super skinny cover up for a chain link in from yard!

cateyanne(zone 5/6 Northern Ohio)May 29, 2012

I have a "neighbor" who has seen fit to put a 3 ft. chain-link fence the length of my driveway which is in my front yarsd There is almost no room between it and my drive, but the thing is so ugly, it makes me sick to look at it. I wouldn't hesitate to plant a nice thick row of evergreen hedge or some other shrub if I had the space, but what could grow in a narrow few inches that is not a climber (because he won't allow that!)Or doesn't die off annually.

really just hoping more knowledgeable people will have a suitable idea. I am perfectly willing to keep it trimmed to a 3ft height.

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The most narrow, upright hedging type plant I can think of is 'Sky Pencil' Japanese holly. Maybe that would work. Depending upon how many feet you need to fill, it could get awfully pricey. Nurseries in your area should carry it, it should be hardy in Ohio.

Here is a link that might be useful: A random catalog entry for this holly

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 3:40PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

contact the city and find out if it is code to have fence in the front yard ...

sounds like a lovely man ... good luck with that ...


    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 4:39PM
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MollyDog(6 PA)

Sounds like a nice fence on your side or...Green Towers boxwood at 1-2' wide that can easily be sheared. How many inches are you talking about? Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 6:24PM
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I have the same issue, same style and height fence next to my driveway. I have no more than 4 1/2" between it and my cement driveway. I hated it. What I did is get some tall (39") iris and plant there. Not really what I wanted but it works. Its cheap and its tall. Its been there 3 years now and should be thinned, but it has not invaded the neighbors. The flowers will sometimes poke through the fence and bloom on the neighbors side. If your neighbor doesn't like that just cut them off and put in a vase. Plus there are a ton of colors to pick from, and the leaves stay tall and green all year unless covered in snow. Just check their height. Bearded Iris come in lots of different heights and blooming periods.

Good luck with whatever you do.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 11:47PM
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cateyanne(zone 5/6 Northern Ohio)

yes Ken, you'd think that would not be allowed. Our problem thus far has been that here,there are very few concrete zoning laws to protect homeowners, and those that are on the books are sometimes hard to get enforced. No set back rules, etc. We've been told by various people that they much prefer the homeowners hash it out themselves in court. Well, needless to say that can get pricey, so we have to weigh what we'll get out of it if we go that way. We did get the city to tell them the fence, which was originally at 4' from the back of our property line all the way to the front sidewalk, had to be lowered to 3'in the front yard. Now we're just waiting on the "decorative only in front yard" to be upheld. We've been corresponding with some good people and are hopeful that this will happen. The ugly thing is so close to our house it looks like it's ours, people have asked us about it. This guy lives on the corner facing a side street, so he doesn't think that front yard rules apply to him, or so he says. He's a pusher, and it's all about what's his. If he could stand in the middle of the yard and urinate on the lot line to mark his territory I believe he would. LOL! In the meantime we are trying to make the best of a very bad situation, by seeing what we can do on our property to camouflage his fence and give ourselves a break from looking at him. The distance between our homes gradually widens as it moves into the back yard, so we have more options there. But narrow growing, perennial,evergreen type plants that can be kept to 3' are hard to come by.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 11:53AM
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philipw2(7 MD/DC)

I live on a corner lot and the zoning people made it clear that on a corner you have two front yards.

I am sure you can get that from your towns zoning code.

Just how wide is the space we are talking about here? 6" 18"

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 11:00PM
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Too bad you can't put a vine on it. Akebia quinata would cover it in a season. It's not evergreen but close to it. And pretty too...but very vigorous.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 5:39PM
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cateyanne(zone 5/6 Northern Ohio)

Just an update. We did prevail with the zoning board, had to have a hearing and everything, but they had to change the fence to decorative up front! Still need something to cover up the area just outside our side door where we could not get them to remove the chain link. It's hideous, they have even added some weird plastic strips in different heights to create "privacy", "decoration"? who knows! these folks have very questionable taste. And it isn't the plastic strips that are actually made for chain link, it's just something they cut off of something else! I'm prepared for this to be an on going thing with them. :P Thanks for caring everyone!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 7:55PM
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put a trellis in front of it & grow vines on that. even morning glories in a container will help there.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 9:56PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

If you can prime it properly, paint it black or dark brown. It will recede and you will find it much less annoying (my brother and sister in law did this in NJ when their neighbor did the same thing to them). You still may want to plant in front of it, but it will take care of part of the problem.

Our next door neighbor got hold of a bunch of garage door rejects that a contractor was throwing away and put them up along our property line (we're rural) in a crazy-quilt sequence of different colors, sizes, etc. He even left all of the hardware on! We spray painted our side army green and planted a mess of Osmanthus in front and now don't see them, but I feel your pain.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 11:18AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

If I was in a similar situation, I might be willing to sacrifice doing anything about it during winter in exchange for being able to REALLY block the view in the summer. I would think anything in a pot could be as tall as you wanted. So you could have Cannas, bamboo, trees, anything tall that you like, in some kind of long, rectangle planters. Then you're not only blocking the fence, but maybe the whole view "over there" too.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 4:40PM
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cateyanne(zone 5/6 Northern Ohio)

I didn't think you were allowed to paint or in any way alter another persons fence! is this true?
They also put up a partial privacy fence in the backyard in white vinyl, behind the chain link they put up. And although the vinyl fence is a 6ft, which is allowed, they raised it up on the 4x4 beams so that it would be higher. so, we have to look at a chain link with white vinyl behind it and ugly raw wood 4x4's 6-8 inches at each post. like I said very questionable taste. I would like to paint the 4x4's on my side white to better blend in with the fence, but didn't think I could do that.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2013 at 9:54AM
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Helmond pillar barberry isn't too wide. Fine Line Buckthorn is also narrow. I have a Helmond Pillar and while I'm not crazy about the thorns, we have a narrow area next to the front door where nothing else worked. I didn't want a perennial there since it would look too bare most of the year. I haven't had luck with evergreens being the size they should be and not all can be pruned and still look nice.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 1:43PM
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