any ideas for a tough cool location?
I have some ideas for a less than wonderful location for my spring/summer flower plantings. It's a ground level patio/balcony on a north side of a large building. Main problems is it's almost completely in shade, secondly it has some ??? bug problems - mostly small brownish winged gnat like bugs and an army of spiders happily moving in to enjoy. I think the bugs are attracted by the night lights for the building entrance. I had time to clean the patio out a few times last year (we just moved in last spring), but I'm sure I can spend more time this year cleaning out the bugs if need be.
Ideas I am hoping to hear about:
Any tough durable plants that will survive at least a few years in containers in this location (zone 3)? I'm thinking bulbs like hyacinths, snowdrops, etc.? I bought some hosta and some ivy type plants last year and they did not thrive.
I'd also like to mail order if need be, some woodland plants - e.g. trillium, hardy violets, etc. but don't know if these will survive in containers over winter.
I guess I'm really hoping to hear from northern gardeners about your miracle plants that can survive anything. I'm not a big fan of annuals, I love the challenge of perennials and really like bulbs as well.
Also, are there bug repellent plants? non-harmful patio bug sprays (not harmful to people or fauna - lol) that any one can recommend. Any advice is greatly appreciated.