The Q&A Archives: Plantings along entry sidewalk and along south wall of house

Question: We own a Townhome as investment property. We would like to spruce up the landscaping in the front and side yards leading to the front door and to the back fence. To the right of a cement walkway leading up to the front door is a long, narrow planting area (1' wide, possibly less!). Currently there are some viney roses that hang over the walkway and get in the way. We cannot drill holes in the brick wall to attach them so they need to be removed. Is there any plant that could grow up the wall without needing to be attached to it and that could be trimmed to remain close to the wall? The HOA is concerned about vines that might get in to the brick so that wouldn't work. I'm open to anything that will be attractive in such a small place. Easy care is important as well since this is a rental.
The next area is also south facing but is a wider area along the house leading to the back yard. Currently there is lawn right up to a river rock border. Easy care shrubs, flowering or otherwise suitable to plant along the foundation would be great. Any suggestions?

Answer: In such a narrow space, I'd recommend planting upright, free-standing shrubs such as boxwoods, junipers, or even lavender. Vines will sprawl on the ground without some support such as a trellis so I would eliminate them from my list and concentrate on upright evergreens. Dwarf nandina will grow upright and soften the space between the wall and the sidewalk; skyrocket junipers would look nice, too. All of these plants are low-maintenance and adaptable to many different growing conditions.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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