Need ideas for area in my yard

Hello and good day!
I live in a manufactured home park. The homes are owned, but the land the homes sit on belong to the park. I need some ideas for a section of my front yard that is boring, but that doesn't cost and arm and a leg - I can afford a finger though. lol

There's a patch of grass near the porch, but the rest is bark. In the photo, I outlined the biggest problem area. The tree is a Spruce and drops everything - hundreds of pine cones, sap, branch pieces and pine needles. Oh, and did I mention SAP? The area in the circle is the worst area. The bark is barely on the ground in the circle. If I walk in that area, I get sap on my shoes.

My issue is not being able to figure out what to do in this area, considering I have to keep in mind the sappy mess this tree leaves underneath it. I need some ideas and was hoping the brilliant minds here at HomeTalk might have some.

Do I just refill this area with more boring bark and call it good? Or is there something else that can be done to this area to make it look less...boring? How do I deal with the sap? Would anything even grow there or will the sap kill everything off?

Thanks so much!!
q need ideas for area in my yard
  12 answers
    • Macanoodos Macanoodos on Jun 20, 2018
      Thanks for the link Janet. Unfortunately, the link doesn't work. Any chance you can providing the link again? I'd love to see the image! Thank you again!

  • Lisa S. Lisa S. on Jun 19, 2018
    It may help to know what area of the country so people would know what could grow. Also are you allowed to remove the tree?

    • Macanoodos Macanoodos on Jun 19, 2018
      GREAT questions Lisa!! I didn't even think of those two things!

      1) I live in the Eastern Washington area, Spokane to be exact.

      2) No. The tree belongs to the park and we're not allowed to take it

  • Blackeyedjosie Blackeyedjosie on Jun 20, 2018
    I would just plant hostas around the bottom of the tree. They are inexpensive and love the shade.

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    • Blackeyedjosie Blackeyedjosie on Jun 20, 2018
      I wouldn’t think sap would bother any plants under your tree, it’s all natural and not like buckets of it

  • Joy30150932 Joy30150932 on Jun 20, 2018
    Looks like you need some color. If you can afford to buy a few interlocking stones and make a nice circle in the middle, dig out the bark, and fill the hole with garden fabric and then some top soil mixed with a bag of sheep or cow manure and plant some annuals or even some perennials suited to your location. Hostas grow big and fast and they should grow well under the tree. There all kinds of colors on the market today or you could even get a root from a neighbor to start.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jun 20, 2018
    you can container plant as well using shade tolerant perennials and annuals.....shade perennials, astilbe,bleeding hearts,hostas,heuchera annuals....Torenia,New guniea impatience,Caladium Coleus,Non stop begonia, rex begonia,Begonias

  • Sandie60 Sandie60 on Jun 20, 2018
    I also live in a Mobil Home park
    If the tree is own by the park. That means the land is there responsibility .
    You may not be allowed to add any plants to the area with out approval.

    • Macanoodos Macanoodos on Jun 21, 2018
      You are right in that we have to get permission for any major changes, but I'm allowed to plant things without asking. The land is theirs, but the homeowner is responsible for making the lot look nice and to maintain it that way.

  • Cheryl Cheryl on Jun 20, 2018
    Call me crazy, but I'd stay away from that tree.... the hostas sound GREAT!
    Focusing on the area not directly under the tree, but towards the edge. A bench would be a great addition, and maybe one of those cute free-book alcoves. Your corner looks like a major one, perhaps the park managers will work with you to get a bench (do they have a storage area that might have one?) If you're into your mobile community, pehaps they'd all contribute to make it sweeter for all. BTW, Goo-gone is great for removing sap......

    • Macanoodos Macanoodos on Jun 21, 2018
      I LOVE Goo Gone!!!! And I'll look into some of your suggestions. Thank you!

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Jun 20, 2018
    Hosts for shade only and ferns for texture. Be careful not to add ground cover that may be invasive. Add coral bells they come in different colors and leaves also add texture. See about adding some large bolder to make things look like are in a wooded area. Don't forget that you should always plant according to what the tag ststes. Hosts can really get big and fill up space nicely but they need the space and even though you can divide to strep your dollars you you end up the first couple of years with a sparse looking yard from all the division. I can recommend the Empress Wu. It's a beautiful hostage that grows large quickly and needs shade. It is my personal favorite. The thing can get up to 6 ft in diameter and has big leaves. It grows up and leaves stay up kinda looks tropical but I live in northern Illinois and I divided mine after first year and will divide once more just because I want three, I have the time in this home and it never looks small. I lovingly called it my queen before knowing it's real name I guess you can see by that, that it was very impressive. Embassy that area with gorgeous low maintenance shade plants.

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    • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Jun 22, 2018
      Your welcomed. And I can spell even though I attended Chicago public schools 😁 this tablet has a mind of its own. I'm glad you could make it out cause it looks awful to me. Yes the empress wu is unbelievable. It fits it's name and you will not be disappointed. Like I said it's my queen. And after one year I have a princess,come on, and it's huge so not much of and investment but you get this huge beautiful plant. 👌

  • Eloise Eloise on Jun 20, 2018
    Saw this pic here: (Planting under evergreens)

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    • Macanoodos Macanoodos on Jun 22, 2018
      I had to look up 'Japanese ferns' because I didn't recognize the name. Those are lovely ferns!!!!

  • Kelly-n-Tony Kelly-n-Tony on Jun 22, 2018
    It's actually a nice spot and I bet you can work some magic fairly easy using those short picket fences you have encircling the tree then filling in the fenced circle with ferns and hostas . Collect bird houses and feeders- check the dollar store, yard sales, etc --and hang them from the tree over the newly fenced area. Perhaps a bird bath too since you will be attracting birds. Rake your outlying mulch into that areas as well. Then further out from the circle remove any remaining old mulch and use pea gravel. It's not real expensive- no more then mulch. If you can collect some larger rocks use them in place of where you currently have the white picket fences (that you encircle the tree with). Within the pea gravel area set a bench or perhaps 2 chairs with a small table between.