There are two things I’d like to have more of in the garden: shade and bushiness. Our high, white front wall reflects the light and heat, as do the tiles. The trees shade their own little spots with varying degrees of authority, but the middle of the yard is completely exposed. I’ve got one place against the wall where another tree could go. I’m thinking about a palm, as they’re supposed do well in pots.
I’d also like a greater visual appearance of shade. I’ve realised that a lot of my plants (the coleus aside!) are about the same medium shade of green, or lighter. Some darker ones would add the appearance of depth and coolness. I’d like to find an ivy to grow over the wall, it would both stop the glare and provide a dark green background for the other plants. Next door has a perfect ivy, in fact, but I haven’t seen one for sale.
I’ve also realised that I’ve bought too many rangy or twiggy plants and not enough dense ones. Some areas are fine, but in other places there’s a slightly bothersome excess of visible branch and stalk in proportion to leaf. As well as looking a bit scraggly, this of course doesn’t help towards either the effect or the actual presence of shade. I’m thinking of replacing a couple of the allamandas, which keep growing rangily, with other plants — but they’d need to love the sun very much indeed.
I’ve at least brought a bit of water into the picture, with a lily pot and another water-plant with tall leaves and flowers on curious zig-zagging stalks.