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Tall plants for planter along NE facing wall

NwjblakeNwjblake Posts: 15
edited March 2022 in Garden design

I have three planters (80x17cm) which will sit on my North East facing front wall. The idea is to disguise the bikeshed which stands directly behind - see picture below. I'm on a small budget so looking inexpensive planting ideas that will give a bit of height to cover for the bike shed behind and work in a narrow planter.

We get good sun in the morning until about 11am but then it's shady all day.

Would much appreciate any suggestions!

Thanks in advance.




  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,214
    I'm afraid you won't get a lot of height in a small trough like that, and you'll need to be vigilant with the ongoing care of the plants.  :)
    You could try some perennials like Centaurea [Knapweed] - it's quite a resilient plant.
    or Lychnis coronaria, as it's almost a weed. The latter would prefer a bit more sun, but it should be fine with enough support.
    The hardy Salvia - caradonna might be ok, although it might not be sunny enough long term for it. 
    Anything shrubby would struggle a bit, although some of the smaller varieties of Hebe might be alright. 
    Heathers of varying types might also be ok, although they'd prefer a little more sun, but if it's generally light, it's not too big a problem. You could try Hellebores too, as long as you don't let them get dried out for long periods.

    You'd need to fasten the troughs on in some way too, or they'll get dislodged - or stolen.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 4,309
    @Nwjblake A friend had the same dilemma, it was a different aspect but the problem was the depth of the planters. She tried various things over many years, before long  she had all root and no compost. Euonymous Green Pillar might be an option, but you will need to ensure it is watered well. You can get them in packs of six at the GC they will be small or same price for one larger one. They will need lifting at least once a year root pruned fresh compost. You may also need to top dress with some compost. This project will involve continued maintenance as with all plants that are not in the soil. A plant needs a root run two thirds of it's height as a guide. 

    BROWN IS A COLOUR   Piet Oudolf
  • NwjblakeNwjblake Posts: 15
    Thank you both. 

    Great advice and yes I hadn't really considered the depth of planter being an issue.

    I will look into the above. Would you think any kind of fern might work in this setting?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,214
    Yes - ferns might do, but most aren't evergreen so that might be a consideration. The evergreen ones tend to need decent moisture. 
    If you don't need the overall height to be more than a couple of feet at most, it's easier. Planting that gets to about 18 inches would then be enough. Pretty much everything I suggested is in that sort of size.  I'm guessing that's about all you need?
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • NwjblakeNwjblake Posts: 15
    Great I'll look into it. And yes I think so. Thank you for your help!
  • B3B3 Posts: 25,266
    Jasmine would probably be ok there but you would need to keep it trimmed or it looks messy. Unfortunately, it's not evergreen.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,245
    edited March 2022
    I would go with an evergreen ornamental grass; Anemanthele lessoniana would probably be about the largest I could suggest that would live in a planter that size for an extended period of time... You will usually find volunteer seedlings that you can replace the mother plants with, which is useful.

    2 per trough would be OK.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,214
    I was thinking grasses too @Loxley. Some are very adaptable, and don't always need a lot of sun. Many of the Carexes would also be fine. Not that pendula one though!
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • NwjblakeNwjblake Posts: 15
    @Loxley Anemanthele lessoniana looks perfect. When you say two per trough, would that be 2x 9cm pots? Also could I mix these with say the salvia caradonna?
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,245
    edited March 2022
    Yes, 9cm plants will soon grow into good size plants, this grass grows fairly fast. Would look great with Salvia Caradonna, my only concern would be they would end up a bit too close together, once the grass gets a bit bigger; and the Salvia might prefer a little more sunshine. 
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