I suck when it comes to style

Discussion in 'Garden Design' started by garden_newbie, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. garden_newbie

    garden_newbie Seedling

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    Hello everyone, I just purchased my first house last fall. I have a small back yard with neighbors located close behind me, so I would like to add more privacy. I am thinking about buying some cheap edging, black mulch, and not sure which type of evergreen tree to use to block out the neighbors. Here is a pic I took of my backyard where I plan to add the tree:

    http://img440.imageshack.us/img440/548/testaa.png

    How do you think my following idea would look....

    1. Rake the corner and try to remove the grass and weeds.
    2. Dig a hole for an evergreen tree.
    3. Add the edging from one fence post to the other in a little semi-circle.
    4. Add some flowers to add some color
    5. Fill the area with mulch

    What type of evergreen tree do you recommend I get? I like how the arborvitae looks, and I am confused since when I was Desperate Landscapes on the DIY Network, Jason says that the tree is no maintenance but when you read more about the tree, it says it requires pruning every year. I am also wondering how hard it would be to trim it near a fence, if I should try to leave enough space to get around it. Please let me know what you think and thanks :)
     
  2. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Hello GN - nice to have you here at GardenStew. WELCOME. :D

    I think you're on the right track about what to do with the corner of your garden you've shown us. An evergreen screening tree or large shrub would look good in that part of your garden and would give you some privacy.

    Here is a website that gives you lots of ideas about evergreen screening plants and trees:

    http://www.paramountplants.co.uk/evergr ... ening.html

    *Please don't put in Leylandii though as they can cause so many problems.*

    I would go for something like a Variagated English Laurel or a holly tree as they are attractive throughout the whole year.

    Remember that whatever tree/shrub you choose it's going to cast shadows over part of your ground so shade loving/drought tolerant plants in that area would be the best to go for as they don't require too much sun and will put up with being on the dry side.
    Many evergreens that grow in a compact shape will not need too much attention either.

    Here's another site for you to take a look at:

    http://www.aboutarborvitae.com/arborvitae_trees.shtml

    It gives you all the information you will need if you do decide to go for an arborvitae tree.

    God luck.

    Do let us know what you decide to plant won't you?
     
  3. gfreiherr

    gfreiherr Young Pine

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    Good advice from Eileen. I would add that you research how wide you tree will be at maturity before you dig your hole and prepare it well. Your hole should be at least twice the size of the root ball. I have had to move many trees, shrubs & plants because I wanted it to look good without considering how big it would become in years to come. ;)
     
  4. Kay

    Kay Girl with Green Thumbs

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    Another thing to keep in mind: do not plant an evergreen too close to your fence. Keep in mind the size of the mature tree. It may look silly at first, but in years to come you will be glad. I have seen way too many trees planted too close to structures and fences that don't have the space to spread, and thus become crowded and misshapen.
     



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  5. garden_newbie

    garden_newbie Seedling

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    Hi everyone and thanks for the replies. Yes I have planted trees in the past and watch the DIY Network religiously so I understand the steps involved for doing things right. I was asking more about my style choice based on my situation, and that question has been answered :)

    In fact this morning I went to home Depot only to get potting soil and wound up buying all of the things I planned for in this topic :p I have been working all day and I am completely beat so I am going to go to sleep. Until next time ;)
     
  6. daisybeans

    daisybeans Hardy Maple

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    I think that looks like a great spot for a pretty semi-circular bed like you describe. You're doing great -- you have a good plan. Your fence is pretty, and with the evergreen as an anchor, you can have fun picking out the kinds of plants you'd like to put in front of it to finish off the bed. If I were trying to choose the evergreen, I'd wander around local nurseries and see what caught my eye. Or local public gardens where you'd likely be able to see shrubs at mature size and combined with other plants that grow well in your area. Take a few pictures, Get a little inspiration, you know? Have fun.
     
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  7. garden_newbie

    garden_newbie Seedling

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    Thanks daisybeans, I just finished the hard work today and it totally transforms my yard :) I would take a pic but I am too tired to even get out of my chair :p Man moist dirt is extremely heavy, I bet it has to be over 100 pounds per bag. My trashman refused to pick up the bags so I took them to my local trash dumpsite myself and man that is a workout.
     
  8. fencesllove

    fencesllove Seedling

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    wow! congratulation.. It's nice to hear you made it!

    I hope you can post a pic of your new garden. :)
     
  9. garden_newbie

    garden_newbie Seedling

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    Thanks :) Before pic:

    [​IMG]

    Here is a new pic:

    [​IMG]

    I know it is not the most professional job, but I got kinda lazy at the end since I was so tired :p Please let me know what you think, and feel free to be honest as I can handle any negative criticism. Thanks![/img]
     
  10. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I like it but worry about the tree being too close to the fence. Apart from that though you've done a grand job and certainly brightened up a boring corner. :stew1:
     
  11. garden_newbie

    garden_newbie Seedling

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    Thanks, actually in the pic the tree does look close, but it is about three feet away from the fence and the instructions say to plant the the tree three - four feet apart. I assume I can just trim it when it gets too close in a few years?
     
  12. Kay

    Kay Girl with Green Thumbs

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    Looks real nice... Good work!
    Maybe if you live at your house a while, you might enlarge the bed :) so you can plant more :stew2:
    That's what always happens to me when I get to gardening :D
    I'm not trying to dismay you at all, but that black edging stuff is a pain... it heaves up and gets in the way of a lawn mower if the mower isn't careful...
    To each, his own! Happy Gardening! :stew1:
     
  13. garden_newbie

    garden_newbie Seedling

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    Thanks, yeah I think it would look amazing if the whole fence had a rock wall about a foot high with plants all around. However I was getting my butt kicked trying to dig up and rake the grass that was totally stuck to the ground lol. The perennials I planted are supposed to get two feet wide, so that should provide more cover.
     
  14. Kay

    Kay Girl with Green Thumbs

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    Well you did real well. Ahh, if we could have unlimited resources and energy!!!
     
  15. daisybeans

    daisybeans Hardy Maple

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    You did it! And a real good job of it too. Good for you. It brightens that corner right up. Uh oh! Bet you'll get bitten by the gardening bug now! Don't you feel good looking out and seeing the results of your hard work!? What are your flowers you've got there. It looks very pretty
     

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