Landscaping a Shady Corner

by Pat Steele
(Vernon, MI)

Shady Corner Near Driveway

Shady Corner Near Driveway


I have a photo of the corner of our home that is a mess. We used to park a fold-out camper there and it had stones covering the area but due to time and years the stones have worn away and its very ugly. This is facing the north-west and is shade most of the day. No one sees this area unless someone is in the back yard or pulls down the driveway.
Thank you for any suggestions!

Gayle and Pat Steele

Ideally, I would place shrubs along the foundation. If this area is seldom seen, you really don't need evergreen shrubs. Some deciduous shrubs with pretty flowers would be nice. If you decide you do want evergreen shrubs (or even use them for one of the groupings) take a look at my Ebook on these types of shrubs for great ideas. You might have a group at each end working towards the center, matching on both sides. I would then put a different group going around the interior corner.

I would then place perennials for color in front of the shrubs. Here are some perennials you might consider.

Add an ornamental tree, such as a River Birch or even a Flowering Dogwood (I would assume they are hardy where you live, but I haven't checked).
See my book on Trees which have many varieties, pictures and even the tree planting zones.

I would then add Pachysandra or Myrtle (evergreen) ground cover in front of this. The balance could be lawn or your could have ground cover over the rest of the entire area to reduce mowing.

You could also use perennial ground covers for the shade instead of Pachysandra or Myrtle. Although they don't look like much in the winter, many flower and have interesting foliage. Some I really like are Lamium (especially White Nancy or Beason Silver because they brighten up dark areas)
and Epimendium with its' heart shaped leaves and nice fall color). Here is a picture on my Pinterest page.

Hope this helps!

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