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If you had an area 4' x 15', western exposure........

Posted by gardenquest 5 Sheboygan (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 15, 08 at 15:40

what would you plant there?
we have a old walkway, that has been fenced in between a garage and a fence ( old alley entrance into yard)it is prone to weeds, and looks quite ugly. Since we are sprucing up the yard this year by building a deck and built an awesome new flower bed, this area needs some attention also. In years past, I have grown Raspberries in that section, but they quickly became full and it was hard to get in and out of that cramped area.
it also gets VERY hot and humid back there because of the lack of air movement in that confined space.
Sunflowers are something i am not intrested in.
the area gets direct sunlight 10+ hours in summer., and like i mentioned, it is very narrow......please share you thoughts and ideas.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: If you had an area 4' x 15', western exposure........

This is what I would do:
I would like some kind of path through this area. Since it is a narrow area I would use some sort of stepping stone path. Since the area is hot and humid I would try some kind of tropical theme. There are many hardy tropical looking perennials like Yucca (especially variegated), Tiger Eyes Sumac, Bamboo, Japanese Maples, ect. I enjoy gardening, so digging up plants in the fall that are not hardy, is not a problem for me. I would also plant Cannas, Elephant Ears, plants that can be dug up and saved over winter. There are many tropical looking annuals. Love lies bleeding is one of my favorite. I would also chose a color of pot I like and buy as many as I could afford. (Like Cobalt Blue) I would fill the pots with tropical plants I could bring indoors in the winter. Hibiscus, Angel Trumpets, Manadavilla , Bougainvillea, ect. Add some heavy mulch for the weed problem and a few solar lights and have my own tropical get away. Thats what I would do....

RE: If you had an area 4' x 15', western exposure........

4' wide and 15' long kind of provides its own limitations. One thing - given the potentially hot, humid, airless conditions, is this someplace where you're going to want to spend any amount of time even if beautifully planted? As the sun swings you must get a bit of shade from either the garage wall or fence.

A lot of people hate them, but I have ostrich ferns growing in full sun; don't have much problem with them spreading as they seem to like where they are and have contained themselves over the last 30 some years. Cinnamon ferns can also take the sun. One of the simpler types of clematis, like the purple Jackmanii would probably do quite well on the fence - the only thing to adhere to would be the old clematis motto: "head in the sun, feet in the shade" which is easily accomplished by planting something around 2 feet tall directly in front of it. Some folks in warmer zones keep them moist, but not sodden, and simply place a large flat rock or paver atop the roots.

Maybe you could hang half pots on the fence - fill with petunias, sweet potato vine or other colorful sun loving annuals. They really make some nice garden wall art, too; sun faces, etc. with the verdigris patina.

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