Suggestions for an impossible site!!

garyfla_gw(10 Florida)April 6, 2013

Have a bed next to the house on the NW side bordered by drive and sidewalk. Complicated by windows only 15 inches above the ground . It is 4x5 feet. Receives sun for about 15 minutes on the summer solstice otherwise shaded by both a tree and roof overhang.
Anything permanent i can put there?? have tried many types but mostly get too tall ,too aggresive or won't grow lol
Have been growing winter annuals but this requires constant replacement .
Had great hopes for Amazon lily but they grow like weeds everywhere but there!! lol
I'm tempted to cover with gravel and forget it!! lol
Thanks for some ideas!! gary

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stuartwanda(N. Stuart)

Gary, I have a piece lily (spathiphyllum) growing on the N. side of my home. It loves the summer there because it doesn't get any sun. Because it is inground it doesn't get as big or as tall in a pot. I would be glad to dig up some for you if your in Stuart sometime.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 3:42AM
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sounds like a perfect spot for colorful bromiliads .

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 7:22AM
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juneroses Z9a Cntrl Fl

Hester took the word right out of my mouth! Bromeliads.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 7:25AM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

I have an ornamental cardamom growing in an area that never gets any sun - or watering. Not too exciting, but lush & green & well-behaved (stays approx.18") & foliage has a nice scent when crushed.

In fact, I think many gingers do fine in deep shade, but many need more watering than the cardamom, IMPE.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 9:13AM
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I have similar areas around my house. One of them I planted Boston Fern, it stays short so it won't block your windows, and loves the shade. A few plants spread very quickly to fill the area. Another spot I put in a bed of marble chips, and put a number of large potted plants on it. It looks beautiful out the windows, but the ferns are less work. I'm always leaf blowing the gravel to keep it neat.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 7:41PM
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I cast my vote for bromeliads too!


    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 11:20PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Have tried both spathiphyllum and Boston fern. Croaked.
Funny because both are invasive evrywhere but there lol
Broms sound good!! Any suggestions on dry types??
i have about a dozen kinds in the backyard but are either epi or moisture demanding types
carol B Not familiar with that plant Does it produce the spice??
Thought about some of the gazillion types of succulents/cactus but not sure which to choose as most have thorns, get large or need lots of sun. Thanks for the help!!! gary

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 4:56AM
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Rhoe tricolor - I love this plant. Grows from full sun to full shade. Doesn't like to be too dry for too long, but can survive some dry-ness... Oyster-plant (similar). Peperomia. A lot of succulent ground covers would do well. Mosses.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 9:27AM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

The cardamom I have has never bloomed/produced seeds, but the leaves have a cardamom scent when crushed - I believe it's an ornamental variety. I got it @ the GreenThumb Festival here in St. Pete a number of years ago.

We have a lot of deep shade in our yard & no sprinkler system,we have both Boston & Royal ferns & bromeliads as well as sansevieria (snake plants) growing as ground covers - most needed regular watering until established, but now all subsist on rain only.

We also have, but I hesitate to recommend, basket plant(callisia) & an orange-flowered barleria - both spread rapidly & can become a nuisance to constantly pull; the callisia easily sprouts from every piece that falls to the ground & the barleria seems to sprout seedlings everywhere.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:41AM
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I have almost the same problem--exacerbated by a valley in the roof (water fall during rains), a Zone 9 climate (a freeze or two most winters), and the fact that the site is beside the front door--just where I want things to look nicest. A very difficult spot.

So I'm learning from this post--but still not sure what to do.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 9:37AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

I have that problem also but put up a gutter otherwise all the sand is on the sidewalk.
I tried a plumbago once and it covered the windows and walk and started for the drive . Did grow well thoughlol
Right now there is a bit of monkey puzzle and some volunteer mexican petunias lol
Checking out those broms . I have some of the gray type
with pink flowers that need transplanting so that will be my next experiment lol Good luck with yours gary

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 1:54AM
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Are there bromeliads that can take both full sun AND full shade? I have a spot on the north side of my house that gets full sun from early April till about September, and in Nov., Dec., Jan. and Feb. is in full shade. I'm tired of planting stuff there every few months, would like to put in plants that can take the full range, from full sun to full shade. And it would help if they don't grow taller than a couple of feet.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 8:31AM
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lac1361(z9a Lake Charles, LA)

Gary, I have a spot in my yard that is very much like yours. I would love to grow broms in my landscape but it gets too cold for me most winters. I am growing two alpinia gingers that are short, say 1 foot or less, and very hardy: Alpinia Japonica (peppermint stick ginger) and Alpinia Pumila (very nice leaves). They are hard to find. These are not plants that are in cultivation widely. I got mine in a trade with a friend from Gainesville who used to post on this forum quite a bit years ago. There are a couple of internet nurseries that sell these gingers.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 4:46PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

Spider plants, Caladiums-maybe, Spaths,houseplants, begonias, and impatiens.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 6:37PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

I grow almost all my gingers in pots due to winter dormancy. Those that don't go dormant get WAY to big lol
Will check those out though Thanks.
Zackey Too dry for spider, spaths, begonias. Caladiums are winter dormant while impatiens can't handle summer lol. Was hoping to find something for year around that will handle the conditions without eating the sidewalk or blocking the windows with no supplemental irrigation . Thanks gary

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 4:47AM
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Inspired by this post, I tried an arrangement of lime rocks, pebbles, and driftwood in my difficult site. I'm experimenting with terracotta pots with shade lovers (begonias, at the moment) tucked here and there between the rocks. . . It needs some fine tuning but I like the feel--so far. I tied a native airplant onto the driftwood. . .

Good luck with yours, too, Gary. I hope the broms work well for you.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 8:38AM
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