Hell strip planting design
I am trying to make a design for the hell strip in front of the house. It is approximately 2'4" wide by 36 feet long. All current plants will be removed and we will start with a clean slate. There will be drip irrigation, but the plants should be drought/heat/deer tolerant. My list of top contenders are: phormium, lavender, nepeta, sedum, white gaura, yellow achillea, african daisies. Also two matching red crepe myrtles will be planted. Maybe a few boulders or irregular flag stones to add interest, and a place to step when crossing the street.
My question concerns how best to place the plants and how many in each grouping. The trees will be about 12 feet apart. Each grouping would occupy approximately 12 feet. I could make 3 groupings --for example, a grouping would consist (left to right) a couple nepetas, achillea, some creeping sedum, a lavender, a gaura, a phormium, 2 nepetas, then several feet of just African daisies. Then repeat the pattern? Is it better to change to order a bit for each group or repeat the same pattern? Add one different item to each, like a blue fescue or hen&chick?
Would it look better to instead have more plants in two groupings (either on opposite sides of trees or between the two trees), so the stretch of African daisies would be longer, and there would be say 3 nepetas, achillea, more sedum, 2 lavenders, a gaura, a phormium, 3 nepetas in each group?
The area is so narrow that plants can't be staggered much, the nepetas will look like they are in a row. Will this look okay or is there a better way? I'd love suggestions on how to best arrange them (before it was always weeds). The plantings here will be very similar to the opposite side of sidewalk as well, a strip that is the same dimension, bordered by a 18" retaining wall. This is my first gardening project where I had to do such a large area at one time. Suggestions please!