Ask a Question forum→Ideas for divider bush/plant(s)

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bigcib
Feb 27, 2021 5:18 PM CST
Hi,
I'm looking for suggestions for what I would call a divider bush to plant in the red circled area in this picture. The area measures about 6 feet wide between the tree and fence. I would like whatever goes in here to be something that could either be blooming year round, or if it cant' bloom year round, at least stay green throughout the year. I want this to divide the area so I can't see behind this area to hide whatever is behind it (currently the storage box) In the summer, I plan on putting a outdoor sectional area right next to this area.

I am in the Bay Area of San Francisco and this area gets good sun all year round, even with it being under a tree. I would like the bush to be around 4' tall.

Suggestions? Thanks so much for your help!

Thumb of 2021-02-27/bigcib/212ad0

Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Feb 27, 2021 8:36 PM CST
Welcome to NGA, bigcib -- blooming year around (and even staying green year around) are kind of foreign concepts to my area, but I'm sure there will be other members with good suggestions for you! Best of luck with your project Smiling
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Name: John
Pomona/Riverside CA (Zone 9a)
CPPgardener
Feb 27, 2021 11:35 PM CST
Privet, Rhaphiolepis, Abelia, Nandina, Mahonia, Viburnum, Photinia. Some of these come in variegated types which are colorful all year round.
“That which is, is.That which happens, happens.” Douglas Adams
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Roses Zinnias Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover Bookworm
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pepper23
Feb 28, 2021 8:21 AM CST
Roses also.
Name: PotterK
Seattle, WA
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greenriverfs
Feb 28, 2021 9:03 AM CST
That's a pretty hefty tree sitting right there next to where you want to plant. It might matter what species of tree it is. If Black Walnut, it would limit what can grow there.
But no matter what, that tree will hog the space, the water and the nutrients.

I would build a bed raised a foot or more, or use a large container for your new plants. This will reduce competition by the tree. And, if you us a container, you could use something like bamboo, which would not escape the space.

In fact, a nice bamboo in a large raised bed would be perfect. Except there'd be no year round blooms.

bigcib
Feb 28, 2021 11:28 PM CST
Thanks so much for the input.
The planter box is a really good idea.

Another thought I had would be a knockout rose bush or a Hydrangea. Any thoughts there?
I'm in a region (9b) that the leaves may stay on throughout the year. I have a rose bush next to my house and it hasn't lost its leaves this winter (although it's been a mild one).

Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Mar 1, 2021 6:07 AM CST
I like the container-bamboo idea.
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: PotterK
Seattle, WA
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greenriverfs
Mar 1, 2021 3:01 PM CST
Consider the esthetics. Your photo shows a somewhat industrial-looking site. There are lots of straight lines. Concrete. Grey colors. The warmth is all in the cedar fence, with its varied colors and textured boards. Note the vertical lines the fence makes. A patch of bamboo right in the center of the scene, blocking view of the shed, adding greens and yellow hues to the warm reds of the fence. That could look pretty good.

A rose bush or a hydrangae would, to me, look like just another plant plunked down in an urban landscape, with no connection to what is around it.
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Roses Zinnias Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover Bookworm
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: United States of America Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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pepper23
Mar 1, 2021 6:12 PM CST
Knowing how bamboo can be I would make sure to get clumping bamboo so it doesn't take over every possible spot it can.

I started paying attention to the narrow strip to the left and depending on how much sun or shade it gets hostas and ferns would look good there with the bamboo.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
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sallyg
Mar 1, 2021 6:46 PM CST
Bamboo In a pot- not in ground- and I don't know if there's a risk of it growing down through drain holes?
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: John
Pomona/Riverside CA (Zone 9a)
CPPgardener
Mar 2, 2021 8:14 AM CST
If the pot is tall enough (18"+) there shouldn't be a problem. Or could put on bricks or blocks to prevent ground contact.
“That which is, is.That which happens, happens.” Douglas Adams
Name: PotterK
Seattle, WA
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greenriverfs
Mar 2, 2021 6:53 PM CST
As I understand it, clumping bamboo roots are active spreading in about the top 12 inches of soil. In fact, you can buy bamboo screening, with is basically a 24" sheet of very tough plastic that you bury (vertically) to form a wall to stop bamboo roots. They don't go deeper than the 24 inches, so the plants stay contained. I have done this with our neighbor's bamboo, and it works.

But in your case, you don't really have anywhere for the bamboo to go. There is the big tree, concrete walkways, and a wooden fence. Your neighbor on the other side of the fence, though, might appreciate you keeping the bamboo to yourself.

So I would build a raised bed, or use a watering trough type basin, and plant a nice clumping bamboo. One that enhances the vertical lines of the fence and that adds some color to the scene.
There are some dandy bamboos out there. I envy you getting to choose one!

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