Landscape Design forum: What to do, what to do...

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Feb 12, 2016 4:03 PM CST
Hi all!

I moved into my first apartment not too long ago here in Los Angeles, CA, and am very excited that it came with a cute little patio space, complete with a raised garden planting bed. The problem is, I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing when it comes to plants.

Thumb of 2016-02-12/sunshineyellow/42ba66
Thumb of 2016-02-12/sunshineyellow/dbf5f2

Here's the space. The bed is a little over two feet wide and is 20 feet long. It gets maybe around four hours of sunlight a day. There is nothing planted in it currently- the plants you see have migrated over from the neighbor's yard.

I feel like it could be really special and beautiful but I have no idea where to begin. I was thinking maybe five small ornamental trees (is that a thing?), with some smaller plants between, but I really have no clue.

What would you do with this space if it were yours? Thank You!
Name: Rosie
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Garden Art Region: North Carolina Bookworm Plays in the sandbox Deer Dragonflies
Feb 12, 2016 7:57 PM CST
Never lived in Calif. is 5 hours a day enough to grow herbs and veggies bcause if yes, that is what I would plant. Nice fragrant herbs. ..a trellis with veggies. If not, I would install a lattice wall or similiar and grow flowering vines and something below to creep over the wall.
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
Feb 12, 2016 8:22 PM CST

That's a cute patio!

Since you're in California where water is both expensive and scarce, I'd recommend drought tolerant plants. Do you have access to an outdoor spigot? Who would be paying for this water? Is your landlord okay with you planting somethings there? Even something permanent like trees? Also, trees are expensive! Are you okay with spending that much money in landscaping that you can't take with you when you move?

Also, two feet wide isn't very much space for tree roots, especially in drought-stressed LA. And surrounded by all that hardscape, that patio's going to get really hot.

I like Rosie's idea of a climber. Vines can spread quickly so they can be cheap to start, and I'm sure there are drought tolerant native vines. How about a rosemary that has a spreading habit (so not shrubby)? It would drape over the planter and provide a green backdrop. And they're very drought tolerant!

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