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Posted by weezee (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 4, 10 at 11:58

I have a small yard on a canal (50 wide and 30 deep). We are looking to add some sort of landscaping that will break up that sight line from the house across the canal from us without totally blocking water view. Canal is about 30 feet from back of house. Thanks for your help.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: privacy

house is babylon, ny. Would like to maintain beachy feel.

RE: privacy

I have designed for three homes on the Erie Canal and understand your need for privacy. However, I do not understand the 'beachy' feel desired. Does this mean that your section of the canal is not walled (as much of the canal is) and has a shoreline?

RE: privacy

the canal is walled and has a small boardwalk. We would like our landscape to have a coastal/seaside theme. We would like our yard to have a relaxed feel, beach grasses, pea gravel, etc. Any suggestions? Thanks

RE: privacy

A few general thoughts:
1. Before planning take the time to read your deed and check in with the local building department to see 'who' may have a right-of-way across the 50' of your backyard. Generally NY State has a historic ten foot right-of-way along the canal, but it can be wider in certain areas. Also quite common for a utility (sewer, gas, electric) to have a right-of-way which means they can come through your property trimming trees, excavating at any time. Usually they give notice of their intent. Bottom line, the above research should determine the landscape plan and dollars a homeowner will put into property backing to the Erie Canal.

2. The simple, cheap method to feather a view of the canal is planting a weeping willow off to one side of the property using the cascading, downward branches as a filter. This approach is often seen as one travels the waterway.

3. A 'beachy' feeling? Can you pick up a bit on the boardwalk through a part of the landscape? How much do you want evergreen for the dismal nothern months?

RE: privacy

How about a mimosa tree? They're tropical looking and it will screen the house and still allow u to view the canal. The tree itself will block the "energy" rushing toward your home as well. It will help, even if u put a spruce there. Also u can add white fence (install w/ mallet) from Lowes for 40 bucks (2 pieces) and u can put that somewhere and then hang fisherman's netting and some starfish and shells, etc. and use that to decorate w/ beachy feel.

RE: privacy

Many of the cottages along the rivers back east frequently use clumping birch trees between the home and the waterfront. I've seen willow as well, as nandina suggested. These may not give you the "beach" feel you are looking for, but they do permit a view of the water while putting a bit of a barrier between the canal traffic and the house, and are still interesting enough to look at in winter.

For a beachier feel, maybe do a web search for images of houses bordering the Venice canals in LA. Maybe a little beachy? Not all the plants would suit your climate, of course.

The links below are also maybe something close to what you are looking for in the way of grasses etc???

I'm also wondering about some bamboo in gigantic pots...some small pergolas...

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