Sunday, October 12, 2008

Nature abhors a vacuum...

...and I abhor a monoculture lawn.

We have a small front lawn. It is worthless, we do not use it. It is heavily shaded, bordered on the South by jack pines, the West by black locusts, the East by quaking aspen, and the North by the house. It is approximately square, about 2000 sq ft. We want to put garden in there, or perhaps something else. Whatever it is needs to be shade tolerant.

One option is to kill the grass and re-seed it with a shade tolerant prairie mix (we are planning to put prairie out into the field as well...)

Or, we can design some sort of ordered garden. What say you, readers? Good suggestions for plants/gardens for the front yard? See the pic of the house in the sidebar of the blog to see what the yard looks like...


  1. Does your house have gutters? You could have an awesome rain garden- and plant it with shade tolerant things like ferns, etc.

  2. I second the ferns idea - christmas fern, while I am not sure if it is native to the midwest, is pretty tolerant of dry conditions if the rain garden thing doesn't work out.

  3. Grasses, Grasses! a few are shade tolerant, grow big, fast....Ferns are good. Hosta of course, the Big ones. Some don't mind a little sun. but don't forget Donna Reed in the Hydranga Bush!

  4. These are great ideas.

    Another note - off to the side of the yard under the locust trees is the only place in the yard where we do get the native spring blooming wild flowers - lots of spring beauty and trout lilies pop up over there.