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Here is what you can do with a mostly shady backyard. Get rid of the grass and make it a place to enjoy.

gardening 09.06.14
Here is what can be done with a typical backyard, where the grass struggles to survive. There was the sloped section that was covered with pinestraw. The existing plants were the dogwood and the large masses of azaleas. We worked around those items to transform the yard. The homeowner wanted a patio space, and by pushing it out into the yard, it also becomes something that is beautiful to look at when inside the home.

We removed all the grass, and after adding several tons of different rocks, the homeowner has a new yard. The overall desire was to keep it looking very natural. The 400 groundcovers, 86 perennials, 48 shrubs, and 1 tree will now need to grow and fill in the areas. In just a couple years, I will have to return to take photos of the area as it matures.

44 Comments | Add a Comment Displaying 15 of 44 comments | See Previous
  • Patricia H
    Patricia H Crestview, FL
    Yes thank you for the explanation!! The weed barrier is expensive for large areas!! Now to add vegetation killer to my shopping list. :-)
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  • Diana N
    Diana N Covington, GA
    I don't use any chemical weed barriers as I'm trying to do everything organically. Instead of the usual fabric barriers you buy, I till the area way ahead of when I want to use it, let the weeds grow enough to pull them, then lay down either a thick
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  • Jeanette S
    Jeanette S Atlanta, GA
    For so many generations we have been brainwashed to believe that we had to have a green, lawn yard! Well that is no longer true. People are slaves to too much grass when there are excellent alternatives. Too much time, energy and money is spent trying
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    • BONNIE J
      Jeanette S SOUNDS GREAT! CAN'T DO THAT HERE--OUR WHOLE CORNER LOT IS EXPOSED--BUT WE GET COMMENTS ALL THE TIME ON HOW GREAT IT LOOKS & THE HUGE IMPROVEMENT! LOVE TO SEE YOURS..
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  • Dianne D
    Dianne D Lawrenceville, GA
    Pinestraw areas are gorgeous, but my problem is what to do when the leaves drop and ruin the 'perfection' of the clean pine straw. Often I flip the pine straw to 'freshen' it, but then leaves get embedded and they DON'T rot/turn into mulch. Another
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  • Dianne D
    Dianne D Lawrenceville, GA
    Also meant to mention that in some areas where I have put down cypress mulch, I put the emptied plastic bag under the mulch as a weed mat. Works pretty good. This is an area that doesn't get much foot traffic and is quite shady.
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  • Sheryll S
    Sheryll S Jacksonville, FL
    Does anyone ever think of using plain old salt?
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  • Sheryll S
    Sheryll S Jacksonville, FL
    I have been cutting down some nasty trees in my yard that don't have a good/deep root system and with hurricanes.... yikes, I wanted them gone. So to kill the stumps I just drill a bunch of holes in the stump and poured salt on them. Worked for me.
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  • Elle
    Elle Canada
    When creating these beautiful environments for ourselves, we MUST stop using deadly chemicals. Roundup is not needed. Just scalp, lay newspapers, and top with mulch. Really, let's get below the level of aesthetics and get down to healthier, sustainable
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  • Elle
    Elle Canada
    Sheryll S, plain old salt is the last thing you need in your garden soil or water table. Just because it's natural does not make it environmentally sound. Keep the salt in the kitchen.
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  • Kathy
    Kathy Box Springs, GA
    I love the naturalization. When we first moved to our house over 25 years ago there was nothing but red clay. Over the years we have stuggled with grass. As we began to age, each year I kill more grass and extend the naturalization area. In front we have
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  • Teresa D
    Teresa D Snellville, GA
    Love it! This is very much what I want in my backyard!
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  • Envy Lawn
    Envy Lawn Dalton, GA
    Because of the pine straw, has there been more bugs or moist ground (potentially bringing mold into the picture)? Couldn't another option could have been the use of artificial grass?
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  • Jeanette S
    Jeanette S Atlanta, GA
    I will post some pictures IF I can get this looking better. We have faced one delay in getting our yard in shape this year from one problem to another...late spring, too much rain, some old back problems (ha), and putting most of our work effort into
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