Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Indecisive - What Should I Plant???

When we first moved in this little area at the bottom of the driveway was a mud slope that turned the driveway into a mud puddle. We built the wall and I planted Mani to stabilize the soil and then Tritaria (Bougainvillea) for the flowers. I thought the trinitaria would be a good solution for that area and now I hate it and ripped it all out! The vertical growing variegated kind doesn't really flower and bugs eat it. The problem is that I am waffling on what to put there. I cannot water so the area is dry. I want something 6-8 feet tall to hide the water lines (not ours) and soften the look of that spot. It would be nice to have color or flowers or something there since it is the first thing you see when you drive up and you get out to open the gate. It needs to stay kind of flat since the gate opens there. Here are the possibilities:(the mani is staying)
Gingers - the plus is that I have these all over and the negative is that I have these all over. They are tall, erect, flower often with big flowers and do well in sun (a little afternoon shade).
They may be impossible to get out if I hate them there (trinitaria was a ^%& to get out).

Choice 2 is another ginger, the "white" ginger with a totally different flower that looks more like an iris. It is smelly in a really good way, kind of dense, gets to about 6 feet, is fine in sun. Would smell great when we open and close the gate. I haven't grown it so I don't know if it is ok in a dry area (the nursery guy says it should be good - he steered me to my two favorite problem solvers, mani and the firecracker plant - erosion control). My concern is that it might get floppy, I should trim it after it flowers, might not like how dry it is.

Choice 3 is one that couldn't be wrong - croton. It will get the right height, is fine without water, will stay like a wall with a little pruning, is colorful. I have this coming up the driveway on the inside so it could be a tie-in but I have a lot of this.

The last choice I can think of is this bush - it is colorful, gets the right height, doesn't need much water (droops but I can live with that). No nice flowers, but the leaves are colorful. If I prune it I can keep it full. It would be flat. So weigh in on what you think might be best. If you are growing the white ginger you know more about it than I do. There isn't much soil between the wall and the slope - maybe 8-10 inches so stuff can kind of get supported by the slope. The mani will intermingle or grow beneath whatever I put there. I hope to plant in the next week. I am waiting for a good rain to soak the area, then I will plant during the second good rain so everything gets a good start. If you have other suggestions let me know! I want this area tidy once and for all. I considered Mirto also but it gets really big.


Anonymous said...

I am a gardener in the north eastern US. Not very familiar with sun/water requirements for your choices. Architecturally speaking, I'd go with the croton or the unknown shrub, less chance of flopping. From what I can see it's a slope, could you place, staggered, the shrub choice across the top and let the bottom area near the wall stay planted with low growers? This way the fewer shrubs the less pruning. I like the croton because it ties in the wall color and you have it elsewhere. Wil

Anonymous said...

Thanks Wil - usually I have the entire vision of an area in my head and just work on it slowly, but this time I just don't know what I was thinking! I think the white ginger could get raggedy looking and I may have a better, moister spot for it - better location for the scent as well. I am debating between the red bush - lost of color and grows VERY fast or croton. The croton would tie things together, and I am kind of an organized gardener. it comes in some splashy colors and is indestructable. My goat is to not do much down there period once it is done. The lawn is going to go too. katrina

Fran and Steve said...

Sounds like the croton is your best choice. Low maintenance, tolerant, and the tie-in would be beautiful. I wouldn't worry about having too much of it. And I like that it has some yellow in it that matches the wall. Not that it needs to be matchy-matchy, I just think that combined with the red it's very nice. Fran