Urban - what to plant in back

robo (z6a)October 6, 2013

Hi all!

We have been two years in this house. Everything about the landscaping was a nightmare. Now gravel pool pad's gone, goutweed is 99% gone, and it's time to work on the most important bed, the one separating us from our back neighbours.

Dimensions: 10x40
Light: Part shade - 1h morning, 3h afternoon sun. 1/2 deciduous, 1/2 our house.
Northern exposure, protected
Soil: acidic, poorish.
Current plantings - all can and probably should go. Except maybe the hydrangea. In photos below: hydrangea, 2 x scots pines (horribly abused by pos, we already took down two even sicker!), 1000x burning bush, 1 small orange azalea and 1 small Nova Zembla rhodo. A few perennials.
Unseen: a 2.5 foot walkway between that bed and the fence. Bed is raised in the back.

What I like: naturalistic look, informal Japanese style, and privacy
Limitations: our backyard grass space is already tiny so don't want to expand the bed, but am willing to curve the grass into the bed to avoid straight lines. Also this lawn has hardscaping up the wazoo so am looking more for vegetation.

Do you have any suggestions on how to structure this design? I don't expect miracle instant privacy but would like to work toward it, and my two back neighbours have NOTHING to contribute to the effort.

My thoughts so far:
Capitata Yew
Satomi dogwood
More rhodies
Some red JMs, maybe inaba shidare or burgundy lace. Or fire glow.
Lotsa hosta.

View from family room window (sorry for reflection)

Left side (grass is in rehab)

Right side (taller deciduous trees are neighbours')

Rest of yard (there's not much -- ps I know the zebra grass is poorly placed, previous owners and now husband is passionately in love with it).

This post was edited by robotropolis on Sun, Oct 6, 13 at 8:40

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robo (z6a)

PS here is a tentative plan. I realize my sizes are a little ambitious...trying to think ahead 10-15 years...

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 9:20AM
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robo (z6a)

This weekend I put in a couple of Fargesia nitida, a JM tamukeyama, and a Thujopsis dolabrata âÂÂNana VariegataâÂÂ. It's a start. Still looking for some taller options...not sure if any of the columnar yews will take off in my zone.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 1:23AM
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robo (z6a)

It's spring planting time and I'm bumping my own thread to see if there are any interesting suggestions before I invest in my trees. Thanks so much for any ideas!! I added a Nova Zembla rhodo and a few hellebores for now along with the bamboo, thujopsis and JM. My neighbours cut down an enormous spruce tree that was blocking a lot of light so I'm considering even going as far as a blue Korean spruce in the back corner there. It would get 4-5 hours a day of morning sun.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 1:30PM
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