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Help with Landscaping some seclusion . . .

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
by p31gal on June 25, 2004 03:42 AM
Our house has always backed up to a semi-wooded lot so our backyard felt like we were secluded even though we are in the middle of a small town. This summer the people behind us sold their property and the new owners have cleared the lot which surrounds us to the back and side (we are at the end of a culdesac). Now we have lost our 'wooded' feeling and the 'wildlife' refuge that kept our yard full of all kinds of birds and critters. We are sad! [Eek!]

Our back yard is not very deep but also takes up a half lot at the end of the culdesac. We want to landscape some seclusion back into our yard as well as landscape an area for the wildlife. There is also a small creek that runs along the back of our side lot.

Does anyone have ideas of shrubs, trees, or plantings that will help us? Thanks so much for your help!

Lynn
by afgreyparrot on June 25, 2004 05:03 AM
Don't know what you think about Weeping Willow trees, but it's almost an instant wildlife refuge! They grow so fast, too. I picked up two pieces of a weeping willow branch, not even as big around as a pencil, and only three feet long when some guys were trimming a Weeping Willow behind the "Wendy's" parking lot (jumped out of my truck and got them while I was in the drive-thru! Lightening SPEED!). Came home and planted them, and in only 4 years they were up into the electric lines and I had to cut them back! I LOVE them, Andy hates them! They are full of birds all the time (maybe that's why he hates them...too many birds too close to his precious TRUCK!) They poop a lot (not the trees, the birds...oh, never mind!) [Big Grin]

Anyway, instant seclusion!

Cindy

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by p31gal on June 25, 2004 05:46 AM
That would be a great idea for the side yard where we have some depth (which is where I would like the 'instant refuge).

Any thoughts on something for the back of the yard that wouldn't take up much depth? There is a wood fence partially dividing the 2 lots. There used to be trees and overgrowth behind the fence sheltering the view. Now all but the large trees have been removed so we see the back of houses on the opposite street.
by frustratedattimes on June 25, 2004 04:39 PM
If you want a fast growing evergreen then use Leyland Cypress, looks kinda like a cedar. I planted (well transplanted from the ditch across the road) [grin] some honeysuckle vine along my back property line for some privacy. The birds love it and it grows like, well like a vine lol. Another idea would be to plant butterfly bushes as long as they get lots of sun, but that will not give you privacy during the winter, but would attract the wildlife. The only concern I have about weeping willows is make sure they are not planted anywhere near a septic tank or drain field. Thier roots are very invasive. My buddy had to have his entire septic replaced due to a weeping willow tree his wife planted. It was 25 ft. away from his septic tank. Hope some of this rambling helps.. [grin]

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I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them." John Wayne
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by Sami on June 26, 2004 05:10 AM
I didn't realize you could start a weeping willow from a cutting. I know someone who has one. Is there a certain way to cut it? Then what? (I know, I'm a dummy [Embarrassed] ) I do know about the roots & have plenty of room in my yard but wanted to put it near the pond I plan on putting in which is just south of my field lines. I love weeping willows! [Cool]

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Talentless but connected.
by p31gal on June 26, 2004 05:15 AM
I looked into the Leland Cypress and they look like a great idea for a screen across the back. Thanks for your help!

Lynn
by Alexis48 on June 26, 2004 05:54 PM
We grew wonderful new trees from Corkscrew Willow cuttings when we lived in Toledo, Ohio. The curly stems add landscape interest. Are they hardy in Houston, TX or are they subject to the humidity/harsh sun that is plentiful here. We have been permanently transplanted and I am trying to learn the new ground rules ! [wayey]
by p31gal on June 26, 2004 06:50 PM
I didn't think of something when I was first looking at the leland cypress. Although the lot behind us was cleared of all small trees, there are a copule of large pecan trees that don't offer any sheilding but hang over the backyard. I think a row of leland cypress, if planted too close to the fence line, will grow into the pecan branches quickly and our yard isn't deep enough to plant them away from the fence line.

Can you think of something narrow that will stay within about 20 - 25' in height? I was also thinking about a few trees along the fence line and some evergreen hedges to soften the effect. Any thoughts?

A vine along the back fence also sounds good. Would honeysuckle or jasmine get too heavy for a fence? What would grow rather quickly?

By the way, I really appreciate all of the help everyone has offered.
by Sami on June 26, 2004 09:12 PM
I've never had Jasmine but Honeysuckle, in my opinion, looks great on a fence. I actually have it all around mine but mixed with poison ivy & lots of other vines. It grows really fast & smells so good in the spring & summer. I'm having to cut all mine down but thinking of moving it strictly to the back fence/. I sorta have the same situation. A couple of years ago, my neighbors to the northwest of my back yard moved directly behind me & have cut down everything back there. I have concentrated more on my front yard than my back yard since only a few neighbors see the back. [flower]

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Talentless but connected.
by RogersDA on June 28, 2004 06:18 AM
p31gal,

You might want to consider Laurels. They can be medium to rapid growth, and can form a nice hedge row.

Cypress suffers from the disadvantage of too much height combined with a relatively narrow base/trunk. When very tall they can be prone to falling when very high winds are present.

Check out http://tinyurl.com/2ol8x for some information on Bay Laurels.

Regards,
David
by afgreyparrot on June 28, 2004 03:18 PM
Sami, You can literally start a Weeping Willow by breaking a piece off and sticking it in the ground, which I have done many times! I start quite a few every year for friends and family. I usually cut about a three foot section, dip it in powdered rooting hormone, and plant it in a plastic "give away" pot. It's toooo easy!

Cindy  -

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Buckle up! It makes it harder for the aliens to suck you out of your car!
by frustratedattimes on June 28, 2004 05:54 PM
Another way to go would be to plant grapes along your fence line and let the fence be your arbor. Another idea is to plant burning bush down the fence row. You can trim it back to the depth you want, and it turns bright red in the fall. The dwarf variety only gets about 6 foot tall as well.

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I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them." John Wayne
http://community.webshots.com/user/johncandy1005
by Back Mountain NEPA on June 28, 2004 10:28 PM
If you don't mind pruning, I can think of a number of plants that will keep that woodsy feel and provide shelter for small animals. Forsythia, lilac, pussy willow (another fast grower--and one that loves water, so it would be good by your stream)are a few. Oh yes, Rose of Sharon is another possibility. It can be used as a hedge, shrub or tree, depending on what you want to do with it. None of these are evergreen, however, so maybe a rhododendron here and there?
by Sami on June 28, 2004 10:30 PM
Burning bush are beautiful...

Thanks, Cindy! I've actually been contemplating digging one up that I've seen on the side of the road on the tree line, LOL. I've been thinking of doing the same to a couple of mimosa's that I've seen [Embarrassed] Can a mimosa be started with a clipping?

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Talentless but connected.
by p31gal on June 29, 2004 12:31 AM
Thanks for all of the suggestions. I don't think I've ever seen burning bush but it sounds great. I'll check it out. I guess for a natural look I should vary it some and definately layer!

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