Brown Thumbs
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What would you plant here?

Looking for ideas on what would do well and look nice in this location. Our home is on a hill and this part faces NW, which only gets the hot afternoon sun each day. The only thing we can get to grow well is the monkey grass border! Any suggestion on what to try?
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Brown Thumbs

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applestar
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Re: What would you plant here?

I would build an arbor type trellis -- like a ladder or monkey bars -- and grow some kind of vining plants. Most references say the structure needs to be at least a foot away from the wall. Some people build a lattice type structure that is hinged to the base post lay down forward. I read about someone who put up a fishnet -- a real rope fishnet -- on masonry hooks.

Plant selection would depend on how strong the trellis would be. Annuals like beans or gourd would grow and fill the space against the wall and help shade the wall but will be gone in the winter when you don't want the wall to be covered. You wouldn't want a strong woody perennial vine unless you build a permanent structure and way to service the wall. More fibrous vines, perhaps one that dies to the ground in winter and return with new growth from the ground in spring might be better.

Personally, I prefer edibles like vegetables or fruits. A big tall space like that also always makes me think of hops, and I've often thought that if I ever got into brewing as a hobby, I would try growing them, but I've never grown them so far, so I don't know their requirements.

Another fun way to use this space would be to grow espaliered fruit trees.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: What would you plant here?

Big blank wall! Your little row of flowers is all out of scale and nearly invisible next to it. I would put a full size tree (that will get as tall as the bottom of the eaves) next to it, properly spaced away from the house, with a couple shrubs and and some flowers, stepping down in height as you go away from the house. You have plenty of room to make a beautiful bed there. A tree in front of that afternoon sun wall will keep it cooler, help keep the house fron heating up.

Things I always suggest in landscaping: be big and bold, make it in scale with the big house behind it. Make your bed in curves, the house is a big box, it can be softened with curved beds. Plant things in groups, not in straight lines, there is no such thing as a straight line in nature.

Here's a few landscaping threads I have done in the past with inspiration pictures:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 12&t=57400

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 12&t=56975

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 12&t=53331

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... =8&t=52070

some of these are about front yards, but all the same principles apply.

Applestar's idea of edibility could be incorporated in there with a dwarf fruit tree or serviceberry as the anchor of the bed and berry bushes for shrubbery. I always try to use native plants, since they will be much hardier and more low maintenance being adapted to your area and because they provide food and habitat for the local birds, butterflies, etc. which imported trees usually do not.

If you like these ideas, come back and I will make some suggestions for trees, shrubs, etc that might work in your conditions.
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Brown Thumbs
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Re: What would you plant here?

Yes, we would love ideas. The space to plant isn't very wide as you can see in this picture. That concerns me when considering a tree because of the roots possibly causing issues with the brick or foundation. However, something tall would look good due to the big, plane wall. I don't want to make the bed wider because the yard drops off quickly in this area going downhill (this is on the backside of our home and we're on a fairly steep hill). This location receives hot, direct sun only during the afternoon from approximately 2pm until 5 or 6pm. There are several oaks that provide some shade after 5 or 6 pm. Thanks for your help!
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Brown Thumbs

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catgrass
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Re: What would you plant here?

I don't know how wide your space is-but you might look into upright fir trees (arborvitae? sp), Little Gem magnolia maybe? I'm not sure about how their roots spread. A hedge row of roses, maybe, with a trellis in the middle for something vining.
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Jai_Ganesha
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Re: What would you plant here?

I wouldn't put roses facing north.
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catgrass
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Re: What would you plant here?

Don't know how far south the location is. Where I am, north doesn't matter.
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imafan26
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Re: What would you plant here?

If you like them and like edibles. Okra, Roselle (edible hibiscus. It is an annual).

I actually like hollyhocks for ornamental flowers. I would put mamoth sunflowers but they will face east, no matter what.

I like the idea of a trellis and there are some pretty edibles that might work. Red noodle asparagus beans, Hyacinth bean, Scarlet runner beans. If you put in some sturdy galvanized pipe poles, you can run trellis netting between them and at the end of the season just cut the trellis netting down.
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Brown Thumbs
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Re: What would you plant here?

Would these plants (roses, okra, etc.) do ok with such limited sunlight? I thought they needed at least half a day or more, but this spot only gets 3-4 hrs of sunlight during the afternoon and is shaded the remainder of the time.
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catgrass
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Re: What would you plant here?

I missed that part! The vegetables and the roses need at least 6 hours of sun to do well-though they will survive without that much sun.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: What would you plant here?

You haven't said specifically where you are and you didn't say how wide that space is. But it does look narrow and that's not what I was thinking when I suggested a tree. The walkway etc wasn't very visible in first picture. If you aren't willing to widen the space then don't put a full sized tree there. Applestar's suggestions of a trellis or espaliered tree become even more appropriate now that I see the space.



Otherwise there are some shrubs that can handle that much shade. One of my favorites is serviceberry (aka shadbush, juneberry, etc) Amelanchier spp.. There are various species and varieties of it, that are different sizes, from small shrub to tree. All of them have edible berries that many species of birds love.

If your soil is acidic, the two-winged silverbell/ snowdrop tree might do well there. It can be pruned as a small tree or large shrub. It has pretty white flowers, fruit that birds and squirrels like and fall color. Note that this is Halesia diptera, not Halesia Carolina the Carolina silverberry, which is much bigger and wouldn't fit your space as well.

Spicebush is another native shrub for part shade, that has flowers attractive to butterflies including its own spicebush swallowtail. Others include nine-bark, coralberry, vaccinium, viburnum. The viburnum is another of my favorites, comes in a variety of sizes from dwarf to large, has beautifully fragrant spring flowers (mine has just been blooming and it perfumes the whole yard), butterflies like the flowers, then it has edible berries that birds like.
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Susan W
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Re: What would you plant here?

Another major consideration is how you use the space. Are you actively using it for relaxing, gardening, kids playing, etc. Are you looking for something for a visual for up close or distant. Are you encouraging wildlife (birds, pollinators).

Planting will cost $$ and effort, especially shrubs and trees, so some planning may be wise!
Have fun!
Susan

Brown Thumbs
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Re: What would you plant here?

We're located in central Mississippi. I would rather not widen the spot due to that fact that our yard drops off considerably in that area going downhill toward the woods. We have azaleas that were planted like shrubs around the side and front of our home, along with big bush lantana and miniature gardenias. This location however had an azalea that didn't do well, then we tried a few other things over the years that didn't work (can't remember what all though). It's not exactly a spot that is well seen by others since it's on the back, but we often walk out there and sit in our swing during the afternoons.
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applestar
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Re: What would you plant here?

Here's a picture of RUNNER beans climbing up a thick pole --
Image

hummingbirds LOVE runner bean flowers. :D

That's a bathouse (so far unoccupied :( ) but you could put up birdhouses. I think westward-facing should be OK. The roof is single story attached garage, and this location is shaded by the 2-story house until the sun gets around the corner -- around 1PM, then by the corner of the garage after the sun gets past that corner.
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applestar
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Re: What would you plant here?

Image
...also, since there are no windows upstairs on this side, I would love to see some kind of a wall ornament up there -- what that would be would depend on your style and preference but something big like Pennsylvania Dutch or a sun sculpture or a mural or salvaged architectural piece... You could even do a faux window with a pair of shutters.

If you do the birdhouses on poles, they would provide some interest up high and you could arrange them like a collection and functional too if some birds would choose to live in them.

If you secure the netting between the poles like imafan mentioned, you would get solid coverage rather than just up the poles and more plant options like luffa and birdhouse gourds, etc. smaller decorative gourds, melons, squash, as well as beans.

Once you get that high up, little birds like house and Carolina wrens might not go for them, but you might even attract owls or other larger birds. With open drop off and wingroom I suspect there would be other likely birds, too -- does anyone know?
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imafan26
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Re: What would you plant here?

It is not wide space and the path itself is very narrow, more of a service path than anything else. Some of the shrubs would need to be pruned since they will go wide. If you are in a southern location 4 hours of sun isn't all that bad.

A trellis would probably give you a lot of vertical height with minimal width. If you go that way. Only use annual vines and do not let them go to seed. Many vines are invasive and will require pruning to keep the runners and the children in check.

Instead how about Italian cypress. It is a narrow tree. It grows fast and tall up to 60 ft. It's roots are not considered to be invasive and I have seen old trees planted on curbs that had to be topped because of the height but still did not cause problems lifting the sidewalk or road. It is hardy down to 10 degrees , but you do need to treat them for spider mites which will cause the needles to brown and die and I doubt that it will have a problem with over watering on a slope.

Otherwise if you are into art. I would do a faux painting on the wall, if you don't have an HOA to deal with. Even mounting a couple of fake windows and window boxes will make the wall less blank.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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