Maturing Landscapes

Maturing Landscapes

Spring is coming soon and now is the time to think about your existing landscape. Think back to last year and how some of your plants looked and flowered.

If your plants were thin and produced very few flowers, or none at all there could be a few reasons for this. The trees in your yard have matured or your neighbor’s trees have begun shading your yard more and more every year. Trees are one of the few items we pay relatively little for that’s value greatly increases with time. This happens slowly over time when your tree first goes in, you think it’s really small then 7 to 10 years pass and it’s 20 feet tall or more and at least that wide. That means all the plant’s, including your lawn, are under the drip line and are now in full to partial shade. When you first put in the plants, they were in full sun.

We run into this problem as a landscape matures. This presents a good time to update your landscape with new plants that are shade tolerant. Many new plant varieties come on the market every ear. We can also enlarge the mulch bed around the trees and you may be able to plant new groundcover under some of them. Removing the grass away from the tree base helps the tree capture more water. You can also over-seed an area with a more shade tolerant grass mix to try and thicken up your turf.   Trimming up some of the lower limbs on the tree or thinning it out will allow more sunlight to get through the canopy. Many shrubs can be rejuvenated by trimming way back and allowing new growth to come back. This may help the appearance of the shrub to make it appear fuller and thicker.

There are many different varieties of Hosta and Coral Bells which are easy to grow in these areas with lots of shade. New Hydrangeas offer many colors and sizes. Also look into Fothergillas. They are a very unique and hardy plant. For larger plants, Service-Berries are natural understory trees along with Redbud’s and Ironwoods that can be used as a larger option to add to a new space.

Most landscapes have about a 15 year lifespan. This is due to many changes in the site’s condition such as insects and diseases as well as maturing plants. Some may think this is too short of a time, but when compared to the number of different cars typically owned or the number of times the interior of a house is redecorated in that same time period, your landscape has a long lifespan. I always try to remember everyone sees the outside of your house, very few get to see the inside. Plus, who doesn’t like to buy a few new plants every spring to put in the yard to look at and watch grow.

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