I have been a little under the weather this week, and so have not done too much gardening. I have been on the couch in my family room under a blanket, looking at something that needs to change…..and reading gardening blogs and magazines dreaming of possibilities.
Outside my family room window, there is a width of about 12 feet of patio – 25 feet in length. Our BBQ and patio table are there bookended by 2 Garden sheds. We pulled up an old deck last fall, and replaced the wood with concrete pavers.
We replaced the lattice privacy fence that is there (we had a raccoon family living behind it ) . The fence is 9 feet in height, and we really need the privacy in this spot. While we tidied up the fence and patio, the whole area is drab and boring. Three mature Norway Maples tower over the area, and provide complete shade from May through October. We cannot cut them as they are on the property line, and shade the neighbours’ non-air-conditioned house.
So the whole area needs to be brightened up. This fall we will stain the lattice fence in an off white opaque stain. I have purchased 2 flower baskets and some flower pots for the area, but I just threw some odds and ends in them for now. These are the “leftover flower boxes” – i had some Nasturtium seeds, a leftover geranium, mint, sedum, etc. (I always have sedum to spare). As there is NO sunlight, blooms have been minimal. These planters are also difficult to water, as they are eight feet in the air.
Taking some inspiration from a photo below, I am going to attempt next year to plant different shades of green with white accents. Chartreuse plants, dark green ivy. Repetition is important too. While this planter is supposed to be 15 feet across, and my two planters are each 2.5 feet across, the concept of repetition will still work and give some symmetry.
In these boxes, I may manage 3 repeats each, depending on the plant size. I always prefer perennials, to help fill out my boxes, and then I fill in with a few annuals, and something I have on hand is always awesome.
I may try – Angelina Sedum or some Variegated Lemon Thyme. The sedum that’s currently in the boxes has a plain green foliage – but the Angelina has a nice Chartreuse, and the Lemon thyme has some gold and white.
While the sedum and thyme enjoy sun or partial shade, it’s worth a try to put them in these mostly shade boxes. I may consider some hosta in the boxes, but with their limited watering, I think maybe not!.
I also have plenty of Boston Ivy in my project area – which may add some colour. The inspiration box is filled with “ivy ball topiary, chartreuse coleus, and white caladium” – Better Homes and Gardens – June 2019 – designer – Kelly Megeath.
In the spring, I may purchase some English Ivy for the dark trailing foliage, and I may even try some Caladium. I’m more likely though to add some Golden Creeping Jenny – I don’t have any currently, but have had it in the past, with lots of luck.
I’m not sure what to do about the white flowers yet. Do you have any thoughts? I have all winter to stew about it – but I had better get the fence painting done before it’s too cold! I’m off to Lowes now.