landscaping suggestion for shady areas for sides of my house. Your advice is very much needed.

Hi There, My lawn (Kentucky Blue grass 70% and the rest is something else) is not growing very well on sides of my house. Both sides do not receive enough sunlight (maximum 1-2 hour/day). As a result I do have very thin lawn and one area is recently attacked by white powdery stuff ( I think it is mildew). I have decided to come up with a plan to fix my lawn problem once and for all. There are some options that I like to have your feedback 1- Use gravel on both sides, and kiss goodbye the lawn on both sides. 2- Use shade tolerant grass. This needs reseeding the grass.
I'd rather to have lush grass on both sides, however I am not sure if shade tolerant grass will give me thick lawn. If not, then I would take the first option. Please advise me of your suggestion. FYI, I am living in zone 3 in Canada.
thanks
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I'd plant dwarf mondo grass on both sides of the house and be done with it. It's low growing, shade loving, maintenance free, disease resistant, and always green. What more could you want?

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Try a ground cover instead of turf. Lamium maculatum comes to mind.
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My experience with shady lawn mixtures (Rye-red Fescue-Tall Fescue from Oregon) has not been viable here in Hawaii, zone 11.
Then, my experience with a ground cover that was billed as "almost fool proof" also was plowed under just this week.
I went the gravel route, but wished I had used bark instead.
The grass was from Wal-Mart, the cover was from a mail order catalogue. My suggestion would be to lurk in a local~ garden shop.
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says...

mine out of the rose and veggie gardens and replaced with lava rock. It'll cut the little #@$!% to death if they crawl across it :-).
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I had a problem area on the east side of my house. Not only was it on the east, but there is another house pretty close and some trees. I removed all the grass and replaced it with a walkway and plants. The walkway bisects the area and is flanked with shrubs and perennials. There are many great shade perennials and a smaller number of shrubs that can grow in shade. The walkway can be as simple as mulch or gravel or as grand as pavers, flagstone, or decorative concrete. I can't give you any good ideas for plants for zone 3, but you can see some pictures of the area I converted from grass to garden here:
http://groups.msn.com/laurelridgegardens/august42004.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoIDf8
http://groups.msn.com/laurelridgegardens/august42004.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoIDg3
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Vox Humana said , but you can see some pictures of the area I converted

Beautiful, Vox! You must be the envy of your neighborhood! Jackie
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Thanks! Strangely, many of my immediate neighbors are pretty nasty and ridicule me for my enthusiasm. There are others who stop by on their walks from other streets who say they plan their route so they can go past my house. I guess you can't please everyone so I just try to do what I think looks good.
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Your garden is beautiful!!!!! I would love to see more pictures. I'd be in the group to plan my walk...
Vox Humana wrote:

http://groups.msn.com/laurelridgegardens/august42004.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoIDf8
http://groups.msn.com/laurelridgegardens/august42004.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoIDg3
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There are lots of pictures on the website. http://groups.msn.com/laurelridgegardens
I need to delete some pictures so I can update the site with more current pictures.
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While I've near heard of gardeners being outright RIDICULED for going overboard on a hobby, certainly a part of the population is envirophobic & regards any fondness of the living world to be eccentric. I have gardened the streetside so walking along the sidewalk in front of my place requires pedestrians to pass between two gardens & for a few moments it will feel like they're in the woods. Most people obviously halove that & will saunter more slowly & occasionally bend to smell flowers, very occasionally to steal one. But there are a couple people I've seen repeatedly walk out into the street to avoid being "trapped" between the plants. Nor do they ever look up from their feet. Even gardeners have nature-phobic streaks such as in their deathly horror of chipmunks or moles or ants or weeds, so imagine how horrified of nature someone can be who doesn't even garden or understand the urge to garden.
From the photos looks like some pretty nice landscaping halfway between cottage/woodland & formal.
-paghat the ratgirl
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wrote:

Thanks. The landscaping just evolves. I try to make it more formal near the house and gradually get less formal towards the woods. I'm pretty new to this, so I have a lot of setbacks -- lots of trial and error. I'm starting to learn the value of structure and the difficulty of trying to grow things in dry shade.
I like to pick things up from the "hospital" table at nurseries -- the odd shrub for $5 that is past blooming that no one wants. I start some things from seed and cuttings, I always take donations from other gardeners even when I don't have a place to put the plant. I shop clearance sales from places like Spring Hill Nursery when they put everything that doesn't sell out in their catalog on sale for 50 cents or a dollar.
I know what you mean about people being phobic about insects. The neighbors are always dousing things with chemicals. I don't have the time or money for that and I have found that there are fewer problems when you don't use pesticides. I do use the occasional insecticidal soap or dormant oil product.
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