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


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.
The view coming around the house from the driveway.
Looking up at the pergola we built for the client. You can see the solid stone bridge set over the dry stream bed.
A look from further down the yard. This shows more of the elevations and the stonework.
This is a before view of what we started with. Although it is not the exact same angle, it provides an idea that nothing was there except the dogwood in the middle. You can also tell that we began working on the design phase with this client a few seasons ago, while leaves were still on the dogwood. We stay on a backlog of work, so by the time we did the installation, it was springtime.

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Caroline
    on Nov 11, 2015

    Our small building courtyard does not get much sun. Basically we are growing three types of moss. How do we propergate them. Is there a garden supply company that specializes in moss? Also we seem to have a black mold attacking some of it.

  • Delilah Green
    on Aug 21, 2016

    Your back lawn is gorgeous. I noticed there is no grass on your lawn. I'd like to know what type of mulch you are using? I have a shady area where nothing will hardly grow and I am thinking of doing something like this to my lawn. I have attached a photo of my back yard. I would love to grow something like moss, do you think any of this is possible?

    , I bought some moss here and thought about it but now i am wondering Got this type moss

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3 of 49 comments
  • Jane
    on Oct 9, 2015

    I have a problem area that I would love to do this in, and there are a couple of big trees to work around. I have access to plenty of pine needles. My concern is what to do with all the leaves in the Fall, & there will be lots! I normally use a blower, but that would also blow the pine needles out.

  • Beautiful, as always!

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