Ideas for my narrow planting beds


Old 01-10-11, 11:37 AM
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Location: Florida
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Ideas for my narrow planting beds

I am in south Florida and I have two narrow planting beds. The front door faces north, and to each side of my front door is a planting bed 20 feet in length and 3 feet wide. They run along the front wall on both sides of the house.

I would like to plant something in those beds.

Originally when I bought the house, what was there were some cocoplum. I didn't want a "hedge", and wanted something a little more architectural and interesting, so I removed them and planted some red button costus on both beds. The costus did really well, the only issue is after a few years the rhizomes spreaded and I dug them all up and replanted them in the center. They also had a lot of ant problems because the flowers have nectar. Anyways, my lawn care guy was very helpful he saw some weeds around the planting bed and he took it upon himself to spray ROUND UP all over my bed. The Costus all died.

Now I have both planting beds bug up again and trying to decide what to do. Forty feet of planting bed, twenty feet on each side. What to plant?

My questions are:

(1) Is it necessary to plant the same thing on each side? Could I plant something to the left and something else entirely different on the right? Would that be weird?

(2) What kind of shrubs are more architectural looking?

(3) Should I plant a shrub on both sides but at the ends where it meets the corner of the house plant something taller, like a small tree?

Thanks for any advice or comments.
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Old 01-15-11, 05:40 AM
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I've been waiting on the horticulturists to chime in, so without their response, I'll interject mine. Since it is a narrow space, have you thought of planting a seasonal vegetable in there? Nothing better than fresh peppers, or tomatoes (in the south we'd plant collards, harvested after the first frost). Just an idea!

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