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Question: I live in Zone 5. I have a strip in my backyard that is 24 feet long and 4 1/2 feet wide. Is there some combination of low maintenance shrubs/perennials I could plant to make a nice looking screen in that space?

Answer: The area is rather narrow, which makes choosing hedges a little difficult because you wnat them to grow tall, but not too wide. There are only a few that will fit the space:
Emerald Green Arborvitae- Dense, pyramidal form. Rich, dark green
foliage. Attractive specimen, screen, accent plant. 15' Tall X 4' Wide.
Blue Point Juniper - Upright, broad pyramidal form. Dense, blue green foliage. Great accent, specimen. 12? Tall X 6? Wide.
Wichita Blue Juniper - Broad pyramidal grower with steel-blue foliage. Great specimen plant. 10-15? Tall X 4-6? Wide.

Once your shrubs are installed you can use colorful annuals or perennials to make the planting bed a real focal point.

Agastache "Blue Fortune"- Compact habit, 2-3'. Selected for its profusion of long lasting, deep blue flower spikes, that appear from July to September. Fragrant hyssop foliage. Prefers average dry locations. This is a butterfly magnet! Good drainage is needed for all agastache. Aster X frikarti "Moench" is a long blooming (June- Oct.) blue aster that reaches 24-30". Chrysanthemum leucanthemum "Becky"- Long living 30-36" Shasta Daisy. Large white daisies with yellow centers bloom in June and July over sturdy dark green foliage. Sun- Part Shade. Coreopsis vert. "Moonbeam", this 18" thread leaf type has pale yellow flowers all summer long. C. vert. "Zagreb" is another long blooming thread leaf type, this has a more compact habit(15") and clear yellow flowers. Sun. Echinacea purpurea- Coneflowers like sun and average to dry soils. "Magnus- Rose-pink form(3?). "Bright Star"- This 2-3' long lived perennial has rose-pink daisy-like flowers from July to September. Good butterfly attractor. "White Swan"- A white flowering form of "Bright Star". Hemerocallis- "Happy Returns"- 3 1/2" clear lemon yellow flowers start in mid May and repeat until September. "Pardon Me"- Wine red 2 3/4" flowers start mid-late season and rebloom on 18" scapes. One of the longest blooming daylilies. "Stella D'Oro"- 2 3/4" slightly fragrant golden yellow flowers on a 18" scape, this 16" plant blooms from early mid season on.

Good luck with your new garden!

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