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Re: update on garden/bottle brush

You're welcome, Donna...

I should think a path would work just fine.  I wasn't sure where it
needed to go; you'd need to head it in the right direction:-)

Ah,  wondered if you needed to block any views there.  Well, if the
neighbors insist on putting on a show, maybe you just need to put a
video camera in that window; let it run during show time and then
give them the video...might be enough to get them to put down the

What direction is north here?

I'm assuming that the wood fence is the property line?  If it
continued straight to the street that would be property line?

If that's so, then something that got about 8' tall would probably
block that bedroom window view from your window unless you looked up
on purpose, since the property line is close and the average
horizontal sight line for a standing person is about 5' or 5'6" from
finish floor level, which I assume, is above the exterior grade there
in your house.  I'd guess your window sill is maybe 30" off the

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 - he's a
font of knowledge where woody plants are concerned.

Another option is a section of trellis.  Like maybe an arched trellis
feature the width of the window going from property line to house, on
which you'd grow vines - path to meter would be under it.  Or, you
could put in a line of columns along the property line, connected at
the top with a beam of some decorative sort and grow vines up them
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 obelisk
of trelliswork upon which you grow vines....or two or three of them
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 in
your area.

Birds love our Wisteria that grows on the trellis over our deck..they
use it as cover and hop in and out of it all summer.  We used to hang
bird feeders off the trellis until the mess on the deck got too much
for me to deal with, but you could hang feeders off a trellis at the
window which would provide lots of action for Tigger to watch.  Birds
also love roses - I've got one large multiflora out back of our deck
that's a veritable birdhouse all summer - it provides a lot of cover
and protection for them and they are not going to be happy when I
finally get rid of the durn thing, which I intend to do...keep
hacking it back bit by bit.  Roses growing up a trellis would be very
nice for you, birds and Tigger.

Speaking of which, Teeny Kitty spends hours on the window sill of a
window on which we have one of those stick-on feeders - you know the
kind you can see into via 1 way glass backing but the birds can't see
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 3-D
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 outside,
but I just mention it for those who need kitty TV.

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 there. 
Not sure why...what is your soil like?  Is it really alkaline?  If
so, that may be why.  Roses, in my experience, actually like or
prefer heavy clay based soils to sandy soils, but most want soil on
the acid side.  There may be some that do well in alkaline soil...I'm
no rosarian so really don't know...not enough sun for too many

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.

If a rambler rose won't grow there, you could consider getting your
hands on some of that roll bamboo fencing I've seen and simply wire
it to the chain link - would change the look dramatically and then,
likely, a clinging type vine could get a foothold and grow up it - or
if you wanted a twiner, you could simply run twine up, secured to the
ground with ground staples, so it could twine.  By the time the
bamboo rotted, the vine would be established and the top growth would
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 would
also work, I should think...like one for each side of the chain link
so it looked like trellis work fencing.  Drill some holes in the wood
or plastic every 3' to put plastic coated wire through and wire to
the chain link.  Slap a treated 1x4 on top at an angle to shed water
and you've changed your fence image.  

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 from
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 birds. 
Actually any kind of shrubbery attracts birds as they appreciate the
cover it gives them.  Evergreens provide roosting spots summer and
winter.  I have these two (now huge) Chamaecyparis the birds
love...at dusk every day, they become large twittering green mounds
for all the birds on the inside of them settling down for the night.

A curved continuation of your existing bed with a shrub or two on the
street end of it would then conceal the rest of the fenced area from
the street - or, ought to, if I'm reading what you have correctly.

One way to see if this would be so is to get some good size stakes -
like the mature height of what you think you might plant - and stick
them into the ground where you think you might put the plant.  You
then have to use a bit of imagination for width of plant, but you can
pretty well tell if the plants would create the kind of visual screen
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 days
while you think about it:-)

Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
Editor:  Gardening in Shade
Current Article: Spring Peepers
Complete Index of Articles by Category and Date
All Suite101.com garden topics :

> From: Donna  <justme@prairieinet.net>
> Thanks Marge- your right, I never could visualize that! Maybe a
> would work. 
> My goals are that I am also trying to stop the view from neighbors
> bedroom 2nd floor window to the window by the birdbath. Don't know
> they never pull their shade down, and I keep mine open for the cat,
> although now I pull it down half way to avoid the view. I also
> like the birds to be attracted there, so tigger has something to
> I am also trying to avoid folks from the street being able to see
> pond waterfall. (I realize that you can't see that from the picture
> sent, it was behind me) Kids are forever wandering over and trying
> climb the fence to get a better look, of course, jumping right into
> perennial bed:( I figure if they can't see it, maybe..... I also
> stand the look of the chain link fence either. The wood fence is my
> previous neighbors who I allowed to hook into mine. I don't have an
> issue with how that looks. Couldn't afford a wood fence at the
time, so
> opted for that to contain the pond and dog. I envisioned covering
> with different kinds of vines, but due to the amount of sun here,
> to bake them all when small and not getting too far on that
> Donna
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net
[mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net] On
> > Behalf Of Marge Talt
> > Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2004 3:44 AM
> > To: gardenchat@hort.net
> > Subject: Re: [CHAT] update on garden/bottle brush
> > 
> > Well, Donna, here's a really rough sketch as a picture is worth a
> > thousand words:-)
> > 
> > http://www.mtalt.hort.net/temp-a/sketch.gif
> > 
> > Figured it would be easier to draw than explain...but idea is to
> > extend the bed you already have on the other side of the chain
> > fence in a curve, so it looks like it just continues through the
> > fence.  Put in a bed at the street corner of the house that bells
> > out; plant some taller, wider shrubs and/or shrubs and a small
> > so they would actually hide most of that area from the street,
> > creating a bit of a secret garden from that side.  Put in a path
> > the electric meter and turn the grass into groundcover as it
would be
> > hard to mow in there.  Path would actually take up most of the
> > between the beds; realize this sketch is at no scale:-)  Hope it
> > makes sense.
> > 
> > At the end of the extended bed, where it hits the wood fence, put
> > some narrow columnar shrubs or grow some vines up the fence. 
> > if you're trying to hide the fence, neighbor's yard or not.  If
> > you could just use some taller perennials there and let that
fence be
> > their background.
> > 
> > I'd be inclined to plant a tall columnar something up against the
> > chain link fence between the meter and the existing garden so you
> > don't see the meter from where you took the photo.  That item
> > start the new extended bed on the house side.  I just thought of
> > and didn't put it in the sketch.
> > 
> > So, that's my suggestion, FWIW:-)
> > 
> > Marge Talt, zone 7 Maryland
> > mtalt@hort.net
> > Editor:  Gardening in Shade
> > -----------------------------------------------
> > Current Article: Spring Peepers
> > http://www.suite101.com/welcome.cfm/shade_gardening
> > ------------------------------------------------
> > Complete Index of Articles by Category and Date
> > http://mtalt.hort.net/article-index.html
> > ------------------------------------------------
> > All Suite101.com garden topics :
> > http://www.suite101.com/topics.cfm/635
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > ----------
> > > From: Donna  <justme@prairieinet.net>
> > > A picture is worth a thousand words... so :)
> > >
> > > http://illianagardenpond.org/southside.jpg
> > >
> > > This was taken from inside the yard looking to the street. Need
> > > something from the fence to front of home. I may be mistaken
> > 16
> > > ft, but I thought that was what I measured a few years ago and
> > somehow
> > > stuck in my head. I know the 53 ft is right cause I just got
> > buying
> > > flooring for my basement :)
> > >
> > > My neighbor is not into gardening as the small bed (barely
> > > against the garage)was put in by previous owners. I was not
> > planning on
> > > adding anything to their side of that space. At one time had
> > thought
> > > about a mini-wildflower prairie, but DH assured me someone
> > end up
> > > mowing it down.
> > >
> > > Sounds interesting Judy, but not sure I have enough room. I
> > still
> > > have to make it accessible to the meter reading folks.
> > >
> > > I just need to get started and it would probably fall into
> > or
> > > everything get moved at later date. I am forever digging
> > up
> > > and moving it anyways.... due to not liking the combo or plant
> > > liking the area....
> > >
> > > Donna
> > 
> >
> > Support hort.net -- join the hort.net fund drive!
> > http://www.hort.net/funds/
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