[personal profile] tellezara posting in [community profile] gardening
Hi guys! I found this comm via [site community profile] dw_news and hope you might be able to advise me.

We moved house last October. The back garden is enclosed and doesn't get a huge amount of sun. It is mostly paved with some raised beds, so we've planted some shade loving greenery. In the centre is a very sad token patch of lawn (with bald patches) measuring about 2 x 1.5m. We want to dig this out and turn it into a Zen garden - I was going to put down weed mat with sleepers on the sides and fill with white gravel. But now my husband quite likes the idea of having a small tree in the centre of this. I'm a bit iffy about this due to the small space but I don't know enough about gardening to have a proper justification for my unease.

1) Are there any good tree types for a shaded garden, that don't grow large but don't require the daily upkeep of bonsai?

2) Is 2x1.5m enough space for tree roots without them going under and distorting the paving if I plant the tree in the ground??

3) How can I have a tree but still keep the weed mat down?

Thanks for any advice you can give!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-19 08:27 am (UTC)
dirtygreatknife: (Country road)
From: [personal profile] dirtygreatknife
You could get a dwarf variety of a cherry tree and grow it in a pot--the roots will stay in the pot and if you take care of the tree (watering, feeding, pruning) it should be fine and not get too tall.

Some info: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/information-dwarf-weeping-cherry-trees-60767.html
http://www.fruit.usask.ca/dwarfsourcherries.html

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-19 10:35 am (UTC)
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
I was just going to suggest this as one option.

If you want to plant directly in the ground, you can just cut a hole through the weed mat. Picking something with a dwarf rootstock will let you control the size without needing bonsai-type upkeep, whether in a container or not.

But a container will give you total control and obviously also make it easy to remove if it doesn't work out or you change your mind.

Google found me this:

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/shade-loving-trees-for-small-spaces-188420

Some more options among those listed here:

http://www.savvygardener.com/Features/shade_gardening.html

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-19 10:44 am (UTC)
dirtygreatknife: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dirtygreatknife
Great minds think alike!

I went for cherries because the OP said she wanted to create a Zen garden and cherry trees seem to be prevalent and more easy to obtain as dwarf stock. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-19 05:45 pm (UTC)
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
At worst, if the soil is super-shallow, you can buy a suitably aesthetic-looking container and sit it on top of the gravel. You'll need to check what size of container you need for the tree's roots to be happy in, but it shouldn't have to be huge.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-20 02:35 pm (UTC)
cyprinella: Rosemary sprigs on a white background (rosemary)
From: [personal profile] cyprinella
If you're going to do containers and want to branch out a bit (ha) figs and blueberries also do well in containers. They're generally more shrub-like than a cherry tree would be (blueberries being literally bushes) but they're both species I can vouch for doing well in those circumstances. You might not getting any fruit in the shade but blueberries were originally understory plants anyway. Same with flowering shrubs like Azaleas. They'll bloom later than plants getting full sun but they will bloom eventually.

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