Any suggestions for perennial plants and/or small trees that will grow in tallish but slim planter boxes?

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Hi, I recently picked up a bunch of old redwood fence boards that I'd like to make into vertical planter boxes about 4' tall with interior dimensions of 5"x5" for a narrow strip of the yard that gets 4-5 hours of sun a day. Ideally whatever is planted will grow fairly tall, maybe 1'-3', the higher the better, though maybe due to the size of the boxes this is unrealistic. I'm in Northern CA zone 9b. Any suggestions? Thanks!
 
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"Tall" immediately brings zinnias to mind, because they're not as massive as sunflowers, but your zone makes me hesitate. I'm not familiar with the northern climate, so maybe that's climbing rose territory?
 
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Thanks for the reply MamaHawk. I'm leaning towards non-annuals, something that would grow well and look good year-round in my oddly-sized boxes. Envisioning a row of these boxes with different smallish trees popping out of them, which may be unrealistic given how fast they might get root-bound. I've got some succulents that will work, this is my favorite type, and I'll try some bamboo as well- Cheers!:
 

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