ideas for curb appeal for corner lot

(Question)

I have live in a semi-detached corner house. I have a long narrow S/E facing area. I’m looking for tall plants that will cover the exposed brick, keep my house cool but roots that are not too deep to get into my weeping tile.

Currently I have hostas, hydrangea, cone flowers, sunflowers, irises and last year I planted some giant micanthus. It’s all in bits & pieces; nothing is cohesive.
I think i have good soil. I’ve been adding lots of compost, vermiculite as well as wood chips to keep the areas around my plants covered & prevent any drying out. I live in downtown Toronto, so Zone 6?
My corner lot gets lots of direct sun & my bricks bake any plants that are near the wall. It is also very windy as there is a taller building north of my house. Sometimes it’s like a wind tunnel.

I don’t have water access so I’ve been trying to grow plants that are drought tolerant.

The distance between the house and fence is about 1.5ft and as of last year have been getting some sort of water staining on the parged(sp?) lower portion of the side of the house….is this from my plants, I wonder?

In the end, I just want my neighbours to not see an ugly brick wall driving down the street and maintenance free for me.

I have attached one picture (unfortunately your system does not allow for more…)

Please, please, please Help. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks, Harp

(Answer)

Thanks for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners. It sounds like you have quite a challenging site.
Here is a list of tall perennials (4 feet and over) that are pretty drought tolerant and would be harmonious with the Miscanthus grass.
Grasses
Cortaderia, selloana pumila (pampas grass)
Stipa gigantean (golden oats)
Native plants
Salvia Azuria (azure blue sage)
Ratibida pinnata (grey headed cone flower)
Other flowering perennials
Persicaria polymorph (giant fleece flower)
Erygium giganteum (Giant sea holly – Miss Wilmot’s Ghost)

If you are having difficulties coming up with a garden design perhaps you could hire a landscaper to craft a design for you.  You can find reputable landscapers on the Landscape Ontario website: http://landscapeontario.com/find-a-company

Good luck with your garden