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(Posted on "recommendations for area with sun after 3p?" thread also)
Well, I am very sad today. My neighbor to the west cut his oak tree which was close to my fence completey down and the limbs on his other oak tree in half last year which flooded one part of my yard with hot afternoon sun and I had to change my plantings. A week or so ago, the electric company trimmed the trees away from the electrical lines along the back fence behind all of the houses to my west which desperately needed to be done. This was not a problem.
My wonderful neighbor 2 houses down (who has no trees in her backyard) and my next door neighbor insisted that they come back and cut everything to the ground. Now, my once extremely shady tropical looking area receives full sun from about 2:30 to 7 or so. I don't know what to do. I have ferns, acuba, hosta, impatiens, Brazilian plume flower, calla lilies, gerbera daisy, gardenia and other plants that can't take full afternoon sun in this area. It is also where I made a patio for my dogs and where I could chain my big old dog when I needed to do so.
There are no trees on the farm behind me close enough to ever provide any shade in my yard . As the sun moves to the north, I am going to have a similar problem in all areas of my backyard. I will no longer be able to sit in my backyard in the shade in the afternoons. The afternoon sun is shining in the window that goes completely across my diningroom. I have my bromeliads there and now need to move them from their happy home. The only thing I can do with them is place them outside somewhere.
Not only is the shade gone, but the birds and lizrds have lost their wonderful sanctuary.
I have thought about attaching big beach umbrellas to my fence angled to stop the afternnoon sun. I thought about putting up a trellis and covering it with a shading material until I can start some vines, but I don;t think that I can attach a tall enough one that will do enough good. Maybe tarps stretched over the plants from one end to the other would work, but this would be so ugly. I thought about buying large Rose of Sharon and plant them in my neighbor's yard against the fence, but they lose their leaves in the winter. Besides they have no plants and have killed any I have given them by not watering them. I have to do something fast. The plants will be scorched fairly quickly. The 4.5 foot tall calla lily was wilted completely over yesterday. I can move it because it is in a container. The cyclamen that were still blooming are scorched.
My whole yard's plantings are based on the movement of the sun in the summer and it has taken years to to find just the right plants for the different areas. What has happened will affect almost every plant in my backyard except along the east side of my backfence Of course where I needed more sun, they refused to cut any branches from my oak tree or the oak tree behind my fence (branches are touching the cable, telephone lines, and one electircal line that is not the "hot" electrical line). They told me to pay someone to do it.
I am devastated. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do to provide immediate shade in the one area?
Oh how terrible Htop. I lost a large poinciana to the freeze at Christmas, so I know just a teeny bit of what you're going thru. I've had to rearrange everything.
Can you plant something fast growing like sunflowers for quick shade? Big Lots has arched trellises for about $10 if you could put those up and plant some fast growing vines.
Eucalyptus, kapok and catalpa trees grow fast, but won't give a lot of shade for several years.
Linda, thanks for the suggestion and I'll check it out. I appreciate your help. The only consolation I have is that my neighbors just put up a covered patio and they will have no shade under it for hours as the sun starts setting. They will wish that they had not pushed to have the trees were not cut to the ground.
Calalily, I'm sorry about your poinciana and your having to rearrange plants. I'll check out Big Lots. Thanks for the suggestion. The problem is that the plants have to be taller than a privacy fence and have to be in my neighbors' yard. He and she are not plant people. When they moved in, they killed and/or dug up most of the plants in their backyard. I have 3 trees in this area, 2 arbovitae and a pomgranite. The lower branches of the arbovitae are high up because the shade from the trees that used to be to their west made the lower branches die back and I had to cut them and the pomegranite branches also let in the sun from the west because I had cut the lower ones last year so my neighbor wouldn't complain about them hanging over on his side of the fence (stupid me). Any vines have to be planted in planters attached to the fence to grow up trellises because I have patio tiles there and no dirt area.
Oh, no. The tree trimmers are back. I had better scurry out there and make sure that they don't cut the oaks down behind my fence. Hmmm, where's my ammunition ...
Oh, htop, what a devastating turn of events! Trees are so special. In addition to the ones I've planted, I have a tangle of "trash" trees (hackberry and chinaberry) just beyond the fence line at the back. There is a strip about 3 feet wide for which no one claims responsibility. It may be county land. I'm in San Antonio, the people behind me are in Leon Valley. I tug and dig and fight those trees' seedlings all over my lot, but the birds and squirrels relish the havens. There are so many birds that I need to refill the feeders twice a day. And the shade is very nice on hot days.
Could you construct something permanent like a lath house? I don't know quite how to describe it - but I've seen them in nurseries. Maybe I can find a picture...
Bless you my dear, I feel for you. Shade is so important in Texas, and to have it snatched away all of a sudden is quite a shock.
I would not rely on planting anything on your neighbors side, since they destroy everything,
better to plant some yourself, put up an awning, or move your plants somehow and switch to sun loving plants.
htop...I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your shade and I realize how detrimental it is going to be for your plants. Some good suggestions have been already offered and I hope you find one that works for you.
It's devestating when your whole backyard is affected. Farm-Tek and A.M. Leonard have free standing awings of different sizes. You can change the heighth of the awning by increasing the heighth of the poles. Someone on Highway 71 on the way to Austin has something that looks like a giant bird cage covered in shadecloth that covers most of their backyard. The quickest solution would be to buy a number of market umbrellas until you can work on a permanent solution. I'm so sorry about what has happened. The loss of one plant is bad enough, but an entire garden.
Calalily, the neighbors next door are just not knowledgable. I have given them plants and instructed them on their care, but without being watered they just die. The neighbor next the them grows orchids (of course inside) and belongs to a garden club. I bet her herbs which are about her only outside plants are going to fry. I guess they were just not thinking. I was going to tell you that maybe your poinciana would come back from the roots until you mentioned the borer worms. Do borer worms bore holes right down into the stems? I pruned a pomgranate tree and it looked like something had drilled holes into the stems I had cut and the tree died. This happened to 2 rose bushes also.
Yuska, a lath house won't work there, but thanks for the suggestion. As the sun moves back south at the end of the summer. All of the plants around my patio will be affected as well.
Frostweed, I think I will tie some drop clothes to the tree trunks to cover most of the plants in that one area until I have time to do something else. I have containers attached to my fence at the top and I will have to just let those plants die I guess. My acuba is 9 feet or more tall so I am going to have to cut it way back in order to shade it.
okus, the sun loving plants have been trying to adapt to the abrupt change in temperature on the sudden sunshinme after cool and cloudy days. So, my shade lovers are already bad off since yesterday. Thanks for the link and suggestion. I was in such shock yesterday I could barely think.
BrugNanny, thanks for your encouragement ... I love your name.
Vossner, thanks for your kind words.
Bettydee, thanks for the suggestion. I guess I was a bit hystrical yesterday. I really haven't lost everything in the backyard. I will have to be creative. It's just that I had the perfect spots for my plants and it took years of experimentation and moving plants around. I had finally thought that the backyard didn't need a lot done to it.
I should not have complained about my backyard ... the worst was yet to come.
The tree guys cut most of the lateral limbs and many huge limbs in the center from my oaks that provided shade for my east facing flowerbeds all along the outside of my privacy fence. Of course, they wouldn't cut the limbs from over my perennial sun loving flowerbed (which needs more sun) and which are growing into the wires when I asked them to do so. The plants in this very long bed as well as the plants right inside of my fence are almost all shade or filtered shade loving plants.
I don't have the time to save everything as well have no place to put them if I dig them up. The strawberry begonia, Louisiana phlox and one colony of hardy begonia's leaves are already scorched. My huge over 4.5 foot tall calalily will be the next to burn up. As the sun moves to the north, more areas of this bed will receive too much sun for the plants to bear. After this, my greenhouse is no longer totally protected from the glaring sun for hours and everything in it will probably cook. I can put shade screen over it, but have to wait for my payday at the first of the month. My husband said now he can grow his peppers and tomatoes because there is enough hours of sun for them. I guess there is a bright side.
I usually am not a whiner and look for solutions for problems; but, I feel so overwhelmed. I appreciate all of you guys support ... it has been therapeutic to talk to people that understand my plight.
Htop, I think what you're feeling is natural. I know I was devastated when we had snow/freezing weather and just didn't have time to wrap/cover or move everything. I just had to sit there and watch. A lot of stuff was tougher than I though.
The borers are bugs that drill a hole in the stem of a plant/tree and lay an egg. The larvae eats out a round hole in the stem and there is sawdust under the tree. A systemic would work, but there is not enough of the tree alive for uptake of the poison.
The limbs fall off, they look like someone sawed them from the tree.
So sorry to hear of the loss of your shaded area and your bird sanctuary! All that hard work. It's so unfair. Don't know if it's what you're looking for, but very similar to those okus posted from Lowe's, Target has some shaded gazebo-type structures, too. They're actually quite nice. It would perhaps be a fast solution for the short term anyway till you think of something more permanent. Can't recall the prices, but they varied. Hope you get it all worked out soon.
Oh Hazel, I am sad for you too. I know what a dedicated gardener you are, and all the work you have done does appear to be futile right now. Maybe you can look at it as an opportunity to try some new strategies for gardening in the So. Tx heat. I know it is heartbreaking to hear your shade loving plants panting and burning in the sun. I guess you will have to construct some sort of an ICU for them to recooperate. I have been thinking of getting a market umbrella that I could move around in the yard to shade me while I work. The stand for it is very heavy, but I thought I could use a tarp to put the stand on and then drag it around as needed. Amazing what we will do to be able to dig in the dirt. LOL Let us know what solutions you try and how they work for you. Pray for clouds! Even if they don't rain, they will help with the sunshine. Wishing you the best, Margie
I don't get to this forum too often, but I did tonight and after reading about your garden being violated in such a way, I feel just awful for you! My plants are like my children and I have plenty of both. :)
Would it be possible to make some sort of flat fence out of pvc or the metal spines used for greenhouses? I was thinking you might be able to pound a larger piece into the ground and slide the ends of whatever you use into them for stability and cover them with a shade cloth or some type of netting. You could either over lap them or do them side by side with sort of a scalloped top. I think you can get them in 10 foot lengths and the heighth would be determined by the spacing of the ground pieces. Maybe this is not a good idea but it might give someone else a better idea.
htop, I would be moved to go postal. My sister's neighbor had the same thing happen. Here in Houston we are in a housing boom and developers are clearcutting and her lovely shade garden has become a desert.
One day I will have enough land so I won't have to think about other people.
htop, lots of good suggestions here for quick and temporary fixes, but consider planting a stone pine for a more permanent fix. They are fast growers and get huge. I had one at my last house, and it shaded the entire front yard of a double lot as well as the roof. You wouldn't believe how fast they grow. Plant one now, and you will have beautiful shade gardens in just a few years. Trim the lower branches each year to raise the canopy. You will be shading your neighbor's yard as well, but no need to ask them about it. (You will also have lots of pine needles for mulch.)
Oh, Hazel, this is so shocking! I wish I could be there to help you in some way. A couple of years ago I purposely had all the pines removed from my back yard (many were dying and rotting). I knew I would go from an all shade back yard to an all sun, and I was looking forward to it, even dug up and placed the few plants I had in containers. It was still very shocking, even devastating, to see the change. I can't even imagine what it must have been like for you - no warning, no planning, no control over the whole thing! Please know that we all hurt for you, and with you. Let us know if there is anything we can do to help (bring you some sun-loving plants? help you pot up plants that need to be moved? Help you install shade structures?)
Calalily, I remember what you were going through during that winter freeze and I felt so badly for you. I hope most of your plants survived. The borers are what killed my plants. Thanks your comments and for the information about the borers.
Stormy, thanks for your comments and suggestions.I still haven't decided what to do.
Margie, I prayed for clouds and they did come along with the rain. Of course, the suns bck now. A lot of the plants are adapting to the heat and are not suffering as much as they were at first, so I am not feeling as if I were in mourning anymore. Thanks for your comments. I stuck a few umbrellas around.
Badseed, thanks for the idea. I am going to have to put up shade cloth for sure. I appreciate your help.
caraboof, when I first moved in here over 20 years ago, it was pretty much sunny even though I had 3 oak trees. Over the years, I had had to replace sun loving plants with shade loving plants. Just when I thought that I didn't have much to do year ... Lots of the plants are fairing better than I had expected so far. I can't plant any trees, but minosa are beautiful. Thanks for your comments and suggestions.
Pennzer, I can't plant any trees on my side of the fence where I need the protection and I can't plant anything in my neighbor's yard. I had thought about replanting trees along the back of the neighbors' fences, but they would be cut down eventually again. Thanks for the suggestion, though. That shade structure is very nice. I had sen a similar one at a grocery store here in San Antonio that was built to cover the plants they were selling amd I thought that this might be a solution in the one area where the plants are being harmed the most. Thanks for the link.
maggiemoo, I am doing much better now that I have recovered from the shock and anger (I have to admit I was angry for a while). I found out that the reason that both of my neighbor had the trees cut down was that they needed to replace their privacy fences. The weird part is that the fences could have been replaced without resorting to this. We replaced our fence and trees and shrubs are growing along it. Of course, we had to do some slight trimming to access the area. Maybe they didn't want to have to do the trimming and haul the stuff off so the fence people could access the area. Thanks for your comments and your kind offers of plants and of help. I have a lot of sun loving plants in containers because I had no place to plant them before. My husband is not able to help much, but I have sevral brothers as well as some other neighbors that are willing to assist me .
Mitch, mimosa do kind of have an open crown, but they do spread out which would provide some filtered shade at least. Thanks for your comment.
I appreciate everyone's suggestions and/or support. haven't done anything yet about the sun situation except stretch blue drop cloths over the plants in the backyard where I can and moved the ones in hanging baskets to any shady spot I can find. On the sideyard, I placed containered plants that spread out on the grass in front of the flowerbed. They are serving as umbrellas for the begonias that had already gotten sunburned. I will have to dig up and relocate them, but I don't know to where. I have no place for them. I have to wait until the weekend to try to find a permanent solution in the backyard.
There is some hope ... with all of the rain, the oak tree limbs in my next door neighbor's yard which he cut in half last year have a lot of new sprouts. With the rain continuing for a while, maybe they will grow very fast. I went on the farm that is behind me and discovered that the tree trimmers left a five foot or so hackberry tree trunk on the tree that was providing a lot of shade on the west side of my yard. A portion of its other trunk that has a few branches. I could not see it from my yard. This tree is right at the juncture of my fence and the neighbor's fence. Hackberries grow so fast, I have my fingers crossed with hopes it will be providing some shade by August. I have always hated hackberries because they come up all over my yard and in my containers, but now I think I may grow to love them. The cedar tree may put out some branches as well. I have 2 arbovitae trees right on each side of the corner of the fence. They are as tall as the telephone pole. Due to too much shade from the trees behind the fence (which are now gone), they had the lower branches die back. Now, they have started to sprout new leaves high up and might sprout more growth lower down. :o)
I just read this and I am SO sorry that happened to you!
I have a lot of shade too, but I am on a corner lot so I only have neighbors on one side. They are great and the husband is a gardener but not the wife. But still, he has wine cup flower in his side flowerbed and it grows into my yard. He actually came over to ask me if I minded and said he would keep it trimmed back if I didn't want it trailing onto my lawn. I don't care, but at least he asked!
I guess my saving grace is that my trees (2 live oaks, a huge magnolia, a huge redbud and 2 pecan trees) are all on MY property. I have done so much to make my shade garden in the backyard fit my vision and I cannot imagine waking up one day to the shade being gone and nowhere to put my plants. I know your neighbors aren't "plant people" but being in Texas you have GOT TO understand the importance of shade so I think common sense would dictate talking to your neighbors about your plans of drastically hacking down mature shade trees!!! My pecan trees are up against the fence on the north side of my house so they overhang the neighbor's house. When I have them pruned I ask the workers to get on top of their house and trim the limbs that are on their roof. I don't need to be a gardener to understand that it isn't good to have tree limbs scraping the roof and if it's MY trees doing that to THEIR roof then the proper thing to do is have them cut back. Especially if I am having the trees trimmed anyway... and especially since my neighbors are in their 70s and can't do it themselves. So the overall thoughtlessness of it just irks me!
As to solutions. Do you know anyone nearby that has a shady yard? Could you dig up some of your plants and move them to someone else's house? Also, I know you aren't thrilled with the tarp idea, and I would not be either. But you could plant some trees in your own yard and temporarily have something in place to provide shade (like a tarp or awning). I know it would take years for replacement oaks to get big enough to provide shade, but maybe you could put in something fast growing? I'm not very knowledgeable about trees so I don't have any suggestions but I bet someone does! Maybe plant shorter lived, fast growing trees with some oaks and by the time the oaks are mature the other trees will probably be at the end of their life span anyway. The redbuds in my neighborhood seem to grow by leaps and bounds each year. They do loose all of their leaves in the fall, but mine is fully leafed out before it starts getting hot. In fact, I have been cutting that thing back all spring so that my daylilies get enough sun. But it also provides enough shade for my camellias. So maybe some trees like that would help? Just a thought!
Jamie, thanks for your comments and suggestions. You are a kind and thoughtful neighbor. The second neighbor to my west told me in advance that she had requested that the hackberries be cut down to the ground not just trimmed back behnid the fence iin her yard, but she didn't tell me that she asked for all the trees to be cut down. She also told me that my next door neighbor wanted the hackberry behind his fence and close to her property line cut down. I guess a didn't think that anyone would cut every tree down. My backyard has 2 arbovitae, 1 pomgranate, 1 pistache and a huge oak to the east (which was butchered too by the trimmers. so, it is not deserty. Its when the sun starts sinking to the west in the afternoo when I have the biggest problem. The only place that would help with the situation is replanting trees behind my next door neighbor's fence which I have no way to water and in my neighbor's yard. The plants next to the fence are the ones suffering the most because they can't take direct afternoon sunlight and they had to have tarps to provide shade. Now, the other plants appear to be adjusting and or not wilting anymore. The nandinas that I had just trimmed to provide a little more morning sun for the gerbera daisies in another area will grow out fairly quickly with all of the rainwe are having above them like an umbrella In irder to plant anything next to my fence to the west, the patio I had made for my dog would have to be torn up. I may put up a few treliises and plant fast growing vines on them.
htop, I just discovered this thread. I'm so sorry for what happened. It's even overwhelming for me just hearing about it. It's amazing how thoughtless people can be. I just looked at the pergola website. It looks really good. As a temporary fix to extend the shade from it you could attach shade cloth to the pergola and attach the other corners to posts in the yard. It would kind of create a tent.
Those bricks you have for the dogs' area. Could you dig up just a few and plant a tree? The one that suggested the Italian Stone pine tree was right about them growing fast. We planted one 5 years ago and it's probably l0 feet tall already.
And as far as needing water, I'm not sure they do. We watered ours just a couple of times and then forgot about it. It doesn't seem to care. I think it grew almost a foot and a half this year. No kidding.
75154, vines seem to be one of the best solutions. Right now I'm permitting the "wild vines" coming up the fence from my neighbor's yard and right inside of mine to grow on the limbs of the trees. Usually, I curse them and pull them up or use Roundup on them. Now, I bless them. :o) Thanks for your comments.
Silverfluter, attaching a shade cloth to the pergola is a great idea. I actually have 3 trees in this area. One pomgranite and 2 huge arbovitae that are more tall than wide. I know it sounds strange that there would still be sun coming in this area, but I had trimmed the lower branches from all 3 trees. The pomegranate is slowing growing to provide more shade from the sun when it is in the west (if my neighbor doesn't trim the limbs back on his side of the fence). A lot of the arbovitae's limbs had died due to lack of sun as the trees behind the fence had grown very large. These trees are fairly close together. There is not enough room for another tree to grow between them. The Italian sone pine sounds like a winner though. I haven't checked in the past few days to see if the arbovitae is branching back out now that it is receiving more sun and lots of rain. I did notice that the tree trimmers hacked off 6 limbs of the arbovitae to within 4 feet below the lowest utilty line which I hadn't noticed before. If they hadn't done this, I probably wouldn't be having such a problem. Thanks for the suggestions.
If you go the shade cloth route, you might want to get white shade cloth instead of the green. When I decided to get shade cloth for my greenhouse somebody advised me to get the white one because he said the green one holds in too much heat. It made sense to me. Leaves and dirt will show up more but oh well.
htop, are you going to build the pergola? It would be great if your brothers could do it for you. This was an awful shock for you to face, but it could be the beginning of something really fun and exciting-even if it doesn't feel like it now.
htop I was so relieved to find that site with the privacy pergola...I live rural, and after years of the land next to my place being woods, someone bought the acreage, raped the trees, moved in a trailer, moved 2 large tractor trailers next to the fence line, and drives a big ugly bright cab orange 18 wheeler...and to add to the chaos their family from up north come down for the winter and park their *%#$@!! travel trailer next to my fence...so my pergola is going to be taller, and wider too! LOL ..perhaps I can find kudzu to throw over the fence?? evil...simply evil...hehehehe Debra~
silverfkuter, I still don't know what i am going to do. But I am not upset anymore. Becuase DH doesn't do much, I am usually left to do everything by myself. I am going to need assistance with this project. I also have lots of nice neighbors who would help me if I asked.
RedSunDance, oh, my. Your problem is much worse than mine. I bet you sure hated to see the woods go and now have to look at the ugliness next to you. Make it a really big pergola. I had thought about sneaking over and putting nutgrass "nuts" in one my neighbor's herb beds (one of them that had all of the trees cut down). But, because she just wasn't thinking of the ramifications of this action and didn't do it to wreak havoc upon me, I decided that nutgrass would just be too cruel. Be careful. The kuszu might end up taking over your yard too! :o)
htop, atleast if you build the pergola you have control of how much shade and where it is. And you get to pick out which fragrant blooming wonders you'll be sitting under and looking at in the years to come. And nobody can come cut it down.
htop, before you plant cypress vines, let me tell you what they told me at the Rose Emporium. I was there once and they had this wonderful beautiful vine in one of their display gardens. I asked someone if they had that for sale. They said, not any more. They used to sell it, but they started finding it coming up all over the place and taking over so they quite selling it. They told me it reseeds terribly. They advised me never to buy it.
I think you just have to be judical about where and how much you plant. I have planted cypress vine for a couple of years now, in a couple of different places - a different place each year, wherever there was a trellis or fence space that really needed filling in (and fast). It does re-seed, but I haven't had any problems pulling the seedlings, and they are very distinctive. I think it would have been more of a problem for me if I had planted them all over my yard. I actually moved some seedlings earlier this week from a spot where I don't want/need them anymore, to another spot. I just pulled them out of the ground and pretty much man-handled them before I plopped them, unceremoniously, into a shallow hole at the new site. Wasn't sure they would take that abuse, but they seem to be doing just fine. (I don't usually transplant seedlings that way, I just hadn't thought about transplanting them when I initially pulled them.) Hummingbirds love these flowers!! You can pretty much count on seeing them buzzing your garden if you have these blooming. :-)
Maggiemoo, I didn't mean to imply that I didn't want a bunch of great gardeners helping me you sillypoo. Thanks for the information about the cypress vine. Those seedlings must be tough little guys.
Mary Lee, thanks for the information about the cypress vine. Where I was going to plant them, I have to pull up wild morning glories all of the time that visit from the field behind me.
I discovered when the seedlings came up that what I thought was cypress vine (Ipomoea quamoclit) turned out to be cardinal climber (Ipomoea x multifida). The seed packet did not include the scientific name. The flowers and leaves do not look as pretty and full as the cypress vine, but I will see how they do.
One of the things I like about the cypress vine is that they look so dainty, whith their fine foliage, but they love the heat. The weather that you'd think will kill these things off, they like it better and better!