Forgotten, neglected, underused: the side yard.
This is a nice solution for side yards that are too narrow to be anything but a pass through and only get sun in the middle of the day. Podocarpus is underplanted with Blue Moor Grass (Sesleria caerulea) and Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’). Half of the Podocarpus are left as shrubs and half are limbed up as small trees. Hardscaping is kept simple and high quality.
‘Podocarpus is too common and boring’ you say. This side yard is anything but boring. More like stunning, modern, minimal, and elegant. And there’s a reason it’s so common: it’s hardy, it can take some shade, it can take some drought. It’s pest free. You can prune it as a shrub or prune it as a tree. It fits in those awkward and demanding spaces where you need something tall and narrow that can take shade and neglect. Podocarpus is reliable and always looks good. Graceful appearance notwithstanding, Podocarpus is one tough mofo.
More side yard/small yard goodness here: A Tiny Garden Done Right.