Greener Thumb
Posts: 970
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:21 am
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Problem Area in yard, need advice.

Need help with a problem area in my yard, first let me toss in a few photos so I can explain myself better.Then a brief history and my plans.




The owner before me built this retaining wall from brick way too high, the wall has been destroyed by winters, I cut the wall down about 24", rebricked areas and capped with pavers, its not the best work but its acceptable, over the course of the last few years I have been lowering my red maple tree, well actually deep watering and removing surface roots and dropping the yard. I dropped the yard at the highest point about 12" and the hill will taper no matter what. I'm ok with that.

Last year I put in a paved area for a bench to sit in front of the Koi pond, the ankle biters were horrible prior to this patio

We also too phlox cuttings and transplanted along the side of the patio where the hill tapers a bit.

Last year I used the front for a neighborhood herb garden and its has done fairly well and will be extending that around behind the tree.
This spring I transplanted all the tiger lilies to the hill in back of the bench.

My next step is to completely get rid of the grass and drop that area about 6". I need something to plant, from the tiger lilies to the red maple, I will be extending the front herb garden back behind the tree so I will need something from the tiger lilies to the herb garden.

So far The only thing I can think of is phlox, nice flowers in the spring and great dense ground cover year round (less weeding), but I'm worried they wont get enough sun once the tree grows back in.
You can see how well the phlox transplants came in if you look to the left of the first picture.

User avatar
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Yes, you are going to definitely need things that are shade tolerant once your tree comes back from being beheaded.

Here's some shade tolerant native perennials:

cardinal flower
great blue lobelia
evening primrose
wild columbine
wild geranium
wild ginger (a very nice ground cover)
bunchberry (creeping dogwood, has beautiful dogwood flowers, but must have acid soil and can't handle much direct sun)
shooting star
wild strawberry

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