Our columnist Kevin Lee Jacobs shows how he created a shade garden and a bit of woodland reverie in his garden, complete with an outdoor "dining room," and rimmed with three seasons of flowering plants.
Lenten rose hybrids include a dizzying range of colors, forms and patterns. Photo by Janet Loughrey.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, a self-taught gardener (who watched a lot of gardening shows on television!) turned a hilly, "unbuildable" property into a dreamy woodland landscape, complete with waterfalls and several ponds.
Shrouded in Chinese elms, majestic Canary pines, and a sapote tree, the Kuntz and Rask property (see The Path Less Taken Photo Gallery) is lightly sun-dappled throughout the day, creating an ideal space for shade-loving plants—unique for sunny Los Angles.
Q: The shady, narrow walkway beside our city house is a straight 30-foot shot, flanked by beds only a foot wide. Are there any ways to make this dead space come alive? — Mary Pat Prado, Cambridge, Mass.
Q: My lawn languishes under several large shade trees. Is there anything I can do short of cranking up the chain saw? — Paul Glmartin, Sunnyside, N.Y.
A: Turfgrass is a shameless sun lover. If it doesn’t catch enough rays, it sulks. In your case, the problem is aggravated because the grass has to compete with those trees for nutrients and water. Sure, you could attack the shade at its source by thinning the trees, but there are a few things you can do right now to give the grass a fighting chance.