Brooklyn Terminal for annuals, Bamboo Bob in Morristown, NJ Pitch: "When we first looked at our duplex in early 2004, the patio sold us. It was a blank brick canvas. I knew I wanted bamboo to soften the cement wall and add privacy to chain link fence above it. I searched the internet and found Bamboo Bob at Idigbamboo.com. He is such a character! I drove out to Morristown and purchased two large clumps of Yellow Stripe, which is an evergreen, can grow to 35 feet in height and can withstand temperatures of 10 below...." [more below]
I lifted some pavers on the patio and mixed top soil and manure with the existing sand that was underneath the brick. I put in a special plastic barrier to keep the tenacious bamboo contained. Two years later and new growth has filled the planter. Our bedroom looks out on the patio and when the wind blows, the rustling of the bamboo leaves is so cathartic.
To add additional privacy, we, along with our neighbor, attached willow fencing over the chain link. I hung mirrors to reflect light and views. All other plants are in container gardens. I purchase the annuals at Brooklyn Terminal, a huge wholesale market where the prices are unbeatable.