Tips for Planting Against a Wall

A narrow space that bakes in the sun is easy to garden in—if you pick the right plants

Video: Britbox

No matter where we garden, many of us face the same challenging situation: a narrow space that cooks all day in the sun. Whether that spot is along a roadside or parallel to a driveway, it’s a struggle to grow anything there. Perhaps you have the added challenge of radiant heat in that spot, which can occur if you have a wall, solid fence, or house foundation to contend with. Although these areas are tough, there are things you can do to turn an inhospitable spot into a lovely garden.

Learn how Adam Frost, a British garden designer and guest host of Gardeners’ World (available on, turns a skinny bed against a wall into a picture-worthy border.

First, Adam suggests amending the area well with compost, which will improve the soil quality of the spot. Then he recommends planting a climbing rose and using a trellis to espalier the shrub against the wall to help camouflage its hulking presence.

He then offers some varieties of perennials that thrive in narrow spots with lots of sun and radiant heat:

  •  ‘Liquorice Blue’ giant hyssop (Agastache rugosa ‘Liquorice Blue’, Zones 4–9)
  •  Cushion spurge (Euphorbia polychroma, Zones 5–9)
  •  ‘Monarch’s Velvet’  scarlet cinquefoil (Potentilla thurberi  ‘Monarch’s Velvet’, Zones 5–9)
  • ‘Action Front’ bearded iris (Iris ‘Action Front’, Zones 3–9)
  • ‘Valerie Finnis’ white sage  (Artemisia ludoxiciana ‘Valerie Finnis’, Zones 4–9)

Through the tips and plant suggestions in this video, you’ll learn how to transform one of the ugliest sections of your property into one of the loveliest.

Learn more about training and pruning climbing roses here.

And if your wall-backed garden is shady instead of sunny, read about plants that might be better choices here .


Click here to watch Gardeners’ World on BritBox with a seven-day free trial.




View Comments


Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest