ideas for plants to go with Cat Claw vine
My concrete slab patio features 2' x 3' planting holes in front of each of the four columns that hold up the patio roof. They are essentially square holes in the slab, filled with dirt. They were originally bricked up to about 10" high, but I ripped all the bricks out so now they are just open squares of dirt in the concrete, in front of the block columns.
The slab extends out past the columns for about 9 feet, so the holes are basically in the middle of the slab. The columns hold up the edge of the patio roof, so the holes and the 9' of slab are in the sun all day long - and they're on the southern side of the house. Which is located in Phoenix so we're talking some major heat and light in the summer.
I'd like to plant Cat Claw vines (macfadyena unguis-cati) in these four areas to grow up the columns (I know it can damage walls - I'm dealing with all concrete block so I'm prepared to take that chance) and add some color and vegetation to the patio.
The holes are large enough, however, that I think there's room to add at least one other plant for an "under-planting" of sorts.
I'd like to add a plant (or plants) that would play nicely with the Cat Claw, and add some complementary (or contrasting) color to the bright yellow flowers and glossy green leaves.
Plants with similar water requirements are my biggest concern since I have watered to death at least the National Debt's worth of plants in the past.
I do not want to use lantana, oleander, baja fairy duster, green cloud sage or santolina as *every* single yard in my neck of the woods predictably contains *every* single one of those plants (all shaved down to weird little cubes and balls) with mind-numbing consistency. I know they're great plants for my climate, but I can't stand 'em - blame the HOAs!
I thought about putting an agave in each of the holes, but first, I think they would look too formal in my crazy-quilt yard "theme;" and second, there's a lot of foot traffic around the holes, pokey, spiny, or really messy plants probably aren't a good idea.
So, any ideas for one or two other plants that might work in these areas? I am assuming the slab is no more than 1 foot thick (and maybe not even that thick) so the roots would have to travel down that far before they would be able to spread out beyond the 2' x 3' confines of the holes.
I know the Cat Claw vine has some significant roots, so I don't know if it would be better to use a plant with shallower roots, or if that's even a concern.
thank you all in advance!!! :-)