I live in Central St. Petersburg (not near water) and am starting with a clean slate backyard. It was an overgrown weed infested mess and over the past few weekends I have gutted the damn thing to its sandy surface. I am going to build a small deck as well as use one of those walk-mate concrete stepping stone forms to create a walkway and small patio area.
My backyard faces North with a HUGE oak tree (lots and lots of leaves to rack).. The Tree provides a ton of shade for 1/2 the yard.. the other half is full sun and it gets HOT during the day.
My deck will have a pergola over it so my first question is:
Whats a hardy climber to cover my pergola. My plan is to have a vine/climber engulf the pergola for a shaded sitting place.
The other parts of the yard I am thinking of perennial peanut as a ground cover with some simple plants.
Any suggested ferns or large plants that are easy to maintain? I am hoping to start small in the number of plants and see if I can gradually build it out.. was thinking some large ferns would cover a lot of area and be easy to maintain.
and my last question (for now).. anyone familiar with clumping bamboo in these parts?
I was thinking of some fargesia robusta along one fence line to block out the neighbors.. (very nice people.. but I want my privacy)
any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! thanks so much!