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RE: update on garden/bottle brush

> What direction is north here?

The brick wall. This is the southern exposure to my home, as in my home
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 think
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 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
> floor?

It is fine if you are standing by the window, problem is when sitting in
the chair by it. You somehow tilt your head up while looking and oops...
by keeping the shade half way down (I have very long windows 72") the
problem is non-existent. I am sure they are thinking it doesn't matter
since I do not have a second floor here, yet my roof would get in the
way of others. I tend to open every shade up during the day when I am
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 - he's a
> font of knowledge where woody plants are concerned.

Well I hope he chimes in! I am not a big evergreen fan, but might have
to do something like this.

> 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.

Will have to look into that, anyone got a suggestion for zone 5? I like
the obelisk idea.

> 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.

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 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
> roses:-(

They all died before so.... but I have amended the soil on the other
side of the fence and it drains well. Of course this side of the fence
is a whole nother matter.... got lotsa work to do before I can plant
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 have
a cool spring/summer, they then shade it and take off. Have a few that
done well.

> 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.

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 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.

Yep, sounds like a plan! Thanks!

> 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:-)

Wouldn't my neighbors just love it :)


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