Remake your side yard garden | Midwest Living
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Remake your side yard garden

See how to create a low-maintenance, colorful garden in a narrow side yard.
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This narrow side yard garden is ideal for a hot, dry, south-facing wall. In this case, the 18-x-6-foot bed was installed against the side of a brick garage.

Although the garden offers a season-long display of color -- thanks in part to a sprinkling of annuals among the perennials -- it is designed to minimize maintenance. The plant chosen include heat-tolerant annuals, such as tithonia, creeping zinnia, celosia, and melampodium. The tough, low-maintenance perennials include black-eyed Susan, dwarf fountain grass, sedum, Russian sage, penstemon, blue fescue, and yarrow. Trumpet vines, trained on trellises, offer a quick vertical accent.

Plan and Plant List

A. Coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus). Zone 2-6. Berries attract birds in fall. (2 required)

B. Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans). Zones 5-9. Will grow taller in future years. (2 required)

C. 'Dream' rose (Rosa 'Dream Orange'). Zones 5-8. Requires no spraying. (2 required)

D. Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia). Zones 5-9. Leave uncut for winter interest. (2 required)

E. Dwarf tithonia (Tithonia rotundifolia 'Goldfinger'). Annual. This variety grows 2 1/2 feet tall. (8 required)

F. Penstemon 'Apple Blossom'. Zones 4-9. Provides early-summer color. (2 required)

G. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium 'Lavender Deb'). Zones 3-9. Pink-flowered variety. (2 required)

H. Melampodium 'Derby'. Annual. Group them for a better look. (8 required)

I. Butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii 'Royal Red'). Zones 5-9. Cut off spent flowers for neatness. (2 required)

J. Dwarf sedum (Sedum spectabile 'Brilliant'). Zones 4-9. More colorful than 'Autumn Joy'. (2 required)

K. Blue fescue (Festuca glauca 'Elijah Blue'). Zones 4-8. Drought-tolerant. (3 required)

L. Creeping sedum (Sedum spurium 'Bronze Carpet'). Zones 3-9. Contrasts nicely with the blue fescue. (2 required)

M. Creeping zinnia (Santavitalia procumbens). Annual. Spills out over rocks. (12 required)

N. Salvia (Salvia farinacea 'Strata'). Annual. Blue mixes with orange celosia. (12 required)

O. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm'). Zones 4-9. Summer bloomer. (1 required)

P. Dwarf fountain grass (Pennistemum alopecuroides). Zones 5-9. 'Hameln' is a popular dwarf variety. (2 required)

Q. Celosia (Century Series). Annual. Mix with salvia in front for color. (12 required)

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