the climate of a very small or restricted area, especially when this differs from the climate of the surrounding area.
There are these terribly frustrating areas in yards that you just can't get things to grow. They are small little pockets or huge portions of your yard. They are blocked by trees, or peaks of roofs, or hidden by your whole home. Every yard has them and usually end of being the neglected area that is given up on.
But there is hope for step child of your property! Here are few tips to identify your microclimates, and most importantly figuring out what will grow there and look fluent to the rest of your landscape.
In Southeast Louisiana, because of the abundance of Oak trees, there are an abundance of microclimates that create landscaping challenges as we like to call them. Most areas underneath these canopies turn into bare dirt atrocities. You have tried to continue your sod underneath the trees with no success. St. Augustine can grow under the trees, but that's a different topic altogether for another time. Have you tried a ground cover like Mondo Grass, commonly known as monkey grass? This a great alternative to sod under trees and is very hardy and requires practically no maintenance. Throw some ferns in there while you're at it. Most ferns love full shade. Two of my favorites are the Autumn Fern and Australian Tree Fern.
Often times people have beds along their homes that have microclimates and they don't even know it. You have to figure out how much sun each individual section of the garden is getting. If a small portion of the section where your annuals are gets blocked by your home for most of the day, and only gets 2 hours of sunlight, then you have to adjust your plantings. Although most of the garden takes plants for full sun, you will have to figure a way to plant in the shaded area and make the garden cohesive. Try planting Begonias. There are several types of Begonia; some love shade and others love the sun. Or you can place different types of flowers in "chunks", or groupings, the whole length of the bed. For example, in the warm season, try planting in the sun: Angelonia, Vinca, then Celosia; and Impatiens for the shady area. This will give you a bright and vibrant annual bed all the way through.
There is always hope for every dark area of your yard. Just remember to identify it as a microclimate and figure out what your options are to bring it to life. Or, you can just call me and let me take a stab at it
To further research some of the plants we talked about in today's landscaping post, you can check them out here: