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

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:

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:

In 2010, the Examiner did an article about shade plants for Long Island, recommending a few good performers for your area:

NY City Parks recommends a few shade-tolerant plants for Long Island as well:

Finally, the folks at Hick’s Nursery ( 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


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: 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!


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.


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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