What Can I Plant?

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As mentioned on a previous post, our back yard was trashed when he bought the house. What in the world can I plant in these tight areas? We're painting the walls and I have the great Asian panels in the picture below (enough to cover the entire back wall), but I'm horrible at plants and what to use in planting areas that range from 1' - 18" wide, in horribly hard dirt, for plants that will not damage the pool decking or root deeply enough to seek out water from the pool. Keep in mind we are in the desert in Las Vegas with regular 110 degree Summer days and need something that won't make a mess in the pool. Something narrow and tall would be great for privacy from the 2-story house behind us that overlooks our yard. Bamboo would be a difficult option uinless we build curved planters and line them because of its running roots and potential pool damage. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
what can i plant, gardening, View to East Wall
View to East Wall
what can i plant, gardening, View to SW Corner
View to SW Corner
what can i plant, gardening, Trashed Water Feature
Trashed Water Feature
what can i plant, gardening, Wood Panels to be coated with marine grade poly and lined against the entire back wall to cover wall damage
Wood Panels to be coated with marine grade poly and lined against the entire back wall to cover wall damage.
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