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In small area, 20'x8', what should I plant besides grass or vegetables?

I have a small backyard behind my condo, and I need some ideas for plants. Its a tough question. There isn't a lot of light so I need to plant something that's not light intensive like vegetables. Thank you.

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  1. Shade loving perennials in pastel shades would work nicely for a garden area. Pinks, silvery, blue ...delicate tints will really "pop" in a shady site. Some good choices: Aster, Phlox, Salvia (many colors/options), Coreopsis and Verbascum. Design the garden by measuring out area to be planted and sketching in plant choices for size and shape when they are full grown. Perennials tend to be hardy and aren't too labor intensive and they come back year after year.
  2. This sounds like a very interesting project. You could make a beautiful little haven for yourself if you plan this space wisely. You can get good information by just researching "small space gardens" on the internet. My recommendations: some curved borders on the outside planted with perennials and annuals, a stone, brick or wooden slat path meandering around the borders, some grass in a couple of very small areas, a water feature, a bush or two, some planters, some tasteful lawn ornaments and your lawn furniture in a strategic area. Low-light plants: hostas, ferns, violets, violas, impatiens, lilies, lily of the valley. A few herbs in pots: chives, basil, dill. Low-light bushes: cranberry, black currant.
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