Drought resistant, tall plants for a narrow side yard?

abufish(z10 CA)June 9, 2011

I have a really narrow (5 ft wide, 30 ft long) side yard currently does not have any plants. My living room and kitchen window directly looks into this side yard, where we can only see our old fence and neighbor's wall, which is not exciting at all for sure :)

So my plan is to plant some easy maintaining, tall (3 to 6 ft) plants that's also drought resistant (maybe watering every other week), since I don't have sprinklers there. Also since the yard is so narrow, I'd like the plants to be not too big in thickness.

Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated!

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abufish(z10 CA)

BTW, side yard is in shade most of the day

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 6:09PM
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lindasewandsew(So Cal 9)

There used to be Australian Brush Cherries in a very skinny spot in the yard. They grow pretty tall, dense and can be trimmed into a skinny hedge, as tall as you need. We chopped them low a few times to paint behind them, but they grew back straight up and were easy to keep trimmed.

There's a pretty narrow side yard here, probably less than 5 feet due to a long shed we built along the fence. I started building totems out of the 'too many pots' all over the yard. They can be as skinny as you want depending on the size of the pots and are fun and easy to build. Some are just cd racks from yard sales. The second to the left in the last photo is an upside down chimney from a chimenea with a plastic pot in the top. These plants have grown nicely since these photos were taken. I don't have any sprinklers, and water with a hose. These things get water every couple of weeks, but sometimes go a few months (due to being lazy, lol). They're in soil that's as close as possible to Tapla's mix over on the container forum. There's shade cloth above them. Linda

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 1:37AM
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Abufish, you might want to check out variegated buckthorn, rhamnus alaternus variegata. Drought tolerant once established -- very few plants are drought tolerant before they are established. As an added bonus, the branches are great to use as interesting greenery in flower arrangements.


PS: There is also an all-green version, but that may get taller than you'd like.

Here is a link that might be useful: Variegated Buckthorn

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 5:12PM
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Linda, Nice plantings!! May i ask where you found those face pots?? I've seen in several peoples yards around here some grasses that look like long blonde hair.I told dh if i can find a pot that looks like a head/face,then i'm gonna but both the pot and the grass.I think that would be soooooooooooooo cool.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 9:49PM
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lindasewandsew(So Cal 9)

Hi Kathi, These are the pots that you see sometimes with bare feet underneath. I had seen this pottery store next to the 110 fwy. in Gardena for years. Never had time to stop, so finally made it a point to go there. It's either pottery heaven or pottery he11, depending on your mood. It's a big building filled with every pot you could imagine, but the best part for me is that they have a large clearance section outside. These face pots with no feet were $2.50 each outside on the day I was there. They're available inside with feet in a few sizes. Here are some photos in my album from when I went. Sorry you have to cut and paste. I'm also lindasewandsew on photobucket.


I'm in no way related to this store, other than really liking it. Good thing it's a bit of a drive from my house, lol. There's a nice little nursery one street over from it called Sunflower Farms. It's worth a look too. Have fun, Linda

Here is a link that might be useful: Pottery Place in Gardena

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 3:46AM
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Here are some native and other low water suggestions:

If its shady:
Mountain mahoghany (Cercocarpus betuloides)
Holly leaf cherry (Prunus ilicfolia)
Mahonia 'Golden abundance'
Silk tassle (Garrya elliptica)
tree anemone (Carpenteria californica - amazing flowers, but can look crappy if in the wrong conditions)

If its sunny:
Mountain mahoghany (Cercocarpus betuloides)
Pineapple guava

For some reason i thought of a lot of plants with berries. not sure where you are in so cal but if you need a nursery, Las pilitas, theodore payne and Nopalitos nurseries carry native and low water plants. Also Seaside Gardens in Santa Barbara is amazing.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 12:33PM
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