Planter boxes in backyard


My backyard is covered in stone. I am going to place two 4 x 1 x 1 ft planter boxes along the east fence to plant Boston ivy to go up the fence. The location is under the canopy of a large silver maple so has quite a bit of shade. I have two questions: 1) should I plant one or two Boston ivy plants (1 gallon each) in each planter? And is there anything else I could plant in the planter boxes, in addition to the Boston ivy? Could I plant something else to give the planter a bit of colour? I am pretty clueless with gardening, so thank you for your help!


Growing under a maple is always challenging. They cast deep shade and they take all the nutrients and water out of the soil. So you are right to consider planters.

Our Gardening Guide to Annuals for Shade can be found here.  And Perennials for shade, here.

1 foot deep and 1 foot wide is a fairly small container size, even though it is 4 feet long. Annuals will be your best choice, since they don’t overwinter and have relatively shallow roots.

You can try the Boston Ivy but it may not survive the winter. The root of the Boston ivy is a “stout woody tap root” and definitely needs room to become established. It is recommended when transplanting pots of Boston ivy, that one prepare a hole between 8 to 12 inches in diameter and deep enough to maintain the level of soil of the transplant pot.


Boston Ivy

Perennials for Shade in Dry or Moist Areas: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide



Annuals for Shade: A Toronto Master Gardeners Guide