How to block you neighbor

tom_p_pa(08840)April 30, 2007

Our neighbor is friendly, but too friendly (nosey). They at times, just walk into our yard. My wife does not like this. Plus they do not keep a neat yard and leave stuff around. I have about 30 feet of back yard joining them I want to make private so I do not need to look at their stuff.

I was considering a fence, but the town only allows a 50% open fence.

Any ideas...if I install a fence, is there a very fast growing vine that will consume it and seal it off for privacy?

Any ideas other than a fence...trees, shrubs, free standing vines, etc. I have tons of deer, so they need to be deer proof (if there is such a thing). Someone mentioned arbovite (spelling ?). It is generally shady because of some larger trees in the area. So I guess it has to grow in the shade and be deer proof.

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jayco(5b NY)

Arborvitae dislike shade and most types are beloved by deer... Sorry! Some species of viburnum, while not deer-proof, are certainly not deer favorites, and can tolerate some shade. However, you need to say where you live and what zone you're in so people can help you better.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 4:00PM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

By 50% open do you mean the fence must be see through?

How about chain link with vines?

Native vines that grow guickly and screen well in shade are Virgin's Bower (clematis virginianna), Dutchman's Pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla) and Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia).

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 10:28PM
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Hops vines! We had a similar problem several years ago and planted hops vines. They grow to at least 10 feet and require full sun and poles for support. The link shows some good pictures. You can grow them closer together for a "wall" effect.

Here is a link that might be useful: pictures of hops gardens

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 9:33AM
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Judy - 50% is to be seen if it was a solid slat fence, you would have to remove every other slat to make it 50% see through. Those vines you mentioned for they grow above the chain link fence too. If not, I guess i need a 6 or 7 foot fence to block them out.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 7:24AM
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You could build your fence and use Fall Star Clematis. Same with Clematis 'Ernest Markham' and there are several others that grow in shade if you check out Clematis websites.

Figure out which zone you are so you know which Vines will grow in that zone and go from there. Clematis are just so easy, that you couldn't go wrong. They require pruning which isn't any big deal (each clematis has its own requirements for pruning), and you'll be in business in no time.

Here's a couple clematis nurseries:
Brushwood Nursery
Silver Star Vinery


    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 5:19PM
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i too would build the fence then use vines and bushes to cover it further.
the zone you list appears to be your zip code, are you some where in new england?
important to know zone as some plants won't grow where it is too hot or cold.
climbing hydrangia or oakleaf hydrangia would both be good
for shade or partial shade areas. they can go 40-50 feet.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 12:01PM
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zip 08840 Central NJ
Thanks for the help
What height fence...I am assuming a wire fence is best, or should I go with a standard wooden one?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 1:42PM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

Vines will grow up the fence and over, but not taller than. The advantage of a chain link fence over wooden it that it provides many more holding points for the vines.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 3:10PM
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ziggy___(z5/6 PA)

Grapes will work too and give you something to munch on too. Grapes fruit better in sun, but seem to grow fine in shade. The problem with any vine is that they can over run a place. The entire neighborhood I just moved from near Harrisburg has clematis vines. Even natives like virginia creeper can be hard to keep up with. Not trying to scare you, but just realize that vines are not maintenance free as a solution.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 2:27PM
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luvngdirt(Zone 8)

I have had a vine commonly called Porcelain vine...Ampelopsis brevipedunculata 'Elegans' for severalyears now and it does very welll in shady is varigated with leaves that look kinda like grape leaves, it has tiny flowers that are kind of inconspicuous(sp?)but then in the late summer out come these beautiful berries that go from white to shiny purple (or the other way round) that the birds just love. A couple of them would do the job and be very pretty too. I think carries them. Mine originally came from White Flower Farm. Also I have a few babies I can get to you...just let me knowvia email


    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 11:20PM
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mcali(Zone 4)

any kind of barbarry will work: nice shrub, thorny!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 1:01PM
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ziggy___(z5/6 PA)

Bar berries tend to be invasive in PA and thorns may not be a plus when you have to prune it.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 3:02PM
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I would stay away from vines on a chainlength fence. unless it is an evergreen vine that does not spread either by seed, berry, or underground growing roots; and which will not invade the neighbor's and your landscape beds and yard.

Instead plant a mixture of screening tall but narrow growing trees and shrubs. also plant them in a manner where their canopies will not grow over or onto the neighbor's property. Otherwise, your neighbor will have legal rights to prune, in any nasty form or technique he wants, any part of your trees and shrubs canopies that either grow over, or spread onto his lot.

Otherwise, you could install a berm between your lots, and strategically landscape it in a manner which makes it a pain for people to cross over into your yard without entering by walking to the far end of the berm and around.

I live on a corner lot which my DH has refused to allow any fence to be built. Every morning Children and teenager walking to school would cut the shortest distance from the southwest front corner to the North east corner. That made a path which cut diaganally across my southern sideyard and eastern back yard.

The only way I managed to stop that consistant trampling down of my soil, was to install a corner berm on my property which runs about 30 feet along the North sidewalk, turns the corner along the east side neighbor's driveway, and ends about 6 feet beyond where the neighbor's privacy fence begins and serves to divides my back yard from that neighbor's more narrow side yard.

At first after I installed the berm, it seemed to be a magnet to attract children who loved to play bunker war games. By the next Spring, though I enough rambling and shrub type roses planted, along with dwarf shrubs and bulb flowers that the children no longer like to around them. It has even motivated the adults, who need to come into my yard for any specific reason, to go around instead of cutting straight across. At least it got rid of the foot traffic path angling across my back yard.

I am currently in the process of planting a dwarf hedge of shrubs along the sides and front of my property to stop the children who ride their bikes across the north west corner of my front yard.

The end result is not so much like a hedge to keep people out. It is instead, turning out to be more like a guided path that directs the children where to walk to more easily pass my house; compared to what it would take for them to continue passing in the same manner they used to on a regular basis, as they walked both to and back home from school. It also helps for when after school they walking to one of their friends who lives on a street situated between my house and the school.

I am planting Lirope along the sidewalk, so that the shrubs will not spread so close that they crowd the sidewalk. I also am planting Shrub and HT roses on the front corners, and killing the grass to planting creeping phlox mulched and lined with rock between the sidewalk and the street.

The end result is also a help for my DH, because the planting arrangement removes the need for him to continue doing the hard task of keeping sidewalks grooved and edged along the long west front and slightly shorter northern side of our lot.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 5:08PM
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I would sit in the yard in a speedo with a shotgun ,and when your neighbor comes out and ask you what your doing ,tell them your hunting deer and nosey neighbors.Or you could try Arborvitaes as a hedge.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 1:37PM
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A moat. But other than that, Hawthorns or mock oranges. Why prune them?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 7:31PM
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Perhaps Bamboo. Certainly not native, and PA is a bit far north, but it cold make a very dense wall.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 7:01PM
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philipw2(7 MD/DC)

Let me second Katrina1. Instead of creating a barrier, make yourself a feature. I had a corner lot with cut through traffic. I planted a hedgerow the length of my property.

I raised the bed, mainly to amend the soil. (had I thought about it I would have put in a berm.) So this bed is 70 feet long and 20 feet wide. It has 3 loose rows of shrubs: evergreen as a backbone (schip laurels which are still only 4 feet tall). A taller center row of flowering shrubs (diana rose of sharon, bridal wreath spirea, curley willow, viburnum, aucuba) that I keep low by pruning back to 5-5.5 feet every spring. (Easy job if done annually.) 3rd row are lower hydrangea, japanese maples, summer sweet that provide summer interest. Interspersed I have rugged perennials--hosta, day lilies, small shrub roses. Bulbs in the spring. On the sidewalk side I planted pachysandra for low maintain.

The advantage of this system is that it makes your garden "park like". Your neighbors don't view it as hostile. And you have really added value to your garden. Because it is mainly shrubs there is very little work. The once a year haircut for the tall shrubs and muching the part that doesn't have pachysandra.

With 3 rows of shrubs you do not have to choose the "perfect" shrub. Each shrub just has a little job.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 1:13PM
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Are berms just raised beds??

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 9:39PM
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Could you please post a picture of your hedge?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 11:18AM
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