If you’ve got a garage, shed, or even a house with bare ground nearby, you may be missing an opportunity. Structures create an instant backdrop, breaking the line of sight so that the eye concentrates on the garden, not something in the distance. They also provide a microclimate: deflecting wind and providing a few hours of shade, depending on their orientation.
Here are four regional planting plans for landscaping the blank wall in your life.
The perennials, grasses, and shrubs in this garden won’t complain if you go on vacation; they’re tough and resilient. Trumpet vines decorate the wall, joined by an assortment of plants that peak in late summer. Burning bush and fountain grass carry the show into late fall in this Midwest and Northeast garden.
Fountain grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides), Zones 5–9
Dwarf burning bush (Euonymus alatus), Zones 4–9
Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.), Zones 3–10
Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii), Zones 5–8
Blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens), Zones 4–9
Trumpet vine (Campsis spp.), Zones 4–11
Bearded iris (Iris spp.), Zones 3–9
Spirea (Spiraea Sundrop), Zones 4–9
Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia), Zones 4–9
A small stone path invites visitors to closely inspect the hens and chicks growing in Lowe’s bird cages (#458755) hanging from shepherd’s hooks (#76125). A chocolate-and-burgundy color scheme carries throughout the bed, thanks to cannas, bugleweed, smoke tree, cosmos, and cordyline. Red-hot poker and Sweet Spot roses add fiery highlights.
- Canna (Canna ‘Tropicana’), Zones 8–11 or annual
- Roses (Rosa Sweet Spot), Zones 5–10
- Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans Chocolate Chip), Zones 3–9
- Hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos), Zones 5–10
- Salvia (Salvia ‘Black and Blue’), Zones 7–10
- Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida), Zones 4–9
- Red-hot poker (Kniphofia spp.), Zones 6–9 or annual
- Lemon cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Goldcrest’), Zones 7–11
- Sedum (Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’), Zones 3–10
- Smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria), Zones 5–9
- Hens and chicks (Sempervivum spp.) in Lowe’s bird cages
- Chocolate cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus), Zones 7–11 or annual
- Burgundy cordyline (Cordyline Festival), Zones 8–11 or annual
This garden bed provides added incentive to visit the garage or shed. In addition to the attractive foliage of the Japanese maple and bright flowers of hydrangea and clematis, this side garden includes an espaliered apple tree and a number of rabbiteye blueberry bushes.
- Rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium virgatum), Zones 7–9
- Burgundy Japanese maple (Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’), Zones 5–8
- Lilyturf (Liriope ‘Big Blue’), Zones 6–10
- Mahonia (Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’), Zones 7–9
- Espaliered apple (Malus spp.), Zones 5–8
- Panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata), Zones 4–8
- Contorted filbert (Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’), Zones 3–9
- Purple clematis (Clematis spp.), Zones 4–11
Color is abundant in this plan for the dry soils of the desert Southwest. Although the yellow bulbine blooms earlier in the season and is shown in foliage only, there’s more than enough interest from companion plants. Rocks and desert brown gravel add a finishing touch to the design.
- ‘Sparky’ Bells (Tecoma stans ‘Sparky’), Zones 11–15
- Slipper plant (Pedilanthus macrocarpus), Zones 9–11
- Coral fountain (Russelia equisetiformis), Zones 9–11
- Yellow bulbine (Bulbine frutescens), Zones 9–11
- Smooth Spoon (Dasylirion quadrangulatum), Zones 8–10