Developing a garden, in the area under our rotunda, has proven to be very challenging! I have tried growing a range of plants in the drier soil, that receives no rainfall because it is sheltered by the decking above, with limited success (and outright failure).
I decided that I didn't want to "waste" any more money on plants for this area because whatever I tried inevitably ended up as compost bin clippings. So, instead of heading back to the nursery, I used what I already had to come up with a new plan.
Instead of a feature plant, I moved a beautiful cobalt-blue birdbath into the centre of the garden bed and set it atop an old paver. Two more creamy-white pavers were washed off and repositioned as a couple of stepping stones to use when I need to clean out the bird bath. In a circle, around the base of the birdbath, I planted some baby spider plants that I sourced for free from my potted spider plant that desperately needed dividing. I had enough of these baby spider plants to create a border along the edge of the hardwood timber boardwalk that passes by this garden too. The strappy, variegated leaves of these spider plants look great and they seem to be establishing themselves in the drier conditions of this particular garden.
Strappy spider plants in a ring around the base of the birdbath.
The variegated leaves of the spider plant.
Spider plants bordering the boardwalk.
Another plant that I noticed popping up, just on the edges of this area, were white-flowering vincas. These pretty flowers have found their way to my garden from the garden next door as they can be prolific self-seeders. I have dug up some of these free vinca seedlings and transferred them to this garden to see if they will grow. I have read that vincas don't mind dry conditions so that is cause for much optimism.
Pretty white vinca flowers.
Vinca seedlings and spider plants.
Over time, I hope both the spider plants and vincas will thrive and fill in this tricky garden bed as I've read that both tolerate drier conditions well. The variegated leaves of the spider plants should complement the bright green leaves and glossy white flowers of the vincas too.
My rotunda garden.
As I watered in the vinca seedlings, I found myself hoping that this time I've matched suitable plants to the conditions they have to grow in. Fingers crossed!