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I am a very novice garderner and we have just had our garden 'done' by a landscaper. Now it's over to me to keep it looking nice! We have had an acer (cut leaf) planted in a circular patch of the front lawn, but the soil underneath it is bare and so is already getting scattered with weeds. I'm not sure what to do with it - plant bedding plants, put bark / gravel down? It needs to be low maintenance, and I would love some snowdrops next winter if possible. Any ideas? I don't know where to start!


I'm no tree expert but I didn't think you should plant under a new tree, just keep it weed & grass free. Sure someone on the forum will advise you. 

Oh! Now that's the first thing I would have done wrong, then. In that case, is there anything I can put down to stop the weeds appearing, or do I just need to keep hoeing it? Bought a new hoe today! Thanks for the reply. 


If you know someone with a clump of snowdrops they might give you, then split them up and spread around within the circle. They will flower in spring before the acer comes into leaf. I would put a mulch of home made compost or bark or cocoa shells down above it. this would not affect the snowdrops that would grow through it.

Okay, that sounds good. I'm not sure I know anyone with any snowdrops. Is it too late to buy them in the green?


Gardening Grandma

A few small spring bulbs would not hurt, but wouldn't have much effect on the weeds, either. The usual advice is to plant spring flowering plants below a tree so that they get flowering over with before the tree foliage arrives.

I have a largeish maple (about 6 feet) in my garden and find that whatever you plant seems to fight with the beautiful shape and foliage of the tree.


If you can get some in the green, then yes. I usually move/give away snowdrops once the foliage has died downand I accidentally dig them up

I've always founfdthey are fine so long as you replant immediately and don't let them dry out.

Failing that the garden centre sell little pots of them in late winter.

I wouldn't plant dried up bulbs sold in Autumn, they don't like being dried off.

Under and around my Acer I have little Viola, they grow really well and compliment the colour of the leaves.


The advice is good there Munzle. I'd concentrate on looking after the Acer till it's well established- make sure it doesn't dry out initially and keep the weeds at bay with a good mulch so that there is no competition for nutrients. In autumn plant some little early flowering bulbs - they would be ideal. Acers are lovely and it's nice to let them show themselves off!

Plant Brunnera Jack Frost there.  It has lovely silvery leaves with sky blue flowers and is evergreen.  After floweriing ...flowering now....cut back with shears and it will quickly grow again and flower again late summer. Or, plant geranium flowers all summer and with foliage that smothers any weeds.  Or geranium Ann Folkard with yellowish leaves and Magenta flowers all summer.

Snowdrops best planted " in the green". .still with foliage.  Bulbs are not worth buying. Or buy them growing in little pots and plant these out.  

Water really well after planting and mulch ...use multi purpose compost or bark chips


Get a couple of pots of Muscari (Grape Hyacinths)they have a beautiful blue flower and will finish as your Acer is coming into this moment in time i would simply cover the area under the tree with pea shingle or decorative slate chips.Happy gardening..

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