Neighbor puts up a fence

paulsiu(5a)April 8, 2012

My In-law's neighbor has decided to put up a 4 foot white wooden fence. I am thinking that this will cut the light to the garden bordering the neighbors. How will this affect the plants?

The most serious is the bed that's between the garage and the neighbors. I had install a few hosta which may not bee in deep shade, especially the corner that's underneath a tree, too. Should I start moving the Hosta to the side with more light and think more about deep shade plants. Can I install some mirrors to redirect some light to darken corners?

Paul

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gardengal48

I think you are over-worrying the situation :-) A 4' tall fence is hardly sufficient to block much light, plus the fact that it is (or will be) white means it will continue to reflect a lot of light. And hostas can grow just fine in almost complete shade, not that I think that's what you'll be facing.

FWIW, even my solid 6' tall fence failed to block much light in summer/the growing season. And I live pretty far north so that the sun is not as high from the horizon as it is further south.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 1:48PM
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gardenweed_z6a

I have a full shade garden bed on the north side of my house that's filled with shade-loving perennials including nearly a dozen hostas. The bed gets plenty of bright light but the sun never shines on it. Everything thrives in that bed.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 6:32PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

My In-law's neighbor has decided to put up a 4 foot white wooden fence.

==>> absolutely perfect.. you should send them some muffins.. good fences.. make good neighbors ...

and a 4 foot fence.. will have absolutely no impact on any plants ...

in the olden days.. camera peeps had photometers ... its all about the INTENSITY of the light available ... and a 4 foot fence.. is not really going to impact the intensity of the light [and notice i am not saying sun] ... enough to put any plant in decline ...

and if by fall.. it does.. then move the plant.. and send the neighbor more muffins.. for putting in the fence .. lol ..

very .. very few.. plants .. require full direct sun .. and most of those are production plants ... think food.. foo foo flowers [giant roses,dinner plate dahlia] ... fruit trees.. etc ... they need the suns energy.. for the long season flower and food production ... and frankly. MOST garden plants.. are very forgiving in said need ...

all that said.. yippee on the fence.. and most of us.. would consider this a challenge.. not a problem ... not a worry ... in a true gardeners garden ... [which your will be soon] ... no plant is 'permanently' put in one spot ... if it struggles.. we move it.. in the next proper season ...[which means.. never in july/august]

ken

ps: a 12 foot cinderblock wall on the other hand.. probably would be a problem .. and i am thinking you are equating the two .. on some level ...

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 8:56AM
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wieslaw59

Actually, where I live, a 6' wooden fence can make some difference, not so much with light but with moisture. As the rain in summer nearly always comes with wind from the West, the area immediately behind the fence receives little water and needs extra watering. One can see that after the rain the fence is wet on one side and (nearly) dry on the other.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 10:07AM
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MaeT(z5 NL, Canada)

You could always grow vines on the fence. I have clematis growing on both sides of my yard which has a 4 1/2 ft fence. The clematis growing on the fence which is shaded a bit still blooms even tho it doesn't get a lot of sun and is drier than the other side of the yard.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 11:22AM
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mistascott(7A VA)

Usually the sun gets high enough that a fence only really blocks light in the early AM or late afternoon. So, I don't think you need to worry to much, especially with hosta which can take a great deal of shade.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 11:36AM
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paulsiu(5a)

I am thinking that this isn't an issue for most of the yard. The only issue I have is the path next to the garage. Once they put up the fence, the only light path will be up and to the back of the garage and there are trees over the garage too so even the up output is limited. There are a few hostas growing there now, I guess I have to wait for the fence to go up to see what it will look like.

Paul

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 3:23PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

did you post a pic of the garage area .. long ago ???

it was dark to start with.. the fence is not going to help ...

are any of the trees yours ... and can they be pruned up???

repost the pic.. or bring up the old post..

ken

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 9:04AM
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paulsiu(5a)

This is what the area looks like. Note that I have removed the weeds in the area and planted two hostas, brunnera, tiarella, Heuchera, and a dwarf iris. So far, All have survived except the heuchera and dwarf iris. The former died probably because it's probably not a shade plant. The dwarf iris probably died either it was not a shade plant or it was planted incorrectly (it was done by my brother in law and it did not look like it was planted correctly).

The fence when it is put up will be on the left of the tree. I am concern that this mean the area will only get light from the top and from the front and back. The tree limbs are quite high so there's no trimming them.

I am wondering if one can add a mirror on the garage to pipe in some light?

Paul

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 9:14PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

So this area will now be between 2 fences? And this photo was taken before you started working the area? Will anybody even be able to see the plants?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 10:00AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

it is the area i recalled ...

in any house.. as a child or an adult.. this type of area.. to me ... is known as a storage area ...

if the plants were planted this year.. they did NOT fail due to sun issues ... it takes a whole growing season for such ...

as to what will grow there ... only you will know.. after you fail and succeed many times ... and that is how we all learned to cope with less than prime areas in our gardens..

there is not going to be any hard and fast answers for you ...

off the cuff.. most iris [you dont mention the type, where i am looking anyway] are full sun ... its the relative size of the flowers to foliage.. or the shear number.. that is the usual clue ...

and i dont recall.. why you are so fixated on this area ... is that the whole yard???? [grandmas house in the city had a backyard just a bit bigger.. lol]

ken

ps: and yes.. painting the garage white would add reflected light ... but i dont know about mirrors ...

ps: have you considered a self standing hammock???? some speakers.. luau lights .. and dreams of the south pacific????

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 11:12AM
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paulsiu(5a)

Think of this area as an experimental shade garden. The in-laws complain that only weeds grow there and was able to just dump tons of gravel there. I convinced them to give the shade plant idea a try. Doing so, I was able to experiment with planting a bunch of different plants there and see how they react. So far, I have discovered that heuchera are not shade plants no matter what the internet say and probably this is true for dwarf irises, too (also listed as a shade plant). I also planted a toad lily, but some animal mysteriously tore it up (everyone is a critic these days).

The shade garden is at the end of the sun garden and is somewhat of a nice transition. I am thinking eventually it will become fill with hostas because the inlaws like hostas and this appears to be a good place to grow them (as oppose to underneath the silver maple).

I am also working on their sun garden part, too. It currently holds several bee balm, a helenium, several aster, allium, lilies, columbine, hyacinth, Siberian squill, and some roses.

Paul

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 8:03PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

Think of this area as an experimental shade garden.

==>> as a newbie.. that is exactly.. what you should be doing.. and when and IF you fail.. see my recommendation ...

combining the two.. if someday you wish to work with pots ... you could move pots in and out of the dark tropical sitting area ...

i dont understand how you are working in that much gravel???

ken

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 7:57AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I appreciate your motivation, but unless it really is bigger than it looks in the pic, this would just be a pathway area for me. Hostas next to a path sound lovely. I think you should cheer for the neighbor for fencing their weeds IN, looks abandoned. That should help a lot on your side once you get past all of the sprouting seeds already in the ground.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 10:30AM
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MollyDog(6 PA)

This area could be a beautiful passage. There are many shade-loving plants--tiarellas, brunnera, japanese forest grass, bleeding hearts just to name a few. Raised planters, attached window boxes, trellises for interest. This is an area not worthy of being used for storage.

Here is a link that might be useful: Inspiration

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 5:14PM
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paulsiu(5a)

mollydog,

Thank you so much for the link the article. It has given me inspiration and ideas.

Thanks.

Paul

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 12:22AM
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rouge21_gw(5)

ken_adrian wrote: no plant is 'permanently' put in one spot ... if it struggles.. we move it

Definitely and I really like the process of moving a plant...very much therapeutic for me.

.. in the next proper season ...[which means.. never in july/august]

For sure it is optimal to wait until spring or fall to do the move but personally I have had few issues doing it anytime in the summer. Just be extra careful when extracting the plant from its current location, use wonderful soil with good amendments and WATER, WATER, WATER.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 6:36AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hey molly

w/o rereading the whole fact scenario ... i was under the impression it was a dead end ...

i like the look of your link pic ... and working from that concept.. if it is a deadend..

put a bench or some chairs at the end ...

rather than a passage.. it would be a SECRET GARDEN ...

of course.. i could be wrong on the passage part ...

ken

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 9:08AM
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MollyDog(6 PA)

Ken, i love working with little areas like this...a secret garden would be soooo cool.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 9:16AM
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melvalena

Paulsiu,
Perhaps in your zone the plants you tried which did not work do need more sun? Down here we keep them all outa the sun and your little trouble spot is perfect for them.

Our hostas and heuchera struggle and most people don't want to do the watering necessary to keep them going. Most of the time the heuchera just up and die on us.. I won't even waste my money on them or the bleeding hearts either.

Hostas if given enough water and fertilizer survive but never get as big and lush as they do up north. Its _almost_ not worth the effort down here.

Why don't you try some ferns that are hardy to your zone?
I bet they'd love it in that spot.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 11:54AM
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paulsiu(5a)

It's not a dead end and goes to the back of the garage, where there's junk and a kayak there. The neighbor's side has a bench at the end. Frankly, the in-laws don't really use that side to access the stuff, so it's essentially can be treated as a dead end.

The secret garden is mostly what I was shooting for. Ideally, one should put something at the end of it to give it a focal point, a statue or something hanging, etc. I joke that one can put a Empress Wu hosta at the end of the path way.

Paul

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 12:01PM
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MollyDog(6 PA)

Malvalena, there is a huge difference between Zone 5 and 7. I am Zone 6 and have no problems with these plants. Ferns would be a great idea...ostrich fern!

Paul, go for the secret garden!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 3:50PM
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MollyDog(6 PA)

Malvalena, I'm sorry, I misread your post. Ferns are a great idea.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 3:53PM
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melvalena

Mollydog: :)

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 7:16PM
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miclino(5)

Which clematis would work best in this situation? Shade and stays relatively small

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 12:23PM
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