I talk about my back yard so much that I end up neglecting the front. Granted, there’s not a lot going on in the front. I live in an apartment, so it’s not like I have a front yard or anything.

But what I did have was a big empty pot that was there when I moved in last year.

For a couple of months, I thought about what, if anything, to plant in it. The main obstacle was that the place where it sat got absolutely zero sunshine. Originally, it was sitting on the rocks next to a north-facing sidewalk (no sun). I wanted to move it next to my front door, where it would be underneath an awning and still facing north (no sun).

In Albuquerque, I never had any shade, so I was only interested in plants that thrived in full sun. I didn’t know anything about shade plants. I was in over my head.

So I headed out to my new favorite plant nursery, Whitfill Nursery, with questions. (By the way, I don’t just love them because they have birds and goats on the property – although, that helps a lot.)

It turns out, their employees are super knowledgeable about plants that do well in Phoenix. It took only a few minutes before I had some solid recommendations.

Fast forward to several weeks later, and I am thrilled with the results:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, front door container garden

Pretty, right? I love how it looks.

The colored plants are of course Coleus – the employee told me they have to be in shade here because otherwise their leaves will burn. (In Abq, they are full-sun plants.) I love that they’re flowering. I was going to cut the flowers off so the plants could produce more leaves, but I’m letting them stick around for a bit.

What you can’t see in the photo are the sweet potato vines on the other side of the container. They are beginning to spill over the side of the pot.

And the plant in the middle is Dianella, or commonly known as Flax Lily. It’s got big funky flower stalks with itty bitty blueish flowers. I’m kindof in love with this plant at the moment. It just chugs away, day after day, all low key and easy. I’d never even heard of it before, so when the Whitfill employee recommended it, I decided to take her advice. I’m glad I did.

What about you? Do you have any favorite plants for shady spots?

 

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