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Shady sloping backyard in Los Angeles - ideas?
July 21, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Our backyard is giving me trouble. It's nice and shady, which is great in the long, hot LA summer. But the shade severely limits our planting choices, since we generally prefer things like kangaroo paws, succulents, flax etc. The thing that really stumps me, though, is whether its possible / practical to plant anything to provide visual interest under the lovely old tree growing in front of the back fence. I would consider a low retaining wall under the tree's drip line, but the tree roots are extensive and located on, or just under, the soil surface. Would installing a very low retaining wall in this area hurt the tree? Another problem is that the soil here is heavy clay -- I'd like to amend the soil to improve drainage and plant health, but again fear that amending the soil would disturb tree roots too much.