Help - need privacy plants in a very weird place

TeeBeeNOLAAugust 4, 2014

Trying to add privacy between my neighbor and my steps - VERY CLOSE quarters. Shade at soil level. Raised home. Need it to be 15'+. Thought about bamboo but...don't want it to run into neighbors yard. (So build a trough?) Would love to do pleached trees but can't really get a latter in there to maintain that. vines in planters on the steps with a trellis?

What would you do?


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That is quite a tall order... Growing from ground level, you are right, Bamboo is the only thing that will reach that kind of height in a reasonable amount of time. Look into "Clump" bamboo, that is not supposed to spread, although I don't know a lot about specific Bamboo species/cultivars.

If you build a raised bed several feed high, it would not only give the plants roots more room to expand, but also cut off a couple feet of height it needs to achieve. If you did this, you might be able to consider:
Buxus sempervirens 'Graham Blandy'
Thuja occidentalis 'Degroot's Spire'

I would actually consider building a "Platform" and then a raised bed on top of that if there are no windows or anything at ground level that will be blocked. Maybe like a 2ft raised platform, followed by a 2ft raised bed. That would get you 3/4 the way up the height of the fence!

What are the actual dimensions of that grass strip? I'm guessing about 1.5ft? and what's the full width including the concrete?

This post was edited by SC77 on Mon, Aug 4, 14 at 11:41

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 11:35AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Where exactly do you need the privacy? The whole length or...? And how tall need it be?

Here's one important other thing about bamboo--yes you can get clumpers that are not going to invade your neighbors with their roots and shoots---but bamboo produces a lot of litter, and does it year round. Do you want litter dropping into your neighbor's yard? Is he/she going to be happy with that?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 2:12PM
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The grass strip is 22": the fence to stairs is 3'. The fence height is 7' and rises 10'. Will clumping bamboo adapt to a "strip" vs a circle? If I build a 2'x2'x2' raised trough 2' above ground (omg - did I just say that?)....then what? bamboo, italian cypress, japanese holly, smaller palms, ginger????

I do intend to do a tropical garden on the triangle patch towards the back including ...not sure of the name but it is a large (4" diameter), clumping bamboo that reaches 40-50' plus a few palms, ginger, and hibiscus.

Thanks for the responses

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 6:53PM
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Writing an answer for you earlier, when it "evaporated" into thin air while I looked elsewhere for 3 seconds. So this one shorter.

I would not consider any bamboo. Even clumpers can become monstrous.

Seems like a trellis and vines are a good possibility. Many vines have no trouble reaching the height needed quickly. You could begin with annuals while working on a permanent vine. In zone 9 it's still not too late to plant moonflower vine or morning glory right now and get screening in a few weeks. Either will climb twine. Gourd is the fastest vine but its tail end declines so it's best to add something to follow it. Another possibility is espalier on a trellis. For example, I have a lantana grown from seed last year (that a bird planted.) It's growing as an espalier on a concrete light pole. It's big. 11' tall and bushy and always blooming its butt off. It could be taller, but I'm not tying up there. (It was pretty much that height by the end of last summer.) I'm sure there are many large shrubs that could work out for you as espaliers.

With vines, it is not necessary to build a trellis all the way to the ground. Just have it be at the screening portion. Use strings attached to the ground with stakes, and to which their tops are tied to the trellis, in order to guide the vines to their proper destination.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 9:13PM
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Maybe I will try a vine - growing from the ground up to a trellis on the railings ???? Then again, maybe bamboo in a trough.
well...if that's all my worries, then I'm pretty blessed. :~)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 11:02PM
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You might want to check into Russian Lace Vine. It is unstoppable.

Here is a link that might be useful: Photos

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 11:19PM
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Maybe I will try a vine - growing from the ground up to a trellis on the railings ???? Then again, maybe bamboo in a trough.
well...if that's all my worries, then I'm pretty blessed. :~)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:25AM
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I might use these...easy, inexpensive, will raise the bamboo above the ground and keep it contained.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:38AM
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