I love our trees.  They’re the reason we bought this place 27 years ago.  But I quickly realized that the shady grove of summer flowers I envisioned wasn’t going to happen.  Every day I rushed home from my demanding job to find wilted hydrangeas and impatients  in need of urgent watering.

Trees are very, very  thirsty.  Pots were my solution.   

A big pot (or  whiskey barrel), a  hydrangea macrophylla (like the ones Grandma grew) , and some tall trees make  a wonderful combo. 

I also use Pieris japonica in pots.  They like the sharp drainage. 

Autumn ferns are another wonderful evergreen for smaller pots in shade. 

Here they are in combo with Golden Ingot Lirope and hosta–a combo that’s in its third year.

And finally, I never put impatients in my thirsty ground, but they are great color for shady pots.  I like to combine the them with creeping jenny in hanging baskets, and snake plant (yea, that poor abused plant  they stick in dark offices) in pots on the ground. 

To see how this pot will fill out, check last year’s post https://youshouldgrowthat.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/super-easy-contianers-for-shade/

Now what about you?  Please share your best pots, and other solutions for cooling, but thirsty Southern  shade.