branches they support will be lower... sometimes by several feet depending on the weight of a year's growth. If a limb is almost at the point that it is too low and will need to be removed, then in a relatively short time it will be there. Why not anticipate it and just get rid of it while it is a little smaller and less work then it will be the following year? Limbing up the trees would not only make the yard feel and look better, it would help in expanding what is able to grow back there. A 4' x 4' concrete landing at the bottom of the steps would be nicer for renters to have than the first shrub. With the nice looking lattice skirting at the deck, it doesn't seem than you need to cover it up. A low groundcover or even a tidy mulch bed flanking the deck would be sufficient.

Plant suggestions are A) Nandina domestica B) Hydrangea macrophylla. Some Impatiens at each side of the steps would help doll it up for showing.

RE: Heavy Shade Area Around Deck, No Ideas..

Thanks for the advice! I have had the tree trimmed since that picture was taken, however, it is 60-70 feet high, and still shades the area pretty good, along with other water maples located in nearby yards!

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