I feel guilty to have deserted aspects of my front garden and have a metal trough just underneath the front window so planning to get a Coir liner and plant some things in there. It would be shaded from the evening sun by the porch and don't think the early morning sun would reach it. It would likely receive most water from rainfall and being the West Midlands that tends to be very frequent! Difficult to say if it would benefit from any warmth from the house at all but unlikely.
Would I be looking at ferns and ivy? We get frosts and snow at winter, normal weather for this area of England really.
Suggestions for a planter on North facing wall?
Geranium Bevans Variety would definitely work. It is an outstanding plant that grows in sun, shade, high ph, low ph, minimal or max water and is evergreen in zone 5b. I give it to every client who says that nothing grows at any location. It clumps up, and then you can divide it and spread it around. The first pic is on the north side of my house.
Note that part is in sun and part is in shade, in the second picture.
In complete shade in the 3rd picture - note the virginia bluebells.
On my cement driveway! Talk about hell strip!
And in winter snow.
Bulletproof. I have it on all four sides of my house, and in about 5 yards in which I garden.
Thanks DonnaMack, definitely looks like a good candidate. I think we're considered to be either USDA zone 8a or 8b here so the Geraniums we have at the moment have to come in for the winter.
Are you sure they aren't pelargoniums, which are tender geraniums? I brought mine in some time ago and took cuttings. I have mostly scented geraniums but I'm a sucker for Appleblossum. Bevan is a macrorrhizum.
Here is the evaluation stuff from Missouri Botanic Gardens. This place really rocks, and I almost never buy a plant without checking it out here first.