So, it has been over a year since I wrote about what I wanted to do to try to cool down the south side of the FG house with landscaping. Here is the original article -- http://www.floridagardener.com/DNN/FGGardenBlog/tabid/59/EntryID/14/Default.aspx
Here are updated pictures of that site which has become something of a scented garden. Looking from east to west I have a Buddleia (scented Butterfly Bush) which has lusciously sweet honey-scented purple-blue flowers; three heritage roses (which are still just babies yet and have not begun to bloom); a Honeysuckle vine (purpurea) growing up the wooden pergola; the Day Blooming Jasmine (Cestrum diurnum) has really grown-up and filled in well. This plant’s little white blooms smell to me like chocolate. The blooms open in late morning and stay open all day into the early evening. What an awesome scent! Down at the west end I have a Night Blooming Jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum) which picks up the scent where the Day Blooming Jasmine ends. The big green shrub down at the end is Orange Jasmine (Murraya paniculata) which smells just like orange blossoms when in bloom.
The toughest area to do anything with is there right alongside the house itself. I am still looking for plants that can deal with that hot, dry, sandy area. I have tried Vinca, Dahlias, Lavenders and Gladiolas. The only plant doing well there is my Oregano herb which is doing very well as a ground cover. Unfortunately, even with my wife’s and my gourmet cooking, we do not use a lot of Oregano in our cooking. I wish my Basil grew so well here, but there is just still too much heat on this side of the house. I am thinking that in another year or two that my Grosella aka Otaheite Gooseberry (Phyllanthus acidus) will have grown enough to offer more shade. This small tree / shrub grows from 6-1/2 to 30 feet tall.