Landscaping & Design/GROWING UNDER HEMLOCKS

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Question
Marc, hi I have a row of 10 Hemlocks which I use for privacy. I Would like to put plants or something in front , sides to block  the  4 foot gap between the ground and the bottom of the Hemlock. The area is shady and located on LI NEW YORK.  Finnally if possible a plant that lasts all year and will spread near and around trees.  I appreciate all of your help Thank You Ken

Answer
Hi Ken - Since I don't know the exact space you are working with (a palatial beachfront or a cozy condo), I'll give you lots of resources to choose from:

Cornell University Cooperative Extension compiled a list of shade-loving NY-proven performers in the 70s, here:
https://ecommons.library.cornell.edu/bitstream/1813/3278/2/Shrubs%20for%20Landscape%20Plantings%20in%20New%20York%20State.pdf

Take note of their recommended “small” shrubs (3-6’), such as Rhododendrons (like the Costal Azalea-Rhododendron atlanticum), Mahonia, Currant (Ribes species), and  Viburnum.

In addition, I'd recommend Hydrangea, Azalea, Japanese Maple, Liriope, Astilbe, or perhaps Bluebells (Mertensia).  More found here: http://www.backyardgardener.com/shade/zone6.html

In 2010, the Examiner did an article about shade plants for Long Island, recommending a few good performers for your area: http://www.examiner.com/article/plants-for-shade-gardens

NY City Parks recommends a few shade-tolerant plants for Long Island as well: http://www.nycgovparks.org/greening/greenbelt-native-plant-center/garden-species

Finally, the folks at Hick’s Nursery (hicksnurseries.com) have been on Long Island for over 150 years, and would know what specific varieties might work best for your area and situation.

Hope it helps ~M

ps. Rhododendrons & Azaleas do well in the acidic soil typically found under Hemlocks.  

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Marc Chapelle, RLA

Expertise

I am a licensed Landscape Architect. I can answer general questions about style and design, give you ideas and suggestions for site amenities, help with larger site-planning issues, or perhaps give guidance for recreational amenities & park design. IF YOU ARE GOING TO ASK FOR A PLANT SUGGESTION GO HERE: http://www.growit.com/PlantInfo/LandScape.htm I prefer you ask somebody else why your petunias are not as perky as they should be; I'd LOVE to tell you how those petunias can increase your home's value!

Experience

20+ years of working with homeowners, contractors, developers and local civil engineering/architecture firms. I am located in the dry Great Basin area (Greater Nevada/Utah), so the use of landscape materials OTHER than plants is emphasized. As a licensed Landscape Architect I've worked on both the East and West Coasts.

Organizations
ASLA (ASLA.org)

Education/Credentials
BSLA in Landscape Architecture,Licensed in NV, CA, & VA - but can answer Q's across the country Many additional seminars, educational venues, and classes (both taught & attended)

Awards and Honors
Best Multifamily project, Reno/Sparks Builder's Association Best Model Home Landscaping, Reno/Sparks Builder's Association

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