Spring Garden Tips

Landscapes and gardens for challenging situations

Landscapes and gardens for challenging situations

Along a Fence

We just put this fence in at the end of this last summer. I need some plant ideas to put in along the fence line. Perennials would be best. Also I have wet dry spots in certain areas. Right now there are only hostas under the cedar tree, 2 peonies, and a butterfly bush. Can you give me some ideas?

Beneath a Large Evergreen

What plants will grow beneath a large evergreen tree? The acid soil makes it hard to grow the usual natives that thrive in shade.

Beneath Oak Trees

I live in Forestville, CA. Can you recommend shrubs and flowers that will grow under the shade of our large oak trees? I don’t want to plant anything that will interfere with the trees’ roots.

Clay Soil

We built a house 3 years ago. Unfortunately we were left with no topsoil, just lots of clay. I have been amending the soil but the trees and shrubs are all rotting away.

Clay Soil

I live in Mequon, WI and my lot is heavy clay. Would it help to add wood ashes from my fireplace and lime to the soil to help my trees, shrubs and flowers grow?

Clay Soil

Everything I plant in my clay soil withers away. What plants will grow well in these conditions?

Complete Shade

My daughter has a problem growing grass in her Lutz, Florida front yard. It is in complete shade. We have hot, humid summers with temps in the 90s for about three or more months. She has seeded several times and nothing seems to grow. It is also an area that the children play in. Do you have any suggestions for her? The homeowner association is giving her flack and yet they have no suggestions for her. She is a single mother and finances are low. Is there something besides grass that would grow and withstand children running over it?


I have a dilemma - I can't find flowers for our two planters that are in full shade. Making it more difficult, we live in the desert, so it's hot during the day and cold at night. Do you know of container plants that will survive in these conditions?

Desert Garden

I’ve just about given up trying to cultivate in the alkaline soil of the Utah desert where I live. What will grow in these dry and windy conditions? I’d especially like to plant fruit- or nut-bearing trees that will attract birds.

Dry Shade Around Foundation

I have an area on the east side of my home in NW Iowa that is covered by our roof eaves. I don't want the garden to have anything too tall in it as it is right in front of some windows. The area is about 4' wide by 12' long. The last 4' of the long way does get a bit of sun... I did see something called a "yew" that I really liked and if that would work, I'd like to include it with other things.

Ask Melinda

Didn't find what you were looking for?
Search for related articles, video tips, podcasts and audio tips to help you answer your gardening question.

Still looking?

Post a question for Melinda to answer.


Search Melinda Myers Site