As you can see from the amount of post I'm making this week, I'm spending a bit less time in the garden.
I am planning next year to change how my terrace is organized, and it include having some private space, where there are huge plants blocking the view of part of the terrace, meaning that those plants would need to be 1.5m high ideally, and must fit in a container. Bonus point if their root are not going to dig in the terrace. Having an ashwagandha and a squash ggrow into the terrace was funny, but if I end up with trees in it, I won't laugh. So basically, a privacy hedge, edible (fedge) and/or medicinal (medge). Those terms on a search engine are just not recognized properly unfortunately.
To sum up what I'm looking for:
can grow in container
is about 1.5m tall
have a purpose like being edible, medicinal, entheobotanical
optionally if it can somewhat keep leaves in winter
Basically, I have a few ideas. First, having some trellis set up and having climbing plants. The ideas I have, for the climbing plants include:
Cucumber - edible
Luffas - being autonomous in sponge is one of my life goal
Passifolora - for its medicinal properties
Goji - for its yumminess/medicinal properties
Grape vine - becausshhh wine is shhe best thing eva
Akebia Kinata - heard it was nice
Schisandra sinensis - for its adaptogen properties
I have only some experience with cucumbers, luffas and goji, so perhaps those plants wouldn't be nice in a container and for the privacy part.
There are also a few other potential, for a hedge/fedge/medge, which are not climbing, but tall on their own:
Mimulus - look nice and seem to be edible
Solidago - powerful medicinal
Nandina domestica - medicinal
Berberis - medicinal
Ceanothus americanus - medicinal
Camelia Sinensis - seems to attract british people
What are your thoughts, experience ? Any other plants that could be nice ? Are there some of my ideas which should be avoided ? The smaller the container can be, the better, although I perfectly understand that a happy plant need a lot of space; some are just less needy in this area.
Hello Mike. My first thought is hardy kiwi. It grows quite robustly here in the zone 7b of North Carolina. It’s also evergreen. You’ll need a self pollinating plant or a male and female to produce fruit.
Jiaogulan is my second suggestion. It’s a natural sweetener with a ton of purported health benefits. I grew some for a season but a cold winter claimed it. It should be perennial where you live. Happy Gardening!
The soil here is hard clay as well but it seems to be doing ok. My neighbor actually planted some in clay at the base of a rough stacked, rock retaining wall. It’s ran through the wall and helps hold it in place.
I’ve not seen anyone grow it in pots but it may be worth a try.
If it's in a container is there somewhere you can move them during cold snaps? I ask because Mandarin style oranges and certain varieties of rosemary are within your height requirements and do well in containers. I am in an area that is still considered zone 8b and rosemary grows reliably as a landscape bush and groundcover here.
Growing citrus in the ground requires winter protection here so it's easier in a planter. When I was in an apartment I had a Meyer lemon that produced 22 full sized lemons on a tree barely over a meter tall. It was in a pot on the balcony whenever it wasn't freezing.
Both those options are evergreen and produce food. Rosemary is an early spring/late winter bloomer here which I think is a lean time for a lot of nectar dependent pollinators and has a smell that deters a lot of pest insects.
I have far too many plants that need to come back inside, it's going to be an issue especially if it's a mini-tree. There are a few where I will try to mulch them a lot, but otherwise it's going to be too complicated.
As for the rosemary, I already have a big one in the ground, so I'd like to try something else.
Hi Mike. Have you heard of pineapple sage? I didn’t know about it until last year. It may not be perfect for you because it dies to the ground in winter. During the summer it grows to about five foot tall and covered in flowers that hummingbirds really enjoy. It is a perennial in zone 7b.
If I can mix some plants that keep some aerial parts and some that lose them in the winter in the same container, that could solve the issue. However, surprisingly, I'm not outside much in the winter on the terrace so it should not be too much of an issue. Do you know any specific purpose pineapple sage has, for humans ? I have to admit that I tend to limit plants that are purely ornamental because of space, although I can still make a few exceptions for some.