What can I plant to fill in this space? (pic)

gardenbug(8b)March 16, 2010

This area faces west. Morning shade/afternoon sun. There is an opening where I need to plant something to fill this space in. They couldn't continue the fence because of the hydro thingy in the background.

Currently there is a mexican orange (choisya) planted there but it doesn't grow fast enough for me. I need instant gratification. I will be planting clematis to grow along the trellis. I hate this open space and really need to fill it in with something. Any ideas please? I've added a (pic) to give you an idea of what it looks like. Thanks for all your help. This is my neighbors mobile home, but the fence and garden area are mine.

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karinl(BC Z8)

Maybe you could clarify why the fence couldn't be closed off: is actual access required, and if so on how frequent a basis? What's not clear to me is why you can plant stuff where you can't have a fence.

If it is just some sort of an easement situation, you could install a removable section of fence. Put a post right by the house, and attach the trellis on each side in a way that enables it to be opened. It could be hanging and need to be lifted off, or a sliding section.

KarinL

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 5:27PM
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linda_schreiber(z5/6 MI)

A couple of questions that might broaden what you can put there.

When I first read this, I thought they couldn't continue the fence because of access problems, but I now suspect that it was because they couldn't *dig* in that area to set the post. If the second is correct, that really broadens what you can do.

Is the mobile home corner that shows in line with the fence, with the board sill between the fence and the home corner part of *your* mobile home, or the neighbor's?

I do understand the need for instant gratification (grin).

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 5:43PM
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linda_schreiber(z5/6 MI)

Looks like KarinL and I were composing at the same time. First there were no replies, and then there were two.

Let us know what the situation is. Looks like there are a handful of solutions possible, depending.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 5:51PM
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gardenbug(8b)

Thanks to all of you. Sorry I didn't make that too clear.

Linda, that's right. Couldn't dig there to set the post. The mobile home you see in the pic, is the neighbors. I placed the board sill there so their lava rocks wouldn't roll down into my garden and to keep it tidy. I was hoping to plant some sort of flowering bush there to cover up this ugly view. I don't want to add another piece of fence or trellis because it's already very long and needs something to break it up. I hope this helps.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 11:44AM
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linda_schreiber(z5/6 MI)

It helps a lot. I was trying to think of ways to continue something like the fence, for fast coverage. And I was concerned that anything planted close to that line, as the Choisya is, that was also fast-growing, would get to be a big problem in no time.

But if you want that long line broken up anyways....

Any chance of getting a pic from farther away? Something that shows the 'long fence line' a bit more? And about how deep is the garden bed? How much space is there?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 8:47PM
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Frankie_in_zone_7

I lkke the fence-that's-not-a fence ideas, because I would want to screen out that area.
You could run wire between eye-screws and grow a vine.
You could do that thing where you get two largish planters and set a post in each with lattice between and grow a vine on it. And don't forget containers in general give you instant height from medium size shrubs, especially can use evergreens which would not ordinarily grow fast enough to give you that height, or can put an obelisk or tuteur (sp) in them, plus then have blocking mass at the base. So you could make a container-garden there and plant low annuals or groundcover at the bases.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 12:51PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I love Frankie's idea, I think that's what I would do. Build a bottomless cedar planter and install it at the fence line. That way, once plants and shrubs get established in it they will not need substantially more water than plants in the ground. You can put in both cascading and upright plants to fill the area with greenery/colours.

The only thing would be that the cedar would rot out over time, so maybe make sure the drainage at the bottom of the boards is good.

KarinL

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 5:34PM
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linda_schreiber(z5/6 MI)

Brilliant!! Can't attach anything to the neighbor's house, but using a planter, or two or three smaller planters in series, with some kind of construction for vines fast... And you could get really creative with this 'container area' over time. It would get you instant gratification, break up the long fence line, get you some depth away from the fence... This could be lovely!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 9:19PM
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gardenbug(8b)

I appreciate all your ideas. I was trying to visualize what you were trying to explain to me and I remembered seeing something on the internet. Is this the sort of what you mean? I think it would look great there and I could get dh to build it for me. Let me know if this is what you mean though.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 12:43PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Bang on, for me at least.

The only addendum I would have to make to what I said has to do with keeping the box level over time. It strikes me that if you make it bottomless as I suggested, the soil will tend to sink, and may get under the edges, eventually lifting the box. To avoid that you'd have to anchor the box to the ground. This problem does not arise if you put a bottom (or partial bottom) on it - it will rot eventually, but so will the walls and fence and everything needs to be replaced eventually.

I should actually know by now that Frankie is always right, but I'm a slow learner... if you do as she suggested and use a couple of large containers, of course rot would not be an issue. You would still have to compact the soil so they didn't list one way or the other over time (especially if you weed or replant in the ground around them). That can be tricky, so there is also an advantage to following the other part of her suggestion to use trellis structures that are not attached to the planter but rather stuck into it.

Perhaps the best option is to take yet another hint from your picture: lay paving slabs into the bed in that area with the soil well-compacted underneath, and put the box on that. Plants can't root into the ground that way though, and will be more dependent on you for water. So if you tend to go away for long trips in the summer, not the best idea.

KarinL

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 2:08PM
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gardenbug(8b)

I think this is an awesome idea too. I could get a solid bottom and just place potted plants in them couldn't I? That way I wouldn't have to worry about adding soil and I could change out the plants whenever I want to. Just a thought. Yes, pavers would be a great idea too. I'm loving the ideas you all are giving me. ps. I hardly ever go anywhere. LOL
Thank you sooooooo much!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 2:18PM
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Frankie_in_zone_7

Remember it is also possible to use a plastic "liner" in a wooden planter. You can shop for one of the plastic storage bins that looks about right and then build the frame to match (doesn't have to follow the exact plastic shape as you know, but just be a bit larger to fit it in) , or can look on-line for specially-made planter liners--more $$ though. You still have some moisture issues because the liner has to have drainage holes, but not as much as when you put soil directly against the wood.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 5:04PM
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gardenbug(8b)

Well...I guess my problem is solved now. Thanks again. I enjoyed learning about your ideas. I think this will work out perfectly. I don't know how soon hubby can do this but when it gets all finished, I will show you some pics. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 5:45PM
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