This winter has been unseasonably warm in Ann Arbor. On Wednesday the sun was shining and it was nearly seventy degrees. All this warm weather has me anxiously awaiting spring and thinking about my gardening plans for the summer.
My garden bed that wraps around my front porch presents a little bit of a conundrum for me. The front side of the bed faces west and is fairly shady due to the trees in my front yard. Last year after I tore out all the ivy and rebuilt the stone wall I put in three cone shaped boxwood surrounded by a bunch of annuals in shades of pink. I like the boxwood because it is an evergreen which keeps the bed from looking too dead in the winter. The boxwood have thrived and are looking pretty good. I took the picture below of them yesterday.
Not too bad for winter, I think. I just need to clean up a few leaves, add some pretty shade tolerant annuals and a fresh cover of mulch and it should look really nice this summer.
The side of my front bed has been a struggle for me. It is on the south side of my house and gets full sun. I wanted something that would tie in with the boxwood and was evergreen to plant there but I haven't had much luck. The plants I planted there last summer have really withered. I forget their name (I'm a bad gardener!) but they were full sun evergreen plants with leaves that had a similar shape to the boxwood. I thought they would be perfect until it seemed like halfway through the summer the sun got the best of them. Below is a picture of what they look like now.
Blech! There is nothing cheerful about half dead plants. Anyway, I am trying to come up with something to put there that can handle the blazing sun but ties in with the rest of the bed that is very shady. Does anyone have any suggestions? How do you handle garden beds that have a variety of lighting conditions right next to each other? I would love some advice!