Can you suggest an evergreen to plant beside my deck?
Lynne M. Holland, Horticulture and Social Media Professional
First of all, I am going to send along a recommendation to consult this chapter from our manual for some in-depth information on the things that I am going to recommend or some inspiration if my choices don’t fit what you have in mind. It is called “Plants for the Maine Landscape“.
Facing North and West means a tough exposure in the winter and a little more gentle summer exposure. It appears in the picture that there seems little shade, but not much direct sun, that area in the summer and no direct sun in the winter. That means broadleaf evergreens will be pretty happy and not be subject to sunscald or heaving in the winter. Covering the bottom of the deck area means shorter plants (under 36″) and a lot of them. I would actually suggest doing some “layers” of plants with one taller plant or shorter tree on the side of the deck facing North and close to the corner. Odd numbers create a more natural look so use them where possible. I would also suggest native plants generally and perhaps a couple of deciduous berry plants as well. Lastly having s taller plant near the Corner of the deck will give you some privacy and break the wind from the Northeast. A ground cover or a good layer of mulch will prevent weeds from creeping under the deck. This will have to be pretty dense to keep weed pressure down. Lastly, next fall consider adding in some bulb plants around the perimeter, shorter, more hardy bulbs like muscari, snowdrops, and species of tulips for early spring interest.
On the plan there are four types of plants, here are some options:
- Broadleaf Evergreen- Sheep Laurel (Kalmia angustifolia), Andromeda (Pieris japonica), Canadien Yew (Taxus canadensus)
- Small Berry- Wild blueberry, Bearberry, Running Serviceberry (see Bulletin #2500)
- Small Tree or Medium Shrub planted 10′ from deck-Witch Hazel, Striped Maple or Pagoda Dogwood
- Ground cover-For shady areas the options are a little limited, (see Bulletin #2500 for some ideas)
I have gone heavy to the native plants as they require less “babying” and should be able to handle the harsher winter conditions.