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Lynch 04-18-2010 09:43 PM

Landscaping ideas under a large Pine

We purchased our house last summer and in the front yard we have a rather large 30+ foot Pine tree in our front yard. At first we thought about cutting it down but instead decided to limb it up about 6 feet to give more visibility for our front yard and house. Now we are left with a large empty area below the tree that I'm not quite sure what to do with. I'd like to put some kind of edging around it with some mulch and maybe plant some hostas. I'm looking for other ideas on what I can do at the base of the tree. Below is the best picture I can find at the moment.

Thanks for any help!

Bill7 04-20-2010 03:42 PM

I think a block/brick colored edging with colored landscape rock would look nice. Not sure what grows under pines/spruces.

Lynch 04-21-2010 08:37 AM

I was thinking of doing some kind of edging basically around where you can see there is no growth under the tree. And then filling it with a shallow layer of mulch and then maybe planting some hostas (would those survive?).

Any other ideas?

gma2rjc 04-21-2010 06:25 PM

I was thinking the same thing Lynch. Some edging, a layer of mulch and some Hostas.

I've seen them growing under Pine trees before. They always look nice. Another plant that looks nice, once it fills in, is Bugleweed (Ajuga). Azalea's, Impatiens and Rhododendrons seem to do well under Pine trees too.

zacker 04-23-2010 02:00 PM

google shade gardening.. and thing large rocks and stones for ground cover .. it will look nice

downunder 04-23-2010 07:59 PM

For what it's worth, I don't think that is a pine. As best I as can see it's either a spruce or hemlock. Not that it makes a lot of difference, but...

I would:
1. Raise the canopy several more feet to about gutter level.
2. Remove the ? shrub from in front of the window.
3. Bring the bed along the front of the house about 3-5 wide and connect it to the area under the pine.
4. After 2 and 3, plant some smaller shrubs along the front of the house- maybe smaller azalea variety such as Kurume or Satsuki or hawthorne.
5. Either have just shrubs for #4 or have a perennial bed in front of the shrubs.
6. Hostas would look nice under the tree as already mentioned.


google shade gardening
May I suggest "dry shade?" Any substantial tree is going to suck up the water first and some "shade" plants are more suited to boggy areas.

I would also consider removing the Leyland ? from the right side of the door. After that, I would plant matching (smaller) shrubs on either side of the door.

gma2rjc 04-23-2010 09:36 PM

downunder's plan would look beautiful. :yes:

Lynch 04-23-2010 10:15 PM

Great ideas so far guys, thanks much. Below is a newer picture we took late last summer. The other one is how it looked when we bought the house last May. Everything looks pretty much the same as the first picture at this point. We removed the tree to the right side of the door and added a limelight hydrangea and another plant in it's place (sorry, I'm horrible with plant names). I do like the idea of limbing up the tree to the gutter line. Getting rid of the rhodendrum (sp?) bush in front of the window may take some convincing to my wife. Joining the front bed with the under of the pine may work too. I'm just not sure at this point what to use for edging/border around the tree. Any ideas on that would be helpful. Thanks!

Scuba_Dave 04-23-2010 10:43 PM

If you limb the tree up further the rhody may fill in more & look better
While they are shade plants its been deprived of (most) sun for years
I've picked up free bricks & use those for edging

House looks much better
I think I'd put a garden down each side of the walkway

downunder 04-24-2010 02:40 PM

I can appreciate the concern for the rhody; I'm just not particularly fond of any shrub blocking a window like this one does. That said, I would consider moving it to the the right side/front corner about where the hose cart is. Architecturally it could soften that corner as well as screening the view to the houses behind you.

Maybe move the hydrangea to the left of the fireplace between those two windows.

Nice touch on the pair flanking the steps! :thumbup:

A little out of the box, but I would extend the walkway to the curb.


what to use for edging/border around the tree
Are you thinking a ring around the bed or do you want to fill in the area with plants?

Lynch 04-26-2010 09:57 AM

Good ideas DownUnder/Scuba_Dave, much appreciated. Regarding the Rhody, I think we're going to leave it where it is as the window that it's blocking is our bedroom window and we like the added privacy that it provides. Also, once I limb up the pine to gutter level (as Scuba_Dave recommended) I think it will offer some more sun for the Rhody.

The sidewalk is an odd thing. It must have been added a long time ago with the intention of meeting up with a sidewalk along the street. There's quite a few houses in the neighborhood that have the same thing..basically a sidewalk that goes nowhere. We were thinking of just totally removing it and adding a walk to the driveway as most people walk to the front door this way. I do like the idea of adding a garden on each side of the sidewalk for now, however.

As far as edging around the tree, I'm thinking of doing something similar to the picture below. Altough, Instead of just 1 layer of edging, I'd like to add at least 3 layers, fill in with dirt, plant some hostas around the tree and then add some mulch to the top. Think that will work, or will it starve the pine?

Thanks again!

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