The Q&A Archives: Need Tips on the plants to put in a small retaining wall

Question: I need Help! We just built 2 retaining walls on the side of our two story house, but we just can't decide what to put in them. The siding on our house is a light olive green. We want plants that will grow with little to no maintanance, but are still colorful. We live in MN, so the plants should be hardy. Not much sun on the side of the house. Thanks!

Answer: Some of the most attractive plants in your area are azaleas (a variety of colors), ACHILLEA 'THE BEACON': the bright red flowers make an outstanding center of interest. Play it up with strong yellows, blues and whites-- or down with silver, rose and pink. Grows 18" X 18". BAPTISIA LACTEA: Wild Indigo. White, lupine-like flowers on black stems. Blue-gray foliage makes a sturdy shrub. Native, especially long lived. Good cut flower. 3'x 3'. CHRYSANTHEMUM RUBELLUM 'CLARA CURTIS': Bounteous quantities of large pink daisies in late summer which give plenty for picking and enjoying in the garden as well. 18"x18". NEPETA MUSSINII: Soft blue flowers over a 2' billowing hedge of silvery leaves makes this a lovely edging plant. We use quantities of it along driveways and roadsides because it stays neat and loves droughtly soil. No weeds can get through it. Butterfly plant 2'x2'.

You might also consider BERBERIS 'AUREA NANA': Dwarf Golden Barberry brightens up the landscape. Bright lemon yellow in full sun. 18". BERBERIS 'CRIMSON PYGMY': Red miniature Barberry that combines beautifully with dwarf conifers and grasses. Stays colorful and neat all season.

Hope some of these suggestions are just right for your new garden beds!

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