Any particular challenges with this space? How did you address them?
We have an air conditioner that looked huge in our small space so our first aim was to camouflage this using a chartreuse barberry. The view from the pergola was a solid brick wall in front of our garage, so we planted a row of boxwood to bring in some green. We've used a lot of climbing vines and bittersweet on the fences to make the small space feel more green. And we have a small fountain by the pergola to mask the noise of the elevated train that's close to the house.
There are shrub roses planted in front of the garage. They are pretty hardly. We don't treat them with anything but an organic fertilizer called Rose-tone. The white flowering vine is a 'Sweet Autumn' clematis and unlike the other types of clematis, it blooms from late summer into the fall. Those are the only two plants that end up covering the whole fence by the end of the summer.