Plants For Under a Deck

by Laura
(Cincinnati)

Under A Deck Garden - After

Under A Deck Garden - After

Laura wants to know what to plant under her deck.


What do you suggest to do with dead grass area under new deck? The ground is very level and we have already done a brick paver sidewalk toward a paver patio next to our waterfall/pond. I don't want to do more pavers, but something easier that looks nice. The deck is 20'x15' and is 10' off the ground (easy to walk under).

ANSWER
Hi Laura,
You have a perfect situation for a shade garden. You can plant lots of Ferns and Hosta to make it very lush. You might also like to add groundcover such as Pachysandra, Ivy or Vinca. Adding hanging plants from the upper deck boards is fun too.

Whatever you plant, do it in groups of a variety. For example, plant a group of 5 to 7 Ferns and then a group of Hosta. You can use different types of Ferns and Hosta for each group for interest.

Hosta and Ferns are perennials. If you want to add some evergreen shrubs, consider Leucothoe.

For other ideas on shade perennials, take a look here: Shade Perennials

**Note** The above picture is the completed garden! Thanks, Laura! It looks great.The only thing I might suggest is some edging. You could use steel edging (very unobtrusive), pavers on edge, or some natural stones/small boulders.

Comments for Plants For Under a Deck

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Aug 03, 2011
Under the Deck garden
by: Laura

I have a lovely garden under my deck now. I get many compliments from friends and neighbors and want to share some pictures.

From Susan

Laura,
Thanks so much for letting me know! If you go to the Ask a Question page, you can just write a bit about your garden and post pictures there. I'll try to add them to this thread. I'm looking forward to seeing the photos of your "under the deck" garden!

Nov 16, 2009
Plants or Stone
by: Susan

Hi Laura,
It could be that you are getting ruts because there is no grass with roots to absorb it. If you go with plants, a good soil mix, and mulch, the water should seep down into the ground and ruts will not be a problem.

However, if you don't want to use plants, I think a nice pea gravel would work. It would create a textured contrast to the pavers. Another stone you could use would be the small or medium size river rock, which is very pretty.

If there are areas where the pea gravel or river rock does not join the pavers and abuts other lawn or planting beds, I would suggest putting in an edging to hold it. Steel edging works well and is inexpensive, but you could also get creative and use the same concrete pavers on edge.

Nov 16, 2009
stone/gravel instead of plants?
by: Laura

Rain water thru the deck causes long rows of ruts. If I don't go with the plants and lots of mulch, what other ideas do you have with stone/gravel?

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"Susan,  what a pleasure it was to work with you.  You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly!  Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant.  You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes.  Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"
Helen, Ontario-Canada 

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