suggestions for shrubs to hide concrete retaining wall
We have just finished building a new house and have a 8 foot high by 100 feet long retaining wall about 35 feet behind our house holding back the hillside. My vision is for our backyard to look like a courtyard. There is a large patio off the house and then a curving 5 - 6 ft deep bed up against the wall. The retaining wall has been sprayed with a stucco-like mixture to take the "edge" off the concrete and every twenty feet there is a bricked column.
What would you plant as a background shrub that can grow in front of this wall? My first thought is that I need something that is fairly well contained and can grow in an upright form without overtaking the whole bed. I would like to plant azaleas in the front of these shrubs and some other mass plantings that can bloom and give color.
Another thought was some climbing hydrangeas in addition to the shrubs. Any suggestions? I live in a small town and often the greenhouse owners lack imagination.