Small tree for close-in view
My ranch house in in a modified U shape with a small planting area (5' x 5' approx) in the crotch of the U. The house is stucco and the planting area is surrounded by patio, so the area is protected and warm. There are French doors that look out onto the patio from all three sides and narrow planting areas lining the perimeter of the rest of the interior of the U. The climate here is hot and dry in the summer, and generally we get a few frosts in the winter, but never too cold for too long. The house shades the planting area much of the day. I'm looking for a small tree to plant in the 5x5 area. Of course, when the tree grows up over the top of the eaves, it will be in full sun, but down below there's a lot of shade, so I'm really in a quandary as to what to plant. A few trees I'm considering or have been suggested are Malus Prairiefire--or other malus, not sure which (maybe too much shade), cornus alba elegantissima (maybe too much sun), cercis canadiansis (don't know much about this one), or maybe even a tree form of ceanothus (had this idea just now). Any suggestions or other trees to consider? Nearby plants include Cecille Brunner roses, lamb's ears, variegated abelia, festival grass, jack spratt phormiums, gazania. Also, groundcover ceanothus on a nearby slope.