Tall flowers that grow near walls add texture to your landscape and generate vertical interest to attract the eye. One of the challenges of gardening next to walls, easily overcome by mindfully selecting types of flowers, is that walls create microclimates, which tend to be warmer or cooler than the rest of your yard. For an aesthetically pleasing display place shorter plants in front of taller plants to hide their stem’s frequently leafless base.
1. Camouflage an Unsightly Wall
Improve the appearance of an unsightly wall with the bush growth habit of some tall and wide perennials that bear butterfly-attracting blossoms. French honeysuckle (Hedysarum coronarium) has fragrant, red flowers in June and July and grows 3 to 4 feet tall and wide in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 7. Easy to grow from seed, it tolerates poor, rocky or sandy soil. Anise-scented sage “Black and Blue” (Salvia guaranitica “Black and Blue”) has deep-blue blossoms from July to frost and grows 2 to 5 feet tall and wide in USDA zones 8 through 10. Good for average soil, you’ll get the most flowers by deadheading the spent ones.
2. Decorate the Wall with a Trellis
Solve the issue of landscaping near a wall in full sun by growing a vine with pealike blossoms up a trellis. Hyacinth bean (Lablab purpureus) displays rose-purple, pealike blossoms, followed by edible fruit, from June to frost in USDA zones 10 through 11. Able to thrive in dry soil, it easily grows 10 to 20 feet tall from seed. Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) comes in a variety of flower colors, including pink and white, grows 3 to 8 feet tall in USDA zones 2 through 11 and tolerates light shade. For best results, don’t plant this annual in hot and humid climates or in the same place in consecutive years.
3. South- or West-Facing Wall
Carolina lupine (Thermopsis villosa) and black-eyed Susan “Indian Summer” flourish in the sunny, hot microclimates created by a south- or west-facing wall. Carolina lupine has large flower heads covered in yellow flowers in July atop stems 3 to 5 feet tall. Native to the southeastern U.S., it prefers soil with dry to medium moisture in USDA zones 4 through 9. “Indian Summer” puts out blossoms with bright yellow petals surrounding purplish-brown eyes from June to frost in USDA zones 3 through 7. Very attractive when planted en masse, it grows easily from seed.
4. North- or East-Facing Wall
Chinese astilbe “Superba” (Astilbe chinensis var. taquetii “Superba”) and bugbane “White Pearl” (Actaea matsumurae “White Pearl”) thrive in the shadows found near a north- or east-facing wall. “Suberba” begets plumes of deep-lilac blossoms in June to July on stems 2 to 4 feet tall in USDA zones 4 through 8. Excellent as a tall groundcover, it can grow near black walnut trees. “White Pearl” grows loads of tiny, white blossoms on arching bottlebrush spikes on stems 3 to 4 feet tall in USDA zones 4 through 9. It requires consistent moisture and makes a charming addition to flower arrangements. (Ref 6,7)
- North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension Service: Residential Landscaping
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Salvia Guaranitica "Black and Blue"
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Hedysarum Coronarium
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Thermopsis Villosa
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Rudbeckia Hirta "Indian Summer"
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Actaea Matsumurae "White Pearl"
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Astilbe Chinensis Var. Taquetii "Superba"
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Lablab Purpureus
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Lathyrus Odoratus
- Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images