What will grow well in containers in shade either now or next spring?

Hi folks,
I have a weird gardening space at my new place (where I moved in on May 25).
Due to neighborhood rules that I don't really have the energy to challenge, I'm only allowed to plant trees and shrubs and flowers in my lawn (and I've put in 3 fruit trees and 4 raspberry plants disguised as ornamental shrubs, ha!).
Veggie gardens in the lawn are a no-no; so therefore, to get around the rules, I will have to plant my veggies in containers (I did plant some pole beans on the south side of the house where I think I can disguise them as some sort of vine, hee hee, and also managed to sneak some basil in with the flowers that were already growing next to the house, but I don't want to push my luck by being too obvious about growing veggies where I'm not supposed to).
The place I have for containers is the front porch/deck. It is on the east side of the house, and has a pine tree just to the north of it, so there isn't a heck of a lot of sun there. So far, I have some tomatoes in large pots (I've used the pots that the trees came in).
It's July 17 now, so pretty much too late to plant anything, I think, unless someone can give me some good ideas.
What do you suggest I grow there now?
And what do you suggest I grow there next spring?
Thank you in advance,
Andrea Baker
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You don't say where you live, but here in PA, I will be planting leaf lettuce and other greens in a few weeks time. They will last well into the fall. The advantage of having them in pots will be that they will be easy to cover, or even move into shelter (unheated garage) if an early frost threatens. Some of the leaf lettuces are quite pretty, with red leaves and/or splotches.
Swiss chard is another good idea, either in pots or in the ground. The variety "Bright Lights" is a mix of colors--reds, salmons, yellows, and whites--and is quite attractive. They grow it as an ornamental at Longwood Gardens, and if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for the rest of us. It likes some sun, but doesn't need to have direct sun all day long.
A shrub to consider for next spring is the Crandall currant. It's very pretty when it blooms, with yellow blossoms that smell enticingly of cloves. The fruits are a bit of an acquired taste raw--I love them, but not everyone does--but they make excellent juice or jelly, and superior fruit wine. They will grow and fruit in partial shade, and are an american native that requires little care, aside from pruning, and in my experience have no pest or disease problems. They're not usually available at nurseries, you would need to mail order them.
Cheers, Sue

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On 17 Jul 2003 17:20:58 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (andrea baker) wrote:

Do the neighborhood rules have the force of law or contract (such as a Homeowner's Association) or are they just an informal agreement?
If the latter, I would ignore them.

Where are you? When is your first killing frost expected there?

I'd put the containers ON THE LAWN wherever I got the most sun. Each large container could have a few flowers mixed in with the veggies. They could be edible flowers (there are a lot of them) if you wish.
Some veggies are decorative: basil, peppers, eggplant: all pretty plants. The multi-colored Swiss chard is rather decorative as well.
I'd furthermore probably use old tires as containers just to spite the neighbors, but I am a mean and unreasonable woman: actually, I wouldn't buy a house subject to a Homeowner's Association - which doesn't help you any. Sorry. You have my sympathy.
Pat
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Jan Flora wrote:

we did this! my son got to spray-paint them (BIG DEAL for a 13 y/o) and we planted some tall grasses and sunflowers in them. they're nice :D~

the italians where i grew up usually put big lions up at their walkways... i never understood but... are you italian?

heh, i lived in a place where the management had lights in all the trees in the neighbourhood all year so that they wouldn't have to put in street lights. (at least they didn't blink and were all white)
heh, L.

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On Fri, 18 Jul 2003 12:14:25 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@xyz.net (Jan Flora) wrote:

These are all excellent ideas! I LOVE them... Did you forget the plastic flamingoes?
Another good idea - but drastic - that I have actually SEEN done (and it *was* done to spite the neighbors) was to have an entire house painted in bright red, white, and blue horizontal stripes...it was truly frightful!
For several reasons, we *are* using tire gardening, btw, we will have about 60 'round raised solar-collecting planters' in our garden shortly -we need to place about 10 more and then it's finished. :)
This is in the back yard, and not easily visible by anyone but our two immediate neighbors. So far, the 'tire gardening' is working out very well for us, and I really like it very much. (We could not have afforded enough wood or cement blocks to make conventional raised beds.)
A major reason we're doing it is that I cannot garden flat on the ground anymore, I have too much chronic joint/muscle pain. We bought a 'rolling garden seat' affair and now I can sit comfortably on it, and happily tend each tire-planter. There are other reasons too: horrible heavy clay instead of soil - we're filling the tires with purchased spent-mushroom soil.
Anyway, I am going to TRY making pretty planters out of tires also - see http://www.tirecrafting.com/funbook2/07mexican/07mexicanpottery.htm
I don't know whether we can actually turn the tires inside out with only ONE sidewall cut off, but we're going to try.
If we succeed, then I'll paint them. I like the blue-striped one at the web-page above - I don't like the ones with stands. I wouldn't stripe them, just use a plain color.
*If* we come up with something presentable, I'll use them in the front yard for strawberries - maybe a 3-tired strawberry garden (different sized tires). I'll also use them on our front porch for flowers, again *if* we actually produce something good-looking. Our house is white, with dark blue-green trim - I'd probably paint them to match the trim.
Pat
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I'm sorry you have to deal with this. These seemingly arbitrary rules for others homes just boggle my mind at times. We had a man in a nearbly city who was order to yank out his rosebushes because the homeowners assoc. deemed them unattractive in the winter. sigh.
But to your problem:
Lettuces, spinach, peas have done well in pots in my yard in areas with less shade. I do a lot of herb but most of them seem to prefer lots of light, the only ones I can think of off hand that would do well in shade would be mints or parsley.
A few years back we rented a house. The owners were nice about letting us plant whatever, but the front yard was situated better for a garden and I didn't want to upset the neighbors or the owner by planting a farm out front. I did find a few things that worked for both. I edged the flower bed with alpine strawberries. These are dantier looking plants like an ornamental strawberry; it has no runners and has the bonus of delicious tiny berries. Here in my area of CA, sage is planted a lot as an ornamental plant and has lovely spikes of flowers - plant the culinary kinds and you will have a pretty bush that has edible leaves. Scented geraniums are also nice. I see rosemary pruned up into hedges or trailing over retaining walls in many places, maybe some of that could be incorporated into the garden? Thyme looks nice creeping around rocks in the garden. I have seen blueberries used as ornamental shrubs as well.
good luck in your quest to balance the rules with your desire to garden edible plants.
marcella
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (andrea baker) wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (andrea baker) wrote:

I'd be curious to know the exact wording of this prohibition.
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(andrea baker) wrote:

Well, 80% of the new homes built in this country have an HOA, and they will tell you what you can plant or can not plant. I am surprised that she was able to put some rasberries in. The things some of my friends and colleagues have to do to grow veggies... I don't know if they make me cry or laugh. One of them is so happy, he has been able to grow zucchini in the front flowerbed for two years now. No one has caught up with it yet. Another two grow a few sad tomatoes in pots. This thing alone is worth coping with occasional repairs in our older homes.
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On 18 Jul 2003 17:02:41 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com (simy1) wrote:

It sure is. I think those things are a terrible abomination and I would NEVER NEVER buy a house subject to them.
Ne one is going to tell me I can't hang my wash outdoors, either! Or have my two large dogs.
Fortunately, when we moved to this very rural area, they are just completely unknown here.
Pat
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I'm still ticked off about the San Francisco Police Dept. pulling my grandmother's poppy plants up in her front yard in 1965. Don't get me started on HOA's. They're an abomination!
I was going to buy some investment property in this area, but they all had covenents. One seller said I couldn't have sled dogs out in the yard. Fine. So I asked him if it would be a problem if I parked my log truck (a semi with a log dolly) in the driveway. Hell, I almost gave the guy the vapors! I declined to buy any building lots from him.
We have neighbors out here who would *love* to institute HOA's. They bought the first lot in a new subdivision, built a log mansion, and now feel justified to supervise everything that happens in the neighborhood. They get really torqued when I tell them that they should have bought all of the lots, if they wanted to control "their viewshed." All of the other neighbors have dragged old house trailers and outbuildings in, which gives the log mansion people the vapors and just tickles the rest of us.
My house has tarpaper siding, so people prone to the vapors swoon when they see this place. It's a 3-story timber-framed house, overlooking a 7-acre lake that we own. (We just haven't gotten around to milling the rest of the siding yet on the sawmill.) Our saving grace is being in the middle of 220 acres, so no one is allowed to comment on our house without trespassing or being invited over. And we don't invite people who are prone to the vapors, since I clean my saddles in the kitchen and pop fixes chainsaws on the kitchen table. (This is a *working* ranch house, not one you'll see in the fancy magazines.)
I can't believe people are allowing HOA's to prevail. That's baloney, no matter how thin you slice it.
Jan
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (andrea baker) wrote:

I grow leaf lettuce with pansies in pots next to my door. Eastern exposure, morning sun, pm shade. The lettuce does a *lot* better there than out in the full sun, and IMO it looks cool with pansies.
Could you interplant sweet peas and edible peas? Can you plant your herbs out front? They aren't veggies and they're attractive plants. I think edible landscaping looks a lot more interesting than just flowers or just veggies.
What zone are you in? Why did you move into a neighborhood with landscaping police?? =:-O You must really like the house!
Jan
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