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Home » Houston Landscaping Design » How to Deal with Shady Areas That Won’t Grow Grass
How to Deal with Shady Areas That Won’t Grow Grass


Many Houston yards are plagued with shady areas that won’t grow grass.  These areas are eyesores that diminish the curb appeal of the entire property.  As much of a problem as this is, there are many different solutions that can be implemented that will turn these dead areas into thriving realms of new life.

There are also ways to use inorganic elements to add décor in places that may not need vegetation for aesthetic enhancement.  Because Houston landscaping requires a blend of both softscape and hardscapes elements, there are always more than one option you can choose.

One way to decorate shady areas where grass won’t grow is to invest in special patio designs withtree preservation in mind.
In some cases, concrete, stone, or brick patios are not an option.  If a patio made from these harder surfaces is built too close to a large tree, it will require cutting into the root zone and damaging major roots simply to lay the patio foundation.  Also, over time, the tree roots will grow up from the bottom and press against the undersurface, causing further stress to the tree.

Gravel is the best material to use for building patios in these shady areas that won’t grow grass beneath trees.  Gravel and trees have existed side by side for millions of years and have no problem getting along.  Gravel provides natural drainage which is actually good for the tree.  It also gives humans a good walking surface and can be decorated with drought resistant plant life, outdoor furniture, art, and even a custom fountain.

If you have a lot of trees that are very large and growing very close together, then you may want to consider creating a miniature forest scene in this part of your yard.

There are two ways you can do this.  You can have us build you a rock garden under the trees, or you can have us build you a moss garden

Rock gardens make shady areas that won’t grow grass look very true to nature.  We almost always see outcroppings of rocks under trees all over the world.  You do need a professional, however, to create this scene for you.  Putting the wrong sized rocks in the wrong places can damage tree roots just as much if not more than a concrete slab.  Also, you have to arrange them too look natural, which may not be as easy as you think.

Covering the rocks with moss creates almost a fairy tale effect under your large oaks.  You can have a custom fountain with as small graveled seating area added here to create your own custom meditation or prayer garden in the dappled sunlight filtering down from the leaves above.

Keep in mind that moss gardens also thrive in other shady areas that won’t grow grass.  You may have a no grow zone on one side of your home that is caused by your house blocking sunlight.  This is a great place to have us plant interesting, exotic species of moss that have just as much color and variety as normal garden plants.

Not everyone in Houston wants to aim for a wilderness theme in their yard, however.  Some very formal landscapes require a deliberately manmade look.  If you want to do something sophisticated with a shady area that won’t grow grass, you can always have us build you a putting green using artificial turf.

It doesn’t matter if your guests like to play golf or not.  Everyone can enjoy putting around on the green during your next outdoor dinner party, and you can work on your stroke at your leisure in the shade when you want time alone in your yard.

This article was published on Thursday 19 May, 2011.

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