View Full Version : Need Ideas for This Wooded Area

Darryl G
05-02-2003, 08:40 PM
Hi Guys. I have a customer who is looking for LOW MAINTENANCE ideas for what to do with this wooded area imbedded in the front yard. They want the trees to remain. I brush hogged it about a year ago for them, but they want to improve the looks more.

There are quite a few rocks in it, and you can see the field stone wall on the side toward the house. The brown in the area is just fallen leaves which they never remove (and constantly blow back onto the lawn.

The customer suggested pachysandra, which should take because the area is moist and shaded. I was thinking pachysandra with some ferns around some of the rocks and maybe some azaleas or something. Seems like an awful large area to plant pacysandra in though.

They don't want anything too formal or requiring mulching/weeding (they have several of those beds in the back). The property is in CT and the climate is fairly moderate because it's only a couple miles from the coast.

What do you think? Thanks in advance for any replies.

Darryl G
05-02-2003, 08:42 PM
Ooops, guess the photo would help, LOL.

P.S. - The photo was taken looking generally South.

05-02-2003, 09:01 PM
Put a couple of Azelias and Rhod'es and what you sugested plus put BLACK mulch down it would look great with that colored home! Even though they dont want mulch see if you can sell or put red crushed stone down instead.

Darryl G
05-02-2003, 09:14 PM
Landscaper3 - Thanks for the quick reply. I'm probably gonna have to put some mulch down anyway until the Pachy gets established. How about some PJs or PMJs along the wall so they get some sun.

It doesn't show up well, but there's a lot of brush in there that I'll have to rip out. Clean-up/hauling will take a while....the area's bigger than shown.

Got Grass?
05-02-2003, 09:53 PM
hard to tell from the picture.
Would it be possible to grass in the big open center part, to break it up a bit & make the beds your thinking about with the rest? Seems like an awfully big area to maintain a ground cover in.
YOu said thay don't want mulch, I'm assuming it's becasue of the ammount an area like that would need & the cost. Would it be possible to sell them on cheep wood chips instead?

Darryl G
05-02-2003, 11:42 PM
There's quite a few rocks in there, probably ledge. I don't think they want any more lawn, but not a bad idea.

My wife wants to use murtle instead of Pachy and put some mountain laurels in.

On a side note, there were apparently a lot of boulders in the existing lawn area that were filled around. While I was mowing today, a whole about three feet across and about 18 inches deep suddenly gave way under the right rear tire of my WB. Sunk it real good. Wished I'd had an electric clutch because in the time it took me to disengage the manual one the blades ate a good bit of dirt. NO WAY I could power out of it but I somehow managed to lift the mower out by myself by lifting the front of the deck and walking it out. Luckily no damage to the machine or me.

05-03-2003, 12:21 AM
Your in the woods, stick with plants that grows in the woods. I'd add some native trees and shrubs that make the ugly island look even more like the woods. Get your garden books out and look up Shadblow, Mountain Laurel, Maximum Rhododendron, Canadian Hemlock, Redbud, Fothergilla, Red Twig Dogwood, Flowering Dogwood (Native).

Hope this helps and sends you in the right direction. Explain to your client how you plan on keeping the natural look of the woods while "enhancing" it.

Good luck from a fellow CT Landscaper.

05-03-2003, 12:21 AM
Just call up a tree service, tell them you want a couple truck loads of chips. You get the product for free, spread it down right over the leaves and get paid. This fall, blow the leaves right on top of the mulch, next year... more chips.

Darryl G
05-03-2003, 12:55 AM
JW - The customer had me run all that stuff over with my brush hog last year! It's growing back now but he doesn't want it. I've got areas like that on my property. I let all the clethra (sp?), service berry, native azelas, sweet fern, native blueberries and bayberry grow and rip out what I don't like (bittersweet, PI, greenbrier, multiflora rose and autumn olive).

FB - Only problem with that is all the brush in there.

I think they're looking for something a little more "neat" looking since it's in the front of the house, but they don't want a formal garden-type look.

05-03-2003, 07:38 PM
I would consider building a raised natural stone wall, with a meandering path thruout the woods with a small sitting area near the stone wall. Install some Rhodies, a few Vibs, maybe a few Hemlocks. Install a nice Arbor also.

05-03-2003, 11:42 PM
For my two cents... if the area is actually shady, I would consider large grouping of hosta large leaf variety with solid coloring. along with astilbe near by. Ferns can really look great also.I would stick with some large leaf ones though. I also think that if cost wasn't an issue, a couple of large boulders with moss growing on the would look nice interspersed randomly. As far as the rhodedendrons go, I think that PJMs would look nice but don't over do it. If you preffered a lower growing sort of look, consider some dwarf varieties,they spead out nicely and give sort of a carpeted look. Hope this at least gives you some Ideas.

Darryl G
05-04-2003, 12:08 AM
GrazerZ and Harleyman - I think we're getting there now.

Hosta's should do well in the interior portion along with ferns. There are some decent sized rocks in there (nothing I'd call a boulder though) which should do. I doubt they'd want to haul any in.

I think they need some color in there. I'd put it in on the far side near the stone wall. All they have are the evergreens in front of the house.

I like the path and arbor idea... would break it up some...not sure they'd use a sitting area but would probably look nice. Wolly adelgids (sp) are a real problem in this area with hemlock, so not sure they'd be a good idea. I've got a bizzillion maple leaf Vibs on my propety...I should probably dig some up and sell them rather than running them over with the bush hog.

Too shady for something like blue rug juniper, right?

dan deutekom
05-04-2003, 10:00 AM
For a ground cover you could also consider Vinca. I would also throw in a lot of Daffodils which will multiply like crazy and give a really nice spring show for not much money or work.

05-04-2003, 10:06 AM
All the replies sound good,but,they aren't really cheap and thats what you said the customer wants. I would suggest cleaning out the leaves,put down simazine,and apply wood chips.

Darryl G
05-07-2003, 12:36 AM
Here's a design I came up with. This should give the customer some idea of how much better it could look.

What do you think?

Thanks again for all the replies so far.


05-07-2003, 04:00 PM
Darryl what town is that house in it looks familiar and what program did you use to create the last pic?

Darryl G
05-08-2003, 12:50 AM
The house is in Westbrook, CT. I used the photo garden desinger in Sierra's Complete LandDesigner software. It's pretty basic but a start.