The garden is located in a suburban neighborhood of a rapidly developing town in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Unlike most of the newer neighborhoods nearby, many mature trees were left when it was built, which is nice, but it also means the biggest gardening challenge for me is sunlight. Over the years, I have tried to fit in sun-loving plants where possible, but they were always limited in growth and productivity. In early 2020, I had two 50-60 foot loblolly pines removed and began to create a garden in the previously wild area of my backyard. It is still shady and there is tree work still to be done for a productive vegetable garden. I am also working on finding better adapted plants that look great and provide habitat in the areas that will remain shady.
The map above shows the current garden conditions. The trees displayed as canopy will likely remain, the others, shown as simple brown dots are all candidates for removal. Many of these are large pines, some Sweetgum and a couple of maples. Since they have grown so tightly together for so long, the canopy is rather high so there is sunlight coming in, just not enough! The neighbors to the South and South East also have heavily shaded backyards and that has a big impact, particularly through the winter months.