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Location: SE Wisconsin - Zone 5
Posted: Nov/03/2006 10:40 PM PST
Need some ideas for a side of the house garden about 20 feet long but only 2 feet deep. South side of house, with an over hang in one section so it gets very little water in that area. I have lots of stuff in there but don't particularly like the way it looks. More like who thru this here and let it grow? style of gardening.
There are tulips and hyacinths and star of bethlehem
blue siberian iris, yellow iris, dark marroon iris, miniture blue iris
some different asitic lilies
orange day lily
lavendar - want to leave this there
2 colors of holly hocks
some low growing yellow flowers - margarite daisy?
pale lavendar bee balm.
This all ends up looking like a great big mess and never really stands out as a pretty garden and it's along the walk way to the back of the house and is visable from the street. need to make it more uniform want a front section, a middle section - where the overhang is, and a back section. I cannot make it any deeper becasue of the side walk.
want tall in the back, short in the front and some what more consistent look - more unified some how type of look. not picky really about color - the front yard is red/white tulips and then red/yellow with annuals. Any color will go. Here are 2 pictures - can find any more.
Location: Lake Champlain Valley
Posted: Nov/03/2006 11:30 PM PST
I was going to suggest a daylily garden, but then I saw that you wanted to keep the lavender there.
Posted: Nov/04/2006 12:42 AM PST
as long as it's edging a walkway, i'd grow some scented herbage there. let it cascade over the cement edging a little so it gets brushed when folks walk by.
Location: The Garden State
Posted: Nov/04/2006 12:59 PM PST
You need to put some tall plants in there to cover up the cement foundation
maybe you can make it a dasiy garden with blackeyed susans, purple cone flowers, montalk and shaster dasiys . Shasters bloom early and montalks bloom late
Location: zone 5 wisconsin
Posted: Nov/04/2006 4:20 PM PST
I have no specific plant recommendations. What you are dealing with is a fairly common design 'problem'. It is very difficult to get an overall pleasing look with a long, narrow strip. This is because no matter what is planted there the eye still sees 'a long narrow strip'.
For the most visually appealing result (my opinion) you have to landscape so that the eye no longer sees a long narrow strip.
Ideas to accomplish this are planting tall in the back to cover the foundation. You don't have to cover every inch, but having plants which extend up to the siding area will visually break up that long, short foundation which reinforces the long, narrow look.
The edging is also reinforcing the long, narrow look. The sidewalk is really all the edging you need there so I would consider removing the stone edging and planting a creeping ground cover. Many low growing sedums will work and they will even grow over the sidewalk a short distance which will make the edge of the sidewalk appear more irregular and dissipate the long, narrow feeling of it. Between the sidewalk squares and in any cracks in the side walk you can plant other ground covers. Have you heard of 'steppables'? Those would make a good choice. The idea is breaking up the visual of anything that is long and narrow.
Lastly you could consider adding another garden on the other side of the sidewalk. It doesn't need to be large, but it should be an irregular shape. By planting it to look somewhat like the garden on the other side of the sidewalk the eyes will see it as one large garden with a pathway. This also gives you the option of putting in an archway over the sidwalk and planting something up and over it. An archway stops the eyes from seeing the 'long, narrow strip' from a distance.
Posted: Nov/04/2006 4:54 PM PST
You have a big space to fill and a few larger plants or shrubs will give you a more uniform look. You'll want to cover the foundation, like Swindyi suggested. Narrow your color scheme and then repeat it in flowers and foliage. I think a few Knockout roses might work under the overhang.....they are supposed to be easy to grow, plus roses and lavender are a classic combination.
Like Foz said, let some of your plants spill over the edge---the rose would do that for the center of your design and act as a focal point. I love herbs for edging a border. There are so many thymes to chose from. Kent Beauty oregano is a cool plant. Small-leafed sedums are nice spillers too. Put a few taller plants (12-18 inches) along your edge also, to direct the eye down the border. Walker's Low catmint is a good one, and daylilies for some contrast in flower size. A tall salvia like Black and Blue might work well to soften that right angle near your overhang. I loved the annual salvias I planted this year--I bought a tangerine sage (similar to pineapple sage) in a 4inch pot and that thing grew to over 2 feet wide and tall!
Besides the rose, these are all drought-tolerant plants that go well with lavender. Think Mediterranean!