Planting in tricky areas
New homes and old semis often have narrow walkways beside the house, sometimes barely a metre wide. These are usually the only access to the back garden without going through the house.
Before making any grand planting plans, make sure there’s enough room to walk freely carrying items or wheeling bikes or bins. Use pavers or crushed granite for an easy-care surface and add groundcovers around the edges to provide greenery and suppress weeds. Half-circle hanging baskets on the fence add colour and texture, and are easily moved when needed. For wider passages, take advantage of narrow trees and shrubs and espalier them along a wall.
What to plant
Creeping thyme and golden oregano are brilliantly fragrant in sun, while succulents and Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’ shine. Dianella ‘Tiny Titan’ will grow from sun to shade, and bugle (Ajuga), ferns and ivy suit deeper shade.
For height, camellias are perfect in shade, or Magnolia ‘Little Gem’ in more sun. Ballerina apples and nandina also fit the bill, or string a climber along wires.