I have a brick planter integral to the house, between the front steps and the driveway. About 10’ wide and 22" front to back. Between this planter and the sidewalk is about 8’ of mostly concrete, however a tree (peppermint willow) was planted in that space last year, taking about 4’x4’ of the concrete out. My USDA zone is 10B, my Sunset zone is 17 (this is San Francisco, however, so it seems to be getting warmer and dryer. No frost at all, little winter to speak of).
NW exposure, so it gets full afternoon sun (although once the tree is mature there will be a lot of shade). The wall above the planter is mostly blank, so my goal has been to ameliorate that blankness with something either pretty or architectural.
Things I have planted there have done pretty well, by and large, sometimes too well. I planted something (with a goal of architectural interest) with long spear-shaped fronds or leaves but they got out of control, too big and started interfering with the tree, so I’ve cut them all off and will be taking them out.
I’ve thought about various kinds of vines or climbing roses that would go mostly straight up the wall as one possibility (the wall is sort of medium sage green, so almost any color flower would probably look good). I’ve also thought of shrubs that could be trimmed or trained to grow up instead of out, but I don’t really know what would work in this situation. I would love to do lilacs, for example, but I don’t know if they can be trimmed or trained that way; but fragrance would be a plus for me. There is no way to irrigate this, so whatever is there has to survive on whatever watering I remember to do, and rain or groundwater.
So if you have any ideas, please share them with me, I am hungry for input.