Asked on Jan 29, 2020

How do I furnish a shady area right in front of house (ranch style)?

SLFlipturnHolly Lengner - Lost Mom


I have a ranch style house (front door almost in middle with bedrooms towards the left, and bay window and garage to the right - facing the house). I have an oak tree in front towards the left and there is no longer any grass due to the canopy of the tree. Just dirt. I just would like a small setting area. I already have a small cement bench further out under the multiple trees and a wooden swing further to the left. Also have DEER. They eat everything - so I need to decorate with other things besides plans (garlic plants could work). The area would be right in front of the boxwood that sits to the left of the stairs (facing the house)

14 answers
  • A small fire pit with benches around it would look nice. Or you could do a picnic table

  • Lucky Home Today
    on Jan 29, 2020

    I would try some solar lights on the lower tree branches, or string them from the house to the trees to make a front of the house entertainment area.

  • Robyn Garner
    on Jan 29, 2020

    If you want to green the space up there are grasses and ground covers that do well in shade. I personally would add some of these at least up around the house area.

    I would also invest in some shade perennials that will fill in and return each year. These can include various flowers, shrubs, vines, and bulbs.

    If you want the sitting area to really shine, paint some yard furniture in a color that pops such as fuschia or bright yellow and use bright upholstery. Add landscape lighting - uplights into the trees would be beautiful! Create a patio or deck area for the seating/entertaining space. Use planters to keep the deer from eating the flowers and Google those that they do not like such as those listed here

    Above all else - have FUN! 😎

  • Kathy Gunter Law
    on Jan 29, 2020

    Pea gravel to cover the dirt then add some yard decor.

    Don't plant hostas anywhere, they are deer magnets. You could do planters with succulents and shred some Irish Spring to keep the deer away. There are a few plants that deer don't like, lavender is one.

    You could add a fountain or bird bath.

  • Pamela
    on Jan 29, 2020

    Haha !!! I feel your pain , with the. Deer eating everything !!!!!!!

    maybe a brick or paved winding walkway to your front steps . You can buy a mould , they come in different patterns ( brick , stone ) Then you fill it with quickcrete . Then line the pathway with solar lights or lanterns . You can put some clusters of landscaping rock . The deer in our area do not bother with seagrass or decorative high grasses . Good luck !!!!

  • Annie
    on Jan 29, 2020

    A lovely seating area in the shade would be nice. Here is a link with plants that are supposed to be deer proof. (But I have found sometimes these lists aren't right or deer have refined their tastes!)

  • Connie Adams
    on Jan 29, 2020

    There is grass seed just for shade, some nice plants that like shade

  • Kmdreamer
    on Jan 30, 2020

    Swing maybe couch and chair and table fire pit .

  • William
    on Feb 2, 2020

    I would lay down some flagstone level with the ground for a seating area.

  • Michelle
    on Feb 2, 2020

    I would do a firepit with that many trees, etc unless you have a front hose access. Like others stated string lights, colorful adirondack chairs, winding path to the front doorway. A nice water feature would be soothing, perhaps some hanging plants that are hung from tall shepard hooks

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom
    on Feb 3, 2020

    Your front yard is amazing! I love those huge trees and all that space. I would add some lights to front yard and a round seating area. Scroll through the pictures on this site for lots of seating area ideas:

  • Flipturn
    on Feb 5, 2020

    Don't waste your money with grass seed recommended for shady areas. The roots of all those tall trees (which are at least as long as the height of the trees) will continue to prevent any grass from growing in the whole front yard.

  • Flipturn
    on Feb 5, 2020

    To create a sitting area that is inviting, it needs to be defined from the rest of the yard.Low walls will keep allow it to be visually still integrated with the rest of the yard, and yet create desired privacy.

    The best way to create this separation is to extend the front stoop so that it is connected to either a deck. Having the base of the deck or raised patio will also help keep it dry and make it easier to sweep clean.

  • SL
    on Feb 6, 2020

    Sword fern and Variegated Ginger both love the shade. Maybe a swing hanging in the tree painted a bright color will give you some color pop.

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