One of the important premises of gardening organically is planting the right plant in the right place. One of the more common complaints we hear is that the grass will not grow under trees. Just try to live one summer in north Texas without a tree in the yard! So instead of complaining and instead of trimming trees so far up that they no longer resemble a tree, plant understory trees, shrubs, perennials and shade-loving groundcovers.
The blossoms of a Mexican plum in the springtime will delight you as will the exquisite foliage of a Japanese maple in the fall. Oakleaf hydrangea and American beautyberry are easy-care native shrubs. Columbines provide color in the spring, the red “fez” of the Turk’s cap invites hummingbirds in the summer and the yellow bloom of ligularia adds color to the fall shade garden. Fill in with autumn, holly and wood ferns, inland sea oats, ophiopogon, liriope, sweet violets and horseherb and you will no longer complain about “nothing” growing under your tree!