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Trees, Shrubs and Conifers: Help! Neighbors have taken away my privacy

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Forum: Trees, Shrubs and ConifersReplies: 88, Views: 1,364
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DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 20, 2012
8:38 AM

Post #9130512

I moved into a house and have neighbors who constantly come over to the fence - a chain link one they put in - and talk and talk and talk. The conversations are unpleasant. The parents have a grown and unemployed son who lives with them, and then he comes over and complains about his parents. Then they complain to me. They just announced to me that they had cut back their shrubs so that they can see me better. In other words, I have lost my privacy, and they can see me every time I go into my back yard. They come running out of their house and pry and ask me to do things for them (she wants me to set her hair!)

Here is what they did to their shrubs: please see the first three pictures.

As result, here is the view from my side. Please see pictures four and five.

I can't make them regrow their shrubs. They have been very pushy.

So, please, please give me some suggestions for something to fill this space. The are here has dicentra, Hydrangea Snow Queen and Snowflake, several forms of athyrium, epimedium, fragaria vesca reugen, coral bells and so forth. It is on the east side of my property and is part sun part shade, but I would like something that can handle shade since it is fairly heavily wooded.

I immediately thought of a viburnum prunifolium (I had one in my own yard) but am not sure it is the right shape. A cornus alternifolia is too big for the site. Possibly a large fothergilla? The soil seems nicely balanced between alkalinity and acidity. I grew fothergill minor at my old house but it is too small - and it needs sun to color in the fall. I would like to get a fairly large specimen of whatever I choose and get it in no later than this fall. I will go to a garden center NOW if they stock it. I would be so grateful for your help, since I can no longer go into the yard without these people literally running out of their house to get me into the middle of their squabbles.

Thank you!

Thumbnail by DonnaMack   Thumbnail by DonnaMack   Thumbnail by DonnaMack   Thumbnail by DonnaMack   Thumbnail by DonnaMack
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Cearbhaill
Russell, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 20, 2012
10:20 AM

Post #9130633

Wear earbuds every time you go outside and IGNORE them.
Honestly- just say no.

Resin

Resin
Northumberland
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

May 20, 2012
10:34 AM

Post #9130649

Plant some Toxicodendron radicans along that fence ;-)

Resin
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 20, 2012
10:36 AM

Post #9130652

That would definitely discourage them from bothering you! LOL Some nice running bamboo would be another thought (make sure to put down a root barrier on your side to prevent it from spreading further into your yard than you want it)

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

May 20, 2012
10:41 AM

Post #9130659

Plant some sunflowers, maybe Canna's. Something that grows fast & big!

Someone in our town had this problem too. They put up an eight foot high wood fence. The people went to their upstairs to look in, so they added 4 more feet. The neighbor called the sheriff, he laughed at them. Said they could put up as high of fence as they wanted.
This same woman fakes a heart attack about every 4 months, just to get attention. Very sad!
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 20, 2012
10:46 AM

Post #9130665

Thank you all so much for your suggestions. I'm going to start with earbuds (they complained to me, if you can imagine, when I did that earlier). The poison ivy sounds like fun!

Weerobin actually came up wit a plant I had been coveting. A Codsall Pink deutzia. Grows 8 feet. Forest Farm has a 3 foot one. I am actually going to pay their shipping, since I got fabulous plants from them earlier in the season. A mind is a terrible thing to lose.

http://www.forestfarm.com/product.php?id=1579

Donna

june_nmexico

june_nmexico
Albuquerque, NM
(Zone 7a)

May 20, 2012
11:09 AM

Post #9130686

I was thinking some thorny Pyracantha might be a solution. Another option
might be to put up a few high trellises along that fence line and plant
climbing roses, or perhaps ivy if it's a shady area.

The ear buds are a good idea. And developing a sudden, mysterious loss of
hearing might help! If they have to shout at you to be heard it might discourage
them.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 20, 2012
11:43 AM

Post #9130710

Thank you June,

I actually have a climbing rose in a sunny area that serves that very purpose.

I'm looking forward to blocking the view so that they can't stare. I've been ignoring them, so the latest technique is to cough and clear their throats a lot. And stand where they are supposedly in my line of vision.

They complained that the previous couple avoided them, and that the husband in particular would only grunt when they spoke to him. They lived side by side for 20 years, and when the couple here moved away without a word my neighbors complained about how cruel that was and how heartbreaking it was. So I would feel badly and have a relationship with them. At functions, when I am meeting other people, they come up, interrupt, and explain that I am THEIR neighbor (we saw her first! And she should have waited for us to introduce you to her!)

The people who lived here were simply avoiding the control freak, the passive aggressive and the busybody. I 'm just trying to put a stop to it before they insert their claws any deeper.

Thank you so much for letting me talk about this. I still think the complaint to the sherriff about the 12 foot fence is the best. In my previous community, where fences cannot exceed four feet, I screened out the busibodies with 15 foot smokebushes, tall ornamantal grass and lilacs that grew to12 feet. Thank goodness, no homeowner association here, so I can do as I like.

Thank you again.

Donna

june_nmexico

june_nmexico
Albuquerque, NM
(Zone 7a)

May 20, 2012
12:04 PM

Post #9130722

We moved to New Mexico from California and I was shocked that every yard
here is enclosed by high cinder block walls. It seemed so unfriendly but these days
I truly appreciate the privacy of those high walls!


DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 20, 2012
12:35 PM

Post #9130737

This what I did in my old yard. Climbing roses are great for this, as are grasses and smokebushes. There was a neighbor who practically lived in the alley behind his house, and he would stare into my kitchen windows as I cooked.The giant grass in the photo put a stop to that. The arbor in the second belonged to wealthy neighbors who built the biggest house there but had no window coverings at all - and they would sit in their dining room and stare at us as we ate dinner. They made jokes about it. It went on for three years, until I put in the crabapples and smokebushes and a viburnum prunifolium, and stopped speaking to them. The window coverings went in three weeks later. They were paying attention. The window coverings were just like ours.

I caught on quickly. It became over the years impossible to see the interior of the yard from the sidewalk. And I got the grasses at deep discount. I did get a landscape plan so I could get the bones right. The first picture took care of a lot of problems.

I'll bet there are a lot of stories like this.

Wow, I miss this!

Thumbnail by DonnaMack   Thumbnail by DonnaMack   Thumbnail by DonnaMack   Thumbnail by DonnaMack
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DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 20, 2012
1:04 PM

Post #9130759

This what I did in my old yard. Climbing roses are great for this, as are grasses. There was a neighbor who practically lived in the alley behind his house, and he would stare into my kitchen windows as I cooked.The giant grass put a stop to that. The arbor in the second belonged to wealthy neighbors who built the biggest house there but had no window coverings at all - and they would sit in theior dining room and stare at us as we ate dinner.

I caught on quickly. It became over the years impossible to see the interior of the yard from the sidewalk. And I got the grasses at deep discount. I did get a landscape plan so I could get the bones right.

Wow, I miss this!

Thumbnail by DonnaMack   Thumbnail by DonnaMack   Thumbnail by DonnaMack   Thumbnail by DonnaMack   Thumbnail by DonnaMack
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gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

May 20, 2012
4:09 PM

Post #9130945

You forgot to mention the problems you have with the wild animals in your own yard (tounge in cheek.) I have an "electronic scarecrow" that keeps the deer away from my apple trees and/or the racoons away from my bird feeders. Has a 9 volt battery in it, a motion dector and it hooks up to the garden hose. Sprays anything that comes close to it.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 20, 2012
4:27 PM

Post #9130955

Sorry for the double post!

What a great idea! My wonderful neighbor on the other side put in an electronic scarecrow to deter squirrels, and it really works. It's so sensitive it was triggered when I walked down my driveway (but was limited in sweep so it wouldn't hit me). It made me jump when it went off, though. Hum...
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

May 20, 2012
6:00 PM

Post #9131074

If nothing else, you are making me feel better about where I live.
Cearbhaill
Russell, KY
(Zone 6b)

May 21, 2012
5:08 AM

Post #9131507

When I moved to this home I left a backyard that was 100% privacy screened via fencing and landscaping- you could dance naked in the backyard at high noon and no one would know.
This new yard with see through chain link fencing (gasp!) was quite the adjustment for me.

I have great neighbors- don't misunderstand.
But I am NOT chatty, do not care about neighborhood gossip, and do not want a close relationship with my neighbors. I want them to keep their eyes open for burglars when I am not home and call the fire department if they see smoke and that's about it. Friendly distance- trade phone numbers and emails but hardly ever use them.

It's as much your attitude that determines the tone of the relationship as anything.
When I go to work outside and a neighbor is out I will wave or holler "hello" once and that's it. I keep my head down and do whatever I am doing. If a chatty neighbor wanders over to the fence line I do not drop what I am doing to chat and just keep working. If they want something "hey look at this photo on my phone" I just tell them "maybe after I finish what I am doing."
Now- what I am doing may be nothing more than sitting in a lounge chair admiring my yard, but it's what I am doing and I am not available for chat.
They will move on.

Sure- I would plant arborvitaes or thorny roses or whatever would most quickly block my view, but my attitude towards them would set the tone- don't give them that power.
Take if for yourself.

You don't have to be mean or rude- just matter of factly stand up for your right to choose how to spend your time.
If it is a real need, talk. I've had a screaming neighbor pound on my door and yes, we ran to help her out (her elderly father was driving his car down the side of his yard), but every day chit chat is different and everyone knows it.
Start out being polite but if polite doesn't get YOU what YOU want then change your tactics.
Ignore these schlumps.
Don't be afraid to say what's on your mind- "I'm sorry- I would like to sit in my back yard quietly right now" is a valid thing to want to do.

I mean no disrespect to you at ALL and am not directing this at you personally but here's a funny saying-
If you lay down and act like a doormat don't be surprised if people come by and wipe their feet on you.

Don't play their stupid game.
Do what you want and talk or don't talk but don't feel guilty about shutting them down.
They don't seem to be overly sensitive and when they realize you won't take their bait they will stop.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 21, 2012
5:55 AM

Post #9131579

Thank you, Cearbhaill. You are absolutely right. I am not at all offended.

I fell right into their hands. She's handicapped, and there they are, with her crying over the fact that my friends went to New Zealand and didn't tell them. The person I'm really angry with is me. I'm very relationship oriented and it gets exploited. I'm also an introvert who enjoys my own company.

When I saw that they had taken my privacy, and they actually said they did it so they could see me better, I realized that I'd been had. I should have known better.

So after I wrote this I stopped talking to them or acknowledging their presence. The son ran over to the fence and started babbling. I told him I had a lot of projects and was very busy. He seemed taken aback.Then I went and got my earphones and got down to work.

Since then I have heard them talk loudly to each other, or clear their throats, or sit on their patio in the line of vision their chopping created. They love to bring over their guests and they had some yesterday but I completely ignored them.

I joined their church's choir and the father tries to control when I get there and who I talk to. I am going to get there on time, not early, as he keeps telling me, mostly so he can dominate my company and indicate to people that I am THEIR neighbor, do my job, and get the hell out..

As for the Codsall Pink, I do want it, because now have a clear view of their ugly chain ink fence, their yard, and I want a sound barrier.

What was it I read in a book? I need to unwind the unnecessary intimacies that were pushed on me. And, fortunately, they know absolutely nothing about me.

Thank you, everyone. I need to stop being so "nice" (read doormat). I really appreciate that you took the time to respond to my dilemma.

Donna
koshki
Grosse Pointe Shores, MI
(Zone 6a)

May 21, 2012
9:09 AM

Post #9131905

Donna, what an uncomfortable situation!

My first thought was perhaps you could buy some of that bamboo fencing that attaches directly to the chain link, but is much taller. Instant privacy, it's on your side of the fence and certainly looks better than the chain link. Then you can take your time figuring out what plants you might like to add.

How sad that these folks need to involve strangers in their dysfunctions!

Katherine
Goldenberry
Northeast, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 21, 2012
9:58 AM

Post #9131972

I have a doublefile viburnum (Marie's or Mariesii) that has grown to be about 6 feet tall, 8 to 10 ft wide and very dense. If I had known how gorgeous and good for privacy it would become, I would have planted more, and I still might. I recently bought a cross-pollinator for it and oh, did they both put on a show this spring!

But you might want to start out with a good sturdy wood fence. Instant privacy, you know?
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 21, 2012
10:16 AM

Post #9131998

That is amazing. I was offered a tiny Mariesi. I used to own five viburnum plicatum tomentosum Lanarths, but they were take out by a severe winter. Here are three of them. Awesome for privacy. What a heartbreak!

The bamboo fencing might be a good temporary solution, It would, however be attached to their chain link fence.

I put in several oakleafs, and they would in time help the situation. Of course, the gap is in the space between the oakleafs.

You know what's really sad? Because they butchered the shrubs they will never grow properly now. They'll be hideous.

Step one. Never acknowledging their presence again. In time, the throat clearing and coughing will stop.

Thank you all.

Thumbnail by DonnaMack
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ViburnumValley

ViburnumValley
Scott County, KY
(Zone 5b)

May 21, 2012
3:58 PM

Post #9132452

That Miscanthus giganteus you so appropriately employed in the past would perform quite nicely in the new situation. In one growing season, at that.

Plant more permanent woody things where you want them, and when they reach adequate size you can eliminate/edit the Giant Miscanthus.

It is the best temporary hedge going.
GardenSox
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 21, 2012
4:42 PM

Post #9132522

Donna, I just wanted to say I was sorry to read about your obnoxious neighbors. They seem like incredibly rude people to me. It really bothers me that they would go to such great lengths to force themselves into your life at your own expense. Clearly, there is something "wrong" with them. As a fellow introvert I know it would be hard to say something like this, but if you ever do have to talk to them while you're outside gardening, would you feel comfortable telling them that you like to work in the garden quietly and that you'd rather talk to them at other times (like never)?
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 21, 2012
5:56 PM

Post #9132610

VV,

I would love to grow a giant miscanthus. It reached that size in three years! Unfortunately, this is a shady location, and that's the limitation. In order to accomodate the deutzia I would have to move a hydrangea Snow Queen that I put in place in spring. I am not certain that moving the oakleaf at this time is safe, since it is leafing out. I have moved lots of perennials under these circumstances. I don't want to stress the oakleaf. I have a hydrangea Q Snowflake that will eventually do the job, but it will take years.

VV, you are an expert. Would you wait until fall to move the Snow Queen?

Donna



This message was edited May 22, 2012 4:15 AM

ViburnumValley

ViburnumValley
Scott County, KY
(Zone 5b)

May 21, 2012
9:01 PM

Post #9132897

If you just planted that shrub this spring (last week? Last month?), then I doubt you would have any trouble at all just moving it to a new spot now. I wouldn't wait till fall, but I might wait till the new foliage/growth hardens off.

I would make sure it is fully hydrated before you lift it, and try to do it during a stretch of cooler cloudier weather rather than during a hotter drier sunnier stretch of days. Otherwise, you shouldn't have any issues especially if you are keeping up with watering anyway.

I wouldn't think a shadier situation would slow down the Miscanthus much. It certainly won't look identical to one in full sun, but I think it would suffice till any shrubs you might plant go ahead and grow in.

Anything to screen out those incredibly strange/needy/freakish neighbors - with apologies to all other normal strange/needy/freakish people.

growin

growin
Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8b)


May 21, 2012
9:04 PM

Post #9132904

Big angry dog in your yard. You need one.

ViburnumValley

ViburnumValley
Scott County, KY
(Zone 5b)

May 21, 2012
9:09 PM

Post #9132911

As long as anger focuses on neighbors, not landscaping...

growin

growin
Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8b)


May 21, 2012
9:25 PM

Post #9132920

...and new signage. If the neighbours don't get it, they aren't so bright.

Thumbnail by growin
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DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 22, 2012
3:22 AM

Post #9133038

These ideas sound really great. I am going to order the deutzia, and get my hands on some temporary fencing. It doesn't have to be pretty - almost better if it's not. I used to take very tall wooden stakes and use a staple gun to attach burlap to it. So I am going to take 2-3 stakes, attach the burlap, and put them in the space. It will send a very direct message. And when the deutzia comes, I will lift the oakleaf, move it to a location in which I lost another one, and pop the deutzia in.

Cheap and effective. And I think it will send a clear message. Especially when I give the father (who cut the shrubs) a very cold shoulder when I see him later in the week.

Thank you all!

missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

May 22, 2012
4:41 AM

Post #9133097

A little late but don't forget clethra. Beautiful and fragrant - many choices.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 22, 2012
4:51 AM

Post #9133102

I actually own one. Thank you.
missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

May 22, 2012
9:32 AM

Post #9133488

Have you been happy with it? I plan on adding a compact one - need privacy but at a distance with a two rail fence. Took out a really ugly butterfly bush -- too old and not producing. Could cut back but it actually not good in that spot.

growin

growin
Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8b)


May 22, 2012
9:45 AM

Post #9133506

I have a few ideas. This current listing for old skids http://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/zip/3028663674.html (free), have them shipped and just prop them up on their fence. If it was me, I'd buy this park model http://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/rvs/3029894868.html and park it along that fence side. Instant privacy while you work away at the rest of the garden. Sure it is unsightly but it would do the job for now while trees & shrubs grow in. It would also work as a temporary storage. Reminds me, I need to buy the security camera system to catch the person spraying my garden with herbicide. Ugh!
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 22, 2012
11:35 AM

Post #9133643

Missingrocie, I had that plant in my old garden. It was really charming and I liked it very much.

Just went to Menards and got three plant stakes - six feet tall (and $1.99 each). Use a mallet to hammer them into the ground. I wanted to use a staple gun that I bought to attach burlap (which I already had) to the stakes but the staples don't fit the gun. So I'm going to run back to Menard's. I'd love to get this in before they get home. Nice welcoming present.

kwanjin

kwanjin
West Valley City, UT
(Zone 7a)

May 22, 2012
2:01 PM

Post #9133866

Just don't be surprised if they remove your fencing. We've had neighbors in the past do that. All the ideas you've been getting are great.
gasrocks
Portage, WI
(Zone 5a)

May 22, 2012
3:45 PM

Post #9134017

Always thought that the laws governing fencing do change from state to state. When it comes down to details, I guess I would not assume anything without looking into it first.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 22, 2012
5:47 PM

Post #9134189

While they were out, I hammered three stakes into the ground opposite the three chopped shrubs. By the time I could put the burlap on, the son was in the yard, on the side where I was, doing busywork (what is she doing over there?) I waited in the house for a while, and then realized that it was MY YARD and he didn't have to like it.

So I started installing three layers of burlap, right in the space they had cleared for themselves so they could stare and get closer. He cleared his throat a lot. I then put burlap at the top of the three, tied it in, and walked away. I didn't acknowledge his presence.

All of this is on my side of the property line. And there are no laws here governing fences. It's not attractive, but it makes a big old statement. And since I stopped speaking to them after this happened, I think they get it. They are basically cowards. Why else would they bully a woman living alone?

In order to remove it, they would have to come around to my yard and pull the stakes out. Their bullying doesn't go that far. I then going to order the deutzia, think about what other shrubs I would like while I'm at it, and as Viburnum Valley suggested, relocate the oakleaf now.

I feel much better!

kwanjin

kwanjin
West Valley City, UT
(Zone 7a)

May 22, 2012
11:34 PM

Post #9134600

Good for you. It's your yard. Sounds like you'll be able enjoy it now.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 23, 2012
6:14 AM

Post #9134805

I found an image of what this location looked like before they carved up their shrubs. this was at the end of April, as I was establishing my new garden.

First pic.

And this is now. Second pic.

See how ugly it is, on top of everythings else?

This message was edited May 23, 2012 7:16 AM

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growin

growin
Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8b)


May 23, 2012
10:09 AM

Post #9135124

DonnaMack, I hope this works for you and gives you some peace and quiet. From my experience, it may have made things worse. Please watch your back with them.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 23, 2012
3:26 PM

Post #9135568

I'm keeping my eye on them. But these people are cowards. My naivete just provided them with an opportunity.

And, you know, there is another ugly section of chain link fence next to yet another neighbors yard. I'm going to but two plants. Forest Farm is shipping to my area well into June, and the cost of shipping two plants is the same as for. And 1-2 foot plants are $10-2. My house faces north south, and the two houses face east west on another street, so they back into mine. And both have exposed chain link fences. The other house's fence is covered by the many native shrubs that were already there. Because they are so low maintenance, I have been able to put my energy into antique roses, peonies, and perennials.

Amusingly enough there is a pokeweed plant about five feet from the gap. THEY ARE HUGE!! I have two in the yard - you can't get them out. They grow about 8 feet - fast. There are two in my yard, both in front of their fence. I would never have put it in. But it is going to form another natural block in a few weeks, before going dormant in the fall. It's on the right in the picture. I remember them in the garden from last year. They were very, very tall!

Thumbnail by DonnaMack
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kneff
Dearborn, MI
(Zone 5b)

May 23, 2012
11:08 PM

Post #9136157

Oh, boy. The only thing worse is what my friend Mary Jane did--she had an affair with a neighbor. You can imagine the uproar when her neighbor's wife found out. I had a problem with two women across the street, who sat on the porch all day from May to September, staring my way. So I planted a wide garden across the middle of the yard with a pergola in the center flanked on one side by red twig dogwoods, tall lilies, and Culver's root, and on the other by two big stands of Joe Pye weed, two PJM rhododendrons, and more lilies. Now I can get the mail or water the plants in my nightgown without being on display. All of this garden is in partial shade. Some of it is cut back in the winter, but no one is on the porch across the street then.

Next door we got new neighbors who totally let the yard go, and I planned a solution that I didn't have to use. It turned out that they had a new landscape in the works and were simply waiting for the work to be done. We have no fences in our neighborhood. What I would have done, however, was to install a series of 6 foot x 6 foot panels a few feet apart. They were to have 4 x 4 posts as sides and 2 x 4s for top and bottom rails. The centers were going to be lattice, which is much less see-through than most trellises, and I would have planted them with sweet autumn clematis, which grows fast, stays green through much of the winter, holds its brown leaves until I cut it back in the spring, and does well in our shaded yard. Because this arrangement would only have been about two feet thick when the clematis was growing, I planned to plant in front of it as well.

On our other side, the neighbors don't want to pay for watering, so in the summer, their yard is brown and ugly. That side of our lot has about a 30 foot deep border of woodland garden along the perimeter, and at the far edge I let some of the zillion Norway maple seedlings have their way and grow into saplings. When they get too tall I chop them down and let the next generation take over. The whole thing is shaded, directly under three giant limbed-up spruces (I'm guessing 70' tall), a big mulberry (I know, I know--it's for the birds, literally), and a tulip tree that's even taller than the spruces, so not much besides Norways and honeysuckle can compete effectively for water and root space anyway. They make a nice green screen that blocks the brown next door, but is loose enough to let some filtered afternoon sun through. Wildflowers grow on the inner edge, and I put a couple of half whiskey barrels there, too, for some structure and color. They have heuchera and begonias in them, and add to the screen.

My solutions to neighbors involve plants and structures. My husband's is much simpler--a set of Bose sound-deadening headphones!
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 24, 2012
3:35 AM

Post #9136212

I laughed out loud.

There are actually three fairly large sweet autumn clematis on the fence. Planted from my side. To hide the ugly fence. So, of course, they established their little perch between them.

Saw the husband at choir rehearsal last night. He came up to me and I turned my back. He tapped me on the shoulder and I brushed his hand off. Then he tried to sit next to me. I moved. He asked - what's going on? And I walked away. From then on I acted as though he wasn't there.

I don't think he would have gotten it if I'd picked up a chair and hit him. Which I would have loved to do.

And I consistently wear headphones in the garden.

In six months this won't be a problem.
missingrosie
Hillsborough, NC

May 24, 2012
5:20 PM

Post #9137178

Donna,
Could it be that your neighbor is incredibly dense or challenged when it comes to social cues--- or do you think truly trying to harass? How do others at church etc respond to this family?
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 24, 2012
5:59 PM

Post #9137230

Missingrosie, it's interesting that you ask. I went to choir practice last night and it was weird.

The father, who is a member of the choir, kept trying to get physically close to me and I kept maneuvering away. He tried to intercept me before I could greet anyone else, and I just moved around him. He tried to sit next to me, but I got up and sat between two other people who were singing in the same range as I was.

At one point he came up behind me and put his hand on my shoulder and I pushed it away. He demanded to know what was going on, but I just walked away.

Just now I was in the garden winding up my hoses and securing things. The wind is really picking up. It's getting stormy. As I was headed toward my house he appeared, started walking toward me and calling out hi, Donna, clearly intending that I stop. He had seen me from his house and clearly came out to intercept me. I said hi and went into the house.

I think he has some fairly serious problems.


This message was edited May 24, 2012 8:08 PM

growin

growin
Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8b)


May 24, 2012
7:04 PM

Post #9137347

I've experienced this before, hence my suggestions of a large dog/trailer which really aren't aesthetic at all, but do the trick. Donna, make sure that someone else is aware of what is going on - maybe another neighbour or friend close-by and carry your cell phone with you while gardening or at church in-case they decide to do something stupid. Unfortunately this isn't Pleasantville and as missingrosie suggested, they don't get the social cues or respect privacy. I suspect it will get worse.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 24, 2012
7:12 PM

Post #9137361

I just communicated this to a close friend who knows all the parties. I'm no chicken but his does have me concerned.

kwanjin

kwanjin
West Valley City, UT
(Zone 7a)

May 24, 2012
8:21 PM

Post #9137467

It has us concerned, too. Please, keep us posted.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 24, 2012
11:59 PM

Post #9137642

Thank you.
keithp2012
West Babylon, NY
(Zone 7a)

May 27, 2012
8:01 AM

Post #9140336

Japanese Privet, we had the exact issue you do. In one year we no longer had to see our pesky neighbors! The birds love the fruit in fall and the butterflies love the flowers in spring.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 27, 2012
12:01 PM

Post #9140612

Ran into the bonehead Dad at choir rehearsal this morning. He tried to turn on the charm but I looked right through him. Not in a way that anyone else would notice, but in a way that made things clear. And then I realized something. No one was talking to him. He had so monopolized me there that I hadn't noticed. I was lucky in that everyone was so kind and friendly, and they really welcomed me to their group. He had told everyone that he was responsible for my being there - people I had not met thought so. I merely smiled and told them that I was so impressed with their Strawberry Festival fundraiser that I wanted to get involved.

I went back home, and now I am back in my wonderful new garden moving around lily bulbs and picking cherries from the cherry tree in the yard.

I have 3 Deutzia scabra Codsall Pink on order with Forest Farm. Perfect for the soil, lovely in spring, low maintenance and they will come as three foot plants! Ultimately, 8 to 10 feet high and wide. One will take care of the location. The other 2 will cover chain link fencing that is attached to a house will a dog that needs training and a view on the other side that needs covering.

I think it probably helped that I wore a sleeveless top this morning. I'm a recreational bodybuilder, and my arms are bigger than his.


I want to thank you all again for your kind thoughts and suggestions. It truly made me feel much more secure to have your input. This is such a great community.

Donna
carolmo
Olathe, KS
(Zone 5a)

May 28, 2012
5:09 AM

Post #9141395

I also just moved into a new (older) neighborhood about one month ago. I am re-landscaping back and front. Had 600 bricks to outline beds (not enough), bags of garden soil, bags of cotton burr compost, and 9 metal tree stakes for dwarf fruit trees delivered and got teenager to help. Had many plants saved from old house. Also ordered many more.

Neighbors across street are nice and not pushy. Have 3 neighbors in back with short metal fence. Neighbor on one side is nice and very old with tiny barking poodle - they sit in back often under an overhang. Neighbors behind me with little kids have 2 apple trees that hang over fence but said they did wanted them gone and it was OK if I cut them where they hung over the fence - they are friendly too.

Neighbor(s) on other side has many old appliances in back yard and hung 3 old rugs on the wire fence between us. The rugs do NOT shield me from his junk.

I think the reason he added the rugs might be to prevent me from planting along his side. I have 14 tomato cages and several iris/daylilies on the side by old man. I think he does not like my landscaping - tough. He can still see what I am doing with the brick lined beds.

Most of the 7 beds are close to completion, except for the large one by his house. I have many holes ready for this one - leaving space for flowering cherry and whatever I do to hide his appliance graveyard.

Yesterday he added a blue bath rug and toilet rug on the fence - they look nicer than the 3 old ratty rugs. The teenager wanted to ask him why he was doing this - I said to stay away - guy was too odd. Guy scowls at me and the teenage helper. The rugs are getting watered by my sprinklers - hah! If he wanted to air them out, he could just hang them on his back fence - no one can see there (except me).

Family and friends have considered what to do: shed? (expensive and on a slope), wood fence? (maybe best choice - instant), trellises? (keep trying to get tall ones but cannot find locally - not sure why), tall shrub? (take too long to fill in), tree? (maybe - slow but faster than shrub).

I may have to add a wood fence along the metal fence to hide his junk. I asked whose fence was whose when I bought the place, lady did not know, fence was in when she moved in. Need to replace part in front by bad guy anyway - has gaping holes on sides and was used to allow riding lawn mower in to mow lady's back yard. Holes good for giant bunny access to yard.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 28, 2012
6:29 AM

Post #9141508

I'm so sorry to hear this. The only ugly views I have ever had to hide were of nosy neighbors faces gawking at me.

Another section of my yard backs into the same length of chain link fence above. It is decorated with an enormous tire and bright blue tarp. That's why the additional Deutzia.

Ay my old house I put in a trellis from a fabulous mail order company called Trellis Structures. The New England Trellis It really did the job, but I too was looking for good trellises locally and could not find them.

This what people saw from the outside. There is a huge patio table with 8 chairs hiding behind that trellis. I really had it nailed at the old house, where people stared from windows, the sidewalk, and the ubiquitous driveway used as a living room.

Thumbnail by DonnaMack
Click the image for an enlarged view.

june_nmexico

june_nmexico
Albuquerque, NM
(Zone 7a)

May 28, 2012
9:33 AM

Post #9141723

Donna - That trellis is just breathtaking. If you could afford to put a few of those
down your current fence line you'd solve the snooping problem and at the same
time give yourself a glorious vista! Perhaps a local handyman/carpenter could
build something similar for you?

When looking for places to live most of us don't think to do some serious
investigation of neighbors. We live in a nice middle-class neighborhood and it
has an undercurrent of a combination of Desperate Housewives and The Witches
of Eastwick, augmented by constantly barking dogs! After 11 years I've learned that
the best relationship with the adjacent neighbors is one confined to a polite wave,
a cheerful "Hi", and as little involvement as possible beyond that. I always have my
cell phone in my pocket when working outdoors and pushing the volume button makes
it ring so I can easily excuse myself from any unwanted encounters. ;-)


growin

growin
Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8b)


May 28, 2012
9:44 AM

Post #9141738

lol. june_nmexico, that is rich. DonnaMack - stunning trellis! A neighbour decided to steal soil from the garden on Saturday which turned into a fight. I hate that sorta thing. I laugh at the landlord hiring a journalist to recommend edible landscape plants.

"Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!"
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 28, 2012
11:57 AM

Post #9141991

My next door neighbors made it quite clear to me that they were waiting for me to share my tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and peas whenever they are ready. Oh, and of course the raspberries, logamberries and gooseberries. They used to note how nicely they were coming along, and surely that there were too many for meet to eat alone and plenty to share?

Now that they leave me alone, I enjoy taunting them by going outside, picking cherries from the cherry tree, and showing my visible delight in eating them. After all, they can now see me, in most locations of my back yard, 24 hours a day!

In my old neighborhood, people were quite direct. If it wasn't neighbors peeking and spying, it was passersby and complete strangers who would say they that they understood that this was a real COMMUNITY so they were here for a tour of the garden. One guy walked 20 feet into my property and walked right up as I was digging dandelions, said he wanted a look around and started to light up a cigar. I told him that if he was going to smoke he would have to get off my property. Then I told him to get off the property in any case. He was completely shocked.

That's why the back of the property, off the alley (which people used instead of the street, complete with children, despite lots of cars, gawking at you without speaking, as though they were shocked that you were there) , looked like this.

Thumbnail by DonnaMack   Thumbnail by DonnaMack
Click an image for an enlarged view.

carolmo
Olathe, KS
(Zone 5a)

May 28, 2012
2:20 PM

Post #9142146

After looking at lots of trellises on line, spotted ultra cheap willow fencing that could be attached to metal fence posts - my teenager is already expert at getting those posts in ground. Need to put posts 4 ft apart. Will find out how to attach to post. Ace Hardware has some 5 ft tall. It comes 6 ft tall but do not know who has this. I think 5 ft will be tall enough, it will be on a slope higher than the bad guys house. May put it in at least 1.5 ft from existing metal fence. I think I can get through 1.5 space. $60 for roll 13 ft long, 5 ft tall, 2 inches wide? I need to see this.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 28, 2012
3:38 PM

Post #9142243

You should clone your teenager! The least expensive solution to the privacy issue is usually the best. My old community had so many rules that getting permission to put a trellis in that location was easier than getting permission to install a tree. I am putting in three $10-$15 shrubs here that will take care of the problem.

I was able to install such a nice trellis because of a wonderful gift that I received. It also gave me a chance to put in some everblooming red roses, so it, and the grasses and smokebushes, made a beautiful privacy fence.

I already feel better, having made my plans. I'm sure you will too.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 9, 2012
5:56 PM

Post #9158558

Here are the deutzia Codsall Pinks that I received from Forest Farm (Ok, I threw in a rose, since shipping for 3 gallons is the same as 4). The deutzias were advertised to be 2-3 feet tall. The tallest is over five feet tall - $10 each!

I've been getting them into the ground. The neighbors are craning their necks and clearing their throats but I think they get the message.

Thank you again, everyone. You've been great!

Thumbnail by DonnaMack
Click the image for an enlarged view.

growin

growin
Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8b)


June 9, 2012
6:19 PM

Post #9158585

That's a good price and they look quite healthy. Good deal, I'd say.

june_nmexico

june_nmexico
Albuquerque, NM
(Zone 7a)

June 10, 2012
9:08 AM

Post #9159153

Donna - those look like they'll grow to be the perfect solution and be a
treat for your eyes as well. Can you plant them far enough in from that
fence that the busybodies can't reach over and hack at them?
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 10, 2012
9:42 AM

Post #9159182

Oh, thank you June. How thoughful. The first one is in and they would have to have ten foot arms to get anywhere near them. I think they reserve their hacking for their side of the fence. I am installing the other two in areas where another neighbor has both a chain link fence and is using their side of it as a dumping ground (huge truck tire that isn't in the picture, garbage cans, a big tarp, and a house that's not in good shape) but I am moving the amazing hydrangea that never bloomed for the original owner. A little compost, regular watering and a mild winter did the trick - as you can see it's in major bud. I've read it should be done in October or March, when it's dormant.

Many, many problems solved with the gerneous advice of many people on this and one other thread. I'm so pleased.

Thank you!

Donna

Thumbnail by DonnaMack   Thumbnail by DonnaMack   Thumbnail by DonnaMack   Thumbnail by DonnaMack
Click an image for an enlarged view.

GreenThumbSuker
Mobile, AL
(Zone 8b)

June 10, 2012
2:49 PM

Post #9159531

DonnaMack,

I will start by saying that I absolutely love the color of your home in the pictures. Your trellis is also an amazing site.. I want to talk about this grass -giant miscanthus-as I have a neighbor situation similar but not nearly as aggressive as yours.

We live on 5 acres and do not have neighbors that are overly close. The man to the east has 40 acres and is a good bit away, but he is a wonderful neighbor. The ones to the south have 10 acres are far enough away, also lovely people. To the west is our closest and most obnoxius neighbors. -- When we moved here several years ago there was a lovely elderly lady that we dearly loved and helped her any way we could but is no longer with us.. Her house sold and though there is space, there is a small fence between us. --

My hubby used to tell me about this guy at his place of employment that was just annoying, truly just got on his nerves. A know it all kind of person.. Fast forward a few months...to our closest neighbors house being sold, and just guess (of all the people in the world) who bought that house... Yep, You guessed it!

On the fence line there are some large shrub like trees about 15 or so feet high and 6 to 8 ft wide, and some other trees as well... but it is a long fence line so I would like to know more about this grass to fill in the holes. Bright sun shiney area looking for something to fill in the gaps.. :)

I'm glad you problem seems to have improved. :)
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 10, 2012
3:40 PM

Post #9159568

This grass is amazing, and it is exactly what you are looking for in a full sun situation. Miscanthus giganteus is by far the fastest growing grass. And it's 12 feet tall - before the flowers.

I planted it in autumn of 2004 and by 2007 it had reached well over ten feet.

This question came up before, and there is a thread in which I posted pictures and discussed timing. May I send you to it?

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1243005/

If you have any other questions, please post them here and I will be happy to respond.

Donna
GreenThumbSuker
Mobile, AL
(Zone 8b)

June 10, 2012
5:26 PM

Post #9159678

Thank you so much. I'm sure this grass will be very helpful to me.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 10, 2012
6:33 PM

Post #9159776

Wonderful!

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 16, 2012
11:29 AM

Post #9167636

Donna...glad you have made a plan and having a bit more peace of mind lately. Just seeing this thread and skimmed through it quickly. I have five backyard neighbors, two of which due to distance and their age aren't problems. One had a great fence installed around their property when they had a pool put in and then they planted landscaping and I liked the privacy it offered us so much that we installed the same fence along two neighbors on our north side. At one time five kids live there, and the other is a shade tree mechanic / collector of all things automotive!

With the addition of this roll fence, you can see the privacy it gives. Here are two pictures that are of the fence on my side of the existing chain link fence. It is a six foot treated flexible fence that clips on with wires to the chain link. We like it so much that if we moved we would install it again over a chain link. Easy install, and only takes about 30 minutes with two people to put in 50 foot of it.

Thumbnail by Sheila_FW   Thumbnail by Sheila_FW
Click an image for an enlarged view.

DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 16, 2012
5:00 PM

Post #9167921

That's really cool. I take it they don't mind having you attach it to their fence. I do have three huge autumn clematis that they previous owner attached (just not in the REVEAL! spot. The roots are on my side of the fence but it is attached to their fence. I think they know better than to touch it. I pruned it in the spring.

Chain link two up there with the beautiful hydrangea also had a huge hardy geranium on my side. I dug it up and relocated it. And put one of the deutzia there, which is now in bloom. When the hydrangea goes dormant, I am also going to move it. It was moved once before because it was thought not to bloom. It did bloom this year and has the most glorious blueish purple flowers. They don't deserve such beauty so I am going to put it where I can see it through my window without looking at their garbage.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 17, 2012
8:19 PM

Post #9169452

No, because at that time it was a rented house and one of the five boys was autistic. My dogs would bark at the kids especially him when he would grab and shake the fence. The other (automotive part guy) asked me "Did you put that fence up to hide my junk?" I said yes, before I thought then laughed...but it was the truth!
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

June 18, 2012
5:33 AM

Post #9169689

Where did you buy that fencing, Sheila? I could use it to hide the area behind my neighbor's shed. Can it attach to other types of fencing or to trees, if needed? The only fence we have now is the original post and rail (ours).
snapple45
Holland, OH
(Zone 5b)

June 18, 2012
8:40 AM

Post #9169899

If you added teenagers with BB guns sneaking shots at the birds at my feeders and proselytizing to the scenario, we would have similar situations. My solution was quick, ( one day) drastic and expensive. I had a 6' wooden privacy fence installed up against, but not touching, their chain link fence, fully legal and with all the necessary zoning permits. I decided to put the fence up around the entire back yard and re-landscape accordingly. My nice neighbors to the south were a little miffed at first but later told us they loved the newfound privacy themselves. The west neighbors, who were friends with the miserable, rotten east neighbors were very upset. They couldn't any longer see through my yard to have loud conversations with the proselytizing east neighbors, who were equally upset. They never spoke directly to us about it, only others in the neighborhood. Still had one problem though. The rotten teenagers would climb a ladder and shoot over the fence. Never so glad in my life I dipped into the savings. It was the right thing to do.

My back yard is my sanctuary. Visiting it is by invitation only. Its where I go to replenish, not be harassed.

Have you thought of holding your nose and planting a border of 'Emerald' arborvitae? It serves the same purpose and is green all year, obviously.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 18, 2012
9:19 AM

Post #9169945

Snapple, good for you.

I've gone hog wild and am ordering yet more shrubs. Getting larger ones from Forest Farm costs more money, but the fix is relatively quick. My original annoying neighbors (who have trellising and vines on their property to give THEM privacy) crane their necks when I step out of the house. But since all three (control freak father, guilt tripping mother, and gossiping son) have each approached me separately and gotten the cold shoulder, there is no approaching the fence. And the shrubs they cut are growing back. It's kind of a hoot, because I have tons of raspberries, and when I go out and pop them in my mouth, and share them with a nice neighbor, I can see their little beady eyes behind their trellis. They had made it quite clear to me that they expected me to share them. Yesterday was Father's Day, and the control freak father lingered outside clearly waiting for acknowledgment. It's terrible, but I'm really enjoying the fact that this makes them uncomfortable.

The other trashy neighbors with the tire and garbage are being handled with 3 shrubs along their fence, and I am relocating the beautiful hydrangea. It also has the effect of obscuring the view of their loud, aggressive dog. So I now have some peace in my yard. It's a different place.

My old community has problems with teenagers running through the yard at 11:00 screaming. Breaking mailboxes. One 16 year old walked into someone's unlocked house (OK, that was dumb) and took his wallet, his cellphone, and drove off in his car! There are lots of unsupervised teenagers distributing their spent beer cans, leaving sharp objects in the road at night and other such. Since it is an upscale community, the parents feel that their little darlings should be able to do whatever they want. The house just went under contract to some lovely people who adore our landscaping and the quirky things we did with the interior. I'm truly happy for them. They made an offer just $10,000 less than the asking price, and the contract is clean and makes no unreasonable demands. The best part of all is that I was able to take tons of cuttings and dig up a billion bulbs (68 lilies alone) because that stuff doesn't show above ground.

I love the part about "holding your nose"!
snapple45
Holland, OH
(Zone 5b)

June 18, 2012
12:15 PM

Post #9170210

I'm glad to hear there are some positives for you. I'm doing a landscape job in a gated community. Houses average $900,000 to $1.5 m. Nothing surprises me. You would think people in those homes would use their irrigation system during a drought. Nope! Many of them don't. They wont pay for the water and let expensive landscaping and lawns struggle and go to heck. If you ever do a job with high end folks make sure you have a clause in your one year warranty about sufficient watering by the homewoner. I water every plant in myself when they go in the ground. In my contract with the home owner I specify that I can check the shrubs/trees/plants periodically for the contract year to ensure that they are being properly cared for. I also ask them to cycle the irrigation system so that I can observe that its functioning properly. Last week in a 40 x 26 bed only one of 6 irrigation heads was working properly. I wont plant until the system is fixed. Still waiting to hear. Sheesh.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 18, 2012
1:44 PM

Post #9170346

The woman next door to us at the house we are selling, who built the most expensive house in the community to date, boasted of having her landscaper put in three 8 year old redbuds (the lovliest I've ever seen). She didn't water them. Two of them died. She put in five 20 foot white pines. They were stunning. No water. There's one now.

So, sadly, what you say doesn't surprise me at all.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 18, 2012
4:51 PM

Post #9170621

Pirl, I got it from Acme Fence Co. here...I will check and see if there is a website with the brand name.

On the tree loss...Down here we had a horrible summer drought with water restrictions last year. So many people let their trees die! Don't they know how much it cost to have a tree removed?? The cost of water coming out of a hose is so much less!!
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

June 18, 2012
5:12 PM

Post #9170635

Thanks, Sheila.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 18, 2012
6:18 PM

Post #9170734

I don't understand the tree thing either. All you have to do is put a 25 foot soaker hose around the base of the tree and attach a hose. I had mine on timers. 10 minutes on, 15 minutes off, repeated twice. With the soaker hose, the watering is targeted. And with the 15 minute pause, all of the water soaks in.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 18, 2012
9:30 PM

Post #9171050

Pirl, I can't locate that fencing. I will call this week (if my memory will oblige) and see if they will tell me the manufacturer. It was installed on my southside on the neighbor's yard back in the mid 90's I believe. It is stil in pretty good shape despite vines covering most of it and bushes resting over the top. They may not make it anymore since it won't stand alone, and chain link is not put in much down here anymore.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

June 19, 2012
5:19 AM

Post #9171236

Thanks for trying anyhow, Sheila. I'll look online and locally though most of what I see locally is all vinyl.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 24, 2012
9:51 AM

Post #9178495

Well, I wouldn't recommend this for deliberate installation, but the previous residents allowed pokeweeds to grow in their yard. I have two. And you'll never believe where one of them is - right where the shrubs were but down.

I don't even have to wait for my deutzias to fill in. I think this is hilarious - and free!

Thumbnail by DonnaMack   Thumbnail by DonnaMack
Click an image for an enlarged view.

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

June 24, 2012
10:07 AM

Post #9178519

Donna, I just came across this thread. The Miscanthus giganteus will take more shade than you realize. I have a clump or two that I planted further up the hill in front of my compost area that pretty much only gets 4 or so hours of morning sun. Agreed, it's not 14 feet tall like the other, but it's only a couple feet shorter and just as full. VV may have given you a very good option there.

Doug
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 24, 2012
10:12 AM

Post #9178526

I have another really good spot for it. Think I'll track one down.

Thanks.

Donna
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 24, 2012
10:18 AM

Post #9178541

Forest Farm has one. YES! I'm ordering it for fall. I did love the one I had at home. And it's a cheap. but beautiful way to fill a big space that would have required two shrubs. Since it's a gallon, and four gallons creates economical shipping, I'm going to get three of my dream plants.

Thank you Doug, and thank you VV!

Donna

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 25, 2012
6:04 AM

Post #9179639

Thank you to the birds and mother nature for the free screening! LOL!
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 25, 2012
7:10 AM

Post #9179778

Don't you love it?!
kneff
Dearborn, MI
(Zone 5b)

June 26, 2012
11:51 PM

Post #9182926

Here's my pokeweed story: Nine years ago I decided to let one grow in a new garden that hadn't filled in yet. It was a gorgeous plant, single stem (trunk, really), much taller than me, and at the end of the season loaded with pretty maroon seeds. People thought it was some kind of exotic tree. When the time came to part with it, it was so large and deeply rooted that I couldn't dig it out, so a neighbor brought over his pickup and we pulled it out with a chain. And then came one of my more memorable garden mistakes--I put the whole thing in the compost heap. It's a cold pile in the woods that takes a while to break down. This year I started digging into the area of finished compost where the pokeweed had been (having long since forgotten about it), and learned within a week that pokeweed seeds are still viable after nine years in cold compost. The seedlings are easy to pull, which is a good thing, because so far I've removed at least 200. I love the surprise of garden volunteers, but this one I could do without!
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

June 27, 2012
5:36 AM

Post #9183054

The two in my yard have been established for years. Iasked the previous owner about them, and did some research. Those two aren't going anywhere! But they are along the back of the property line, which is great. I'll tell you, though, I look around on a regular basis for seedlings and get rid of them. I think their root systems go to China.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 27, 2012
10:05 AM

Post #9183419

I think I saw one in one of my flower beds the other day...note to self watch for seedlings and pull up before fall.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 8, 2012
3:46 PM

Post #9198088

Going back to the house under contract, I found this growing in a bed, and potted it up with lots of compost and watered it for a few days. It started growing.

It just happens to be a seedling of one of my favorite plants. It got this big in less than three years.

And guess where I put it? Next to the ugly fence with the barking dog next door!

Great idea, Viburnum Valley! Thank you.

Donna

This message was edited Jul 8, 2012 4:57 PM

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DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 10, 2012
4:33 PM

Post #9200754

And thank you Doug. You were the one who noted that the giganteous could take more shade than I realized!

Donna

ViburnumValley

ViburnumValley
Scott County, KY
(Zone 5b)

July 10, 2012
7:41 PM

Post #9201004

As always - you are welcome.

Continued good luck with screening out whatever you find undesirable...

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