Mini Gardens Under White Oak Trees


One thing I have a lot of in my Small House under a Big Sky property is mature White Oak trees. At one count my husband counted 47 of them!
As an avid gardener with about 2 ½ acres to mow, I love to create mini gardens under our White Oak trees. Not only are these mini gardens attractive, they makes our mowing and trimming task around our multiple trees bases much easier.
There are some trees species with shallow root systems that it is best not to garden too heavily under. But White Oak trees have deep root systems and as long as one is careful you can successfully garden under these trees.
In my Zone 5 part sun/part shade garden these are the plants that grow well under my White Oak Trees.
PLANTS: Day lilies, epimedium, hostas, wild violets, iris, buttercups, pansies, pinks, phlox, and various ground covers.
WHAT WORKS FOR ME:
YEAR ONE: First I carefully dig out the grass and weeds that are under my tree bases. I add 6” to 8“of bark chips around the tree base to begin to amend the soil.
YEAR TWO AND ON: I transplant the above highly performing plants under my trees. I start slowly and add plant each year transplanting in spring and fall. This is a process that I do over the course of several years.
Each spring I weed, replace bark chips as needed and add more plants as possible.
This is one of the mini gardens beds under our White Oak trees.
This image was taken off the Internet and shows an established under tree bed.
This is a early spring image of a mini bed at the base of our White Oak tree.
A second under tree round bed with similar flowers planted below it.
A lovely shade garden under the shade of trees filled with hostas and ferns.

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3 of 9 comments
  • White Oak Studio Designs
    on Mar 24, 2014

    A good idea, thanks. I'll keep that in mind. I'd want more photographs of them before I write a post, which means this spring. I'm fussy....I like to use my own photographs rather than those of others curated from the Internet! I only have two colors of epimediums creamy yellow and pink but they are a wonderful and unusual plant with interesting heart shaped leaves and between the flowers and leaves there is color all season!

    • Douglas Hunt
      on Mar 25, 2014

      @White Oak Studio Designs I applaud your standards. As a friend of many photographers, "curated from the internet" to me basically means stolen.

  • White Oak Studio Designs
    on Mar 25, 2014

    I agree. For 30 some years I was a freelance photographer for newspapers and magazine and got paid per use for my photographs. Although the Internet has changed the playing field, I would never use an image without giving attribution or finding an image for example of a bluebird from the copyright free area.

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