Re: update on garden/bottle brush
Well, Donna, that side then would get lots of sun....from that photo,
doesn't look like there are any large trees shading things, either.
Since you sit at that window as well, I think your best bet is to get
a tall pole - bamboo would do or anything up to 12' or so that you
could handle and see just how tall something on your lot line would
have to be to block your view of that window from a sitting position
and a standing position. Then you'll know what ultimate height
plant you need to look for or how tall to make an obelisk or trellis
or whatever you decide to use. It would be easiest with a helper to
adjust, say, a piece of cardboard or something along the pole from
the outside while you were inside giving instructions. As soon as
the cardboard covered the window, you'd know what the height had to
be to do the job.
The closer the object that's doing the blocking is to the window, the
shorter it can be and successfully block a view. I concur with Kitty
that it looks more like about 8' than 10 or 15 because the section of
chain link doesn't have a post in it and posts are usually set about
every 8'. This is why I'm thinking narrow columnar for any plant you
might put on the property line.
Evergreens have the advantage of screening year around where
deciduous material only gives you a real screen during the growing
season. Of course, really twiggy deciduous plants provide some
visual screening in winter, but you can see through them.
I don't know what kind of shows your neighbors provide, but if it's
something you really don't want to see, evergreens would work best to
block the view. Evergreens also form the real backbone in any garden
because they are always there - and they come into their full glory
in winter when all else is bare branches and mounds of dead material.
Evergreens form great backdrops for perennials as well. Think of
the grand English gardens; they all have lots of hedges, if not grand
old masonry walls, to provide their perennial borders with an anchor
and a backdrop.
As best I can find by searching, it seems like you're going to be
limited to only a few genera in the needled evergreen shrub line in
your climate, for a full sun situation relatively close to a light
colored masonry wall. Of these, here's a list with links to pix that
show forms that are narrowly columnar to fit that relatively narrow
area. Many that would be hardy for you would get way too big for the
space after a while. See if anything pricks your interest. (I've
really given Kitty's snipURL a workout tonight:-))
Thuja occidentalis - arborvitae
'Emerald' (also known as 'Smaragd' and 'Emerald Green')
'Nigra' - http://snipurl.com/44h1
'Pyramidalis' - http://snipurl.com/44ir
'Wareana' - http://snipurl.com/44h3
'Degroot's Spire' - http://snipurl.com/44iq
'Filiformis' - http://snipurl.com/44it
'Yellow Ribbon' - http://snipurl.com/44iw
Juniperus chinensis `Spartan` - http://snipurl.com/44iy
Juniperus scopulorum 'Medora'- http://snipurl.com/44j2
'Wichita Blue' http://snipurl.com/44i8
'Gray Gleam' - http://snipurl.com/44j0
Juniperus virginiana 'Skyrocket' (J. scopulorum 'Skyrocket') -
Chamaecyparis obtusa `Gracilis` http://snipurl.com/44im
On the deciduous end, Chris wrote a Plant of the Month article about
Crataegus viridis 'Winter King' (hawthorn) that makes it sound a
most interesting plant if you wanted to use something more tree like
- and I think hawthorns can be pruned to hedges as well. I don't
know if birds like the berrys, but it sure seems a 4-season plant.
I've never grown one; can't actually say I've ever seen one; don't
think they like my climate.
Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor: Gardening in Shade
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> From: Donna <email@example.com>
> > What direction is north here?
> The brick wall. This is the southern exposure to my home, as in my
> faces the east.
> > I'm assuming that the wood fence is the property line? If it
> > continued straight to the street that would be property line?
> Pretty close, since my memory is not as great as it used to be, I
> the fence is about 12 inches off the property line technically. I
> basically consider it to be that.
> > If that's so, then something that got about 8' tall would
> > block that bedroom window view from your window unless you looked
> > on purpose, since the property line is close and the average
> > horizontal sight line for a standing person is about 5' or 5'6"
> > finish floor level, which I assume, is above the exterior grade
> > in your house. I'd guess your window sill is maybe 30" off the
> > floor?
> It is fine if you are standing by the window, problem is when
> the chair by it. You somehow tilt your head up while looking and
> by keeping the shade half way down (I have very long windows 72")
> problem is non-existent. I am sure they are thinking it doesn't
> since I do not have a second floor here, yet my roof would get in
> way of others. I tend to open every shade up during the day when I
> home, I love sun light.
> > Something strongly columnar but not wide - like, say juniper 'Sky
> > Rocket' or similar might do the trick for you. There are several
> > other genera of plants that have that sort of form. I know Chris
> > Lindsey could come up with a bunch suitable for your climate -
> > font of knowledge where woody plants are concerned.
> Well I hope he chimes in! I am not a big evergreen fan, but might
> to do something like this.
> > Another option is a section of trellis. Like maybe an arched
> > feature the width of the window going from property line to
> > which you'd grow vines - path to meter would be under it. Or,
> > could put in a line of columns along the property line, connected
> > the top with a beam of some decorative sort and grow vines up
> > and across the beam to block the view...not a real fence, but a
> > visual barrier if code permitted it in your area. Or a tall
> > of trelliswork upon which you grow vines....or two or three of
> > in a row. Or about any evergreen hedging type plant that you can
> > keep clipped so it doesn't get too wide - I mean that would grow
> > your area.
> Will have to look into that, anyone got a suggestion for zone 5? I
> the obelisk idea.
> > Speaking of which, Teeny Kitty spends hours on the window sill of
> > window on which we have one of those stick-on feeders - you know
> > kind you can see into via 1 way glass backing but the birds can't
> > you watching them? Sticks to glass via little plastic disks that
> > create a vacuum to hold it on. Creates a real kitty TV show in
> > and she loves it. Not sure how you'd fill it from your window,
> > but.....ours is right at the deck, so it's easy to fill from
> > but I just mention it for those who need kitty TV.
> We are on ground level, so will have to look into it.
> > I was thinking rambling rose on that section of chain link fence,
> > since it seems to be in sun and would sure discourage kids from
> > climbing the fence. See where you don't think one would grow
> > Not sure why...what is your soil like? Is it really alkaline?
> > so, that may be why. Roses, in my experience, actually like or
> > prefer heavy clay based soils to sandy soils, but most want soil
> > the acid side. There may be some that do well in alkaline
> > no rosarian so really don't know...not enough sun for too many
> > roses:-(
> They all died before so.... but I have amended the soil on the
> side of the fence and it drains well. Of course this side of the
> is a whole nother matter.... got lotsa work to do before I can
> anything. Solid clay under that grass. Will have to check the ph...
> > If that chain link fence is in full sun all day, likely the metal
> > gets too hot for most vines to be able to survive on it, esp. as
> > tender youngsters.
> Yep, that's my thought, but seems if I can get them started and we
> a cool spring/summer, they then shade it and take off. Have a few
> done well.
> > If a rambler rose won't grow there, you could consider getting
> > hands on some of that roll bamboo fencing I've seen and simply
> > it to the chain link - would change the look dramatically and
> > likely, a clinging type vine could get a foothold and grow up it
> > if you wanted a twiner, you could simply run twine up, secured to
> > ground with ground staples, so it could twine. By the time the
> > bamboo rotted, the vine would be established and the top growth
> > shade the metal enough so that it wouldn't roast the vine parts
> > touching it.
> > A section of that ready-made cedar or even plastic wood trellis
> > also work, I should think...like one for each side of the chain
> > so it looked like trellis work fencing. Drill some holes in the
> > or plastic every 3' to put plastic coated wire through and wire
> > the chain link. Slap a treated 1x4 on top at an angle to shed
> > and you've changed your fence image.
> Good ideas!
> > If you did curve out a bed from the front corner of the house and
> > plant it in shrubs, that would effectively screen the side yard
> > most of the street. A combination of evergreen and deciduous
> > material could give you both year around form (screening) and
> > seasonal flowers and/or berries. Berries would help attract
> > Actually any kind of shrubbery attracts birds as they appreciate
> > cover it gives them. Evergreens provide roosting spots summer
> > winter. I have these two (now huge) Chamaecyparis the birds
> > love...at dusk every day, they become large twittering green
> > for all the birds on the inside of them settling down for the
> > A curved continuation of your existing bed with a shrub or two on
> > street end of it would then conceal the rest of the fenced area
> > the street - or, ought to, if I'm reading what you have
> Yep, sounds like a plan! Thanks!
> > One way to see if this would be so is to get some good size
> > like the mature height of what you think you might plant - and
> > them into the ground where you think you might put the plant.
> > then have to use a bit of imagination for width of plant, but you
> > pretty well tell if the plants would create the kind of visual
> > you have in mind before you do any buying or digging. If you're
> > spatially challenged, you can use big cardboard boxes cut up and
> > tacked to the stakes to more visually indicate plant width. This
> > kind of dry run is really uniquely attractive and will cause
> > passersby to scratch their heads if you leave it up for a few
> > while you think about it:-)
> Wouldn't my neighbors just love it :)
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