Ugly eyesore, help me hide it!

IRuehl(8b-9a, Savannah GA)April 27, 2011

Ok, I have been working at the curb appeal of my house as budget allows, I do all the work myself so its slow going, and yes, my landscaping is new, tiny, and not filled in as of yet. But I need an answer, my neighbors keep alot of junk cars in the driveway, and it buts up against my yard. I need to make a natural fence to hide this unsightly problem. The large trees are there's, nothing can do about them, and they block some of the junk, so I am ok with that. What would you plant that get a max of 8ft tall, and only a few feet wide, evergreen,(They walk back there to take out the trash and so on) and not messy? What should I do?!?!? Nothing has grown in yet, but there are hostas, gardenias, hydrangea, and lots of seedling starting off :) And then the dogwoods and saliva may night are used to frame this side of my house. But when your eyes follow the flow of the garden, they end up on my neighbors ugly trailer and trash cans! How do I hide this?? Without throwing off the form of my garden??

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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

If I understand correctly, the big trees are on the neighbor's property -- is that correct? It would help if you could post a photo taken from the sidewalk and looking straight down the property line with the neighbor. How far is it from the corner of your house to the property line?

What you can grow in the shade of the trees depends on how much sun that area gets, so it would help if you could give us that information, and also mention what direction the house faces.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 1:21PM
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IRuehl(8b-9a, Savannah GA)

Oh,this spot in question is about 4 hours morning sun, then about the last 4 hours of the day, the first pic is looking west, house faces north, blocks the super hot sun in the mid part of the day. Its a good place for full sun and part shade plants thanks to the super hot sun of the day not hitting it.

The gap between the houses is about 10 ft, The azaleas are at the edge of my property. The trunks of the trees sit at the very edge of theirs. pretty much 5 ft even each. Cant get a good pic looking back because their trees are overgrown, and have not been trimed back ever. But will try in a bit. Thanks for your reply

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 3:49PM
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Euonymus are fast growing privacy bushes that grow well in part shady areas...hardy, easy to shape.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 6:57PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

In photo 2, I think you will want something taller at the corner of the house. I don't know if the shrubs you have planted there will grow tall enough to hide those trash containers or not. If there's room, you might consider something taller and more opaque on the other side of the current shrubs.

Re. the max of 8' tall for the hedge, I think you'll have to resign yourself to accept some sort of compromise. Nothing in life is perfect, and no shrub gets to a particular height and then stops growing (unless it dies!). When a shrub or tree's height is listed, that's generally its "mature height" -- the expected size at 10 years. 8' wouldn't quite hide the RV. If you buy something tall enough to be an effective screen immediately, it'll cost more. If it grows quickly, it'll quickly get taller than you want. Since the 10-year height is counted not from when you plant the shrub or tree but from when the nursery propagated the plant, you can divide the expected mature height by 10 and get the amount of height it will add each year. So a shrub with a "mature height" of 6-8' will grow about 7-10" per year.

There are a number of fastigiate (upright and very narrow) evergreens. The important thing is how wide it will get, since you have a very small amount of space between the corner of your house and the property line. The sky pencil holly (Ilex crenata 'Sky pencil') is supposed to be okay for your zone; I think they're a bit ugly, but they're reliably narrow and opaque, and certainly easy to find where I am. There are probably good narrow conifers for your zone, but I don't know enough to give advice. If you don't get an answer here, you might ask at the Shrubs, Conifers, or Georgia forums.

Keep in mind that your hedge doesn't have to be all one species. But whatever you do, don't plant two types of shrubs a - b - a - b - a - b - a: that usually doesn't look so good. You also don't have to plant the shrubs in a straight line -- zig-zags work well -- but then there's your space issue again.

If the neighbor's trees are low enough to get in the way when taking a photograph, you might consider trimming the low branches on your side. Apparently most laws give you the right to trim what's on your side of the property line.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 12:43PM
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