Perennially yours; the front yards and easeways of my street  by  Elizabeth Licata

Front lawns are the outliers where I live. With a dense, mature tree canopy that provides cool shade in these dog days of early July, there’s not much hope of maintaining a lush green sward of turfgrass. Oh, there are maybe two houses on the street where the sun has managed to break through and, clearly, a diligent weed ‘n’ feed program is being maintained, but by far the majority of properties don’t even try. Expect shrubs, gigantic hostas, aggressive ground covers, and the few flowering perennials that will accept the shade and all-pervasive surface roots. I used to curse these limiting conditions, but I’ve long since made my peace with them. It seems best to stick to the earlier tried-and-true varieties of many plants. My shrubs consist of Annabelle hydrangeas, h. quercifolia, some leucothoe, and a couple golden junipers. Perennials include athyrium ‘ghost’ which form a curving shrubbish line across the space, variegated polygonatum, brunnera, and lotsa, lotsa hosta. I am loving th..
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Perennially yours; the front yards and easeways of my street

Front lawns are the outliers where I live. With a dense, mature tree canopy that provides cool shade in these dog days of early July, there’s not much hope of maintaining a lush green sward of turfgrass. Oh, there are maybe two houses on the street where the sun has managed to break through and, clearly, a diligent weed ‘n’ feed program is being maintained, but by far the majority of properties don’t even try. Expect shrubs, gigantic hostas, aggressive ground covers, and the few flowering perennials that will accept the shade and all-pervasive surface roots. I used to curse these limiting conditions, but I’ve long since made my peace with them. It seems best to stick to the earlier tried-and-true varieties of many plants. My shrubs consist of Annabelle hydrangeas, h. quercifolia, some leucothoe, and a couple golden junipers. Perennials include athyrium ‘ghost’ which form a curving shrubbish line across the space, variegated polygonatum, brunnera, and lotsa, lotsa hosta. I am loving th..
Read More