Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I worry...

The plan is in motion, but I worry. Late this winter we are removing the overgrown wall of privet on the north side of our back garden. However the fact it is going to happen does not stop me from worrying, far from it, my skills are being refined. Almost every day I find some new element of the project to fret over.

Let me share a few more details. First of all what you can't see in this (horrible) photo is the HUGE brick red house behind us. Or the garage between the red house and the taupe house. It's shared and just so the homeowners are sure to park on the correct side it's painted both colors, split right down the middle. On the back too, oh what a borrowed view that will be!

This is the tip top of the brick red house...

This is that same house viewed from the front sidewalk of our next door neighbors.

And this is just how mammoth the thing really is, photo taken from the sidewalk on the street behind us. If you page back up you'll see the pair of tall Fir trees and know how they relate to our property.

Here's that two-color garage from the front. The green bit you can see between the taupe side of the garage and the taupe house is the laurel behind our garden. There is a bit of yellow-green privet showing above the left side of the roof.

These houses are monsters!

Back at home and peeking over the fence to the house behind us, the taupe one. I'm standing on the steps leading down to our patio and have zoomed in a bit.

So this worry of which I speak, it's mainly about how much the new view (of the garage and brick red house) is going to change our enjoyment of the (currently) very private back garden. I know I just need to "rip the band-aid off" and do it, but of course I'd like to mitigate the pain/exposure. More on that in a minute. Also when the privet comes out we'll be putting in a fence between us and the neighbors to the north. We've never needed one prior because the privet is so dense. Here's the existing fence between us and the huge houses behind us (to the west). We don't own this fence and are stuck with it.

This treasure is the fence between us and the neighbor to the south. We will be replacing it at the same time the new fence goes in. This will mean southside is new, west is old, northside is new. Follow me?

So the new fence sections need to (in my mind) to relate to the fence we can't replace, as well as the rest of the garden. I need fence ideas! This one went in last summer a block or so away but in the neighborhood. I like the mix of horizontal and vertical (although I might have used a little more horizontal and thinner boards?) I also like the fact it has the finishing cap board across to top. It also hugely relates to the fence we can't change.

I spotted this one on a dog walk one afternoon. While lattice is my worst nightmare, and trellis work like this is a close second, I like the idea of growing vines up above the fence. It might help to hide the house and garage behind us a bit, or at least distract the eye. So here's where you come in...please give me your thoughts and suggestions on fence styles. I've got a pinterest board going here so you can see some of the styles I've been drawn to. Please share any thoughts you have on the project in general...cuz you know, I worry...

All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

42 comments:

  1. I can definitely relate to the worrying, with all the work that's been going on around here lately. I hadn't realized that your own house had two such enormous neighbors behind it. When those shrubs come out, it is going to be a shock, no two ways about it. Of the two styles of fence that you showed in this post, I like the one with the trellis above it better. I love the idea of growing vines on it, something that will grow quickly and hopefully cover up the view of the houses/garages.

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    1. Those homes were built after we'd lived here a few years. There was a tiny house on a double lot, it was torn down and those went up.

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  2. Just took a look at your Pinterest board. I really like the ones that are a combo of metal and wood. Also, had another thought. What about putting a sort of green roof on top of the trellis, like this http://www.pinterest.com/pin/259238522274521932/ ? I realize that trellis is heavier than what you need.

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    1. Thanks Alison, I like that. I also loved the stacked wood walls from (I think) your same post. If money was no object something like that could be really fabulous.

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  3. I like that capped fence, not so keen on the trellis-topped one. Although the idea of a trellis extending the height of the fence is good in theory, in practice how much will it actually do to hide the house? Since it depends on thick vinery to provide privacy, are you willing to have a substantial vine here? Think of a big, woody wisteria or similar. Is that what you want?

    I think you'll be much happier providing your screening with some other temporary or semi-permanent plantings (like more bamboo in planters maybe?)

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    1. I love LOVE a nice wisteria but there's no way I'm signing up for that maintenance nightmare.

      You bring up a good point about the bamboo. I've been thinking about whether or not I want to extend the run of bamboo in stock tanks and I've decided no. I am just not in love with the idea any longer and don't feel it's the best for bamboo. I think the problem is I just don't get enough water to them over the dry summer, even though I try.

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  4. Fear not for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all readers of your blog: Everything you do looks gorgeous and no matter what you choose, it will be wonderful. (trying to be seasonally appropriate and all.) I'm thinking that some combination of metal and wood would fit your garden style pretty well.

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    1. Haha, thanks Peter and Amy. Peter your seasonally appropriate cheer is much appreciated.

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  5. You could take a little bit of design from all your pics. that you liked and deign your own. It might be a headache for your fence designer but it will be different.

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    1. "headache for your fence designer" sounds expensive, but fun.

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  6. I always sort of feel that the simplest solution is the best...I know you'll find something just perfect. I'm sort of pondering what to do with our similar situation in our backyard. At least the houses that you'll have to look at for a while aren't hideous like the one facing our back yard is! I'm considering inserting 10' tall lengths of rebar behind the posts of our existing fence to add a little more height...then stringing fishing line (or twine) between them to form a structure for the Virginia Creeper to climb on...ANYTHING for even a tiny bit of privacy! I'd be wary of using the corrugated metal panels for a large area...I thought it looked cool, but worry that it would be like being trapped in and EZ Bake oven on hot days...also, the glare can be horrendous...just the reflection off the shed next to our sitting area in the back is enough to keep us from sitting there during certain times of the day.

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    1. Good words for me to hear and remember, simple is indeed usually the best. Your rebar idea is a good one too, reminds me of the tall bent rebar in Mr Kuzma's garden. I could do that and place them strategically to blog windows from the patio seating area. Also a huge thanks for the EZ Bake Oven analogy, that would be bad for both us humans and the plants I put in front of the fence!

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  7. I'm so glad you brought up fences. I empathize with your nightmare. You may not remember, but I have 5 different fence types in my backyard, some of which are falling apart or falling over. This mess includes lattice and two colors of cyclone fencing. I hate it all so much that I've trained myself to not to see it (selective blindness). Your Pinterest board is just what I need. I love the idea of incorporating metal - either corrugated or metal uprights - especially for this climate. I have a picture of a beautiful fence from this summer's open gardens (I'll send it to you in an email). I vote for some type of metal to be used in your fencing, both for aesthetics and maintenance benefits. I like the clean look of a capped fence, but be aware that a cap just creates a highway for squirrels, racoons and cats. Can't wait to see what you do.

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    1. Thanks for the email pics Lisa! As for the rodent highway they already use the tops of the other two fences as their favored route, only once have I seen a squirrel fall and it was because a chunk of that falling apart brown fence came out from underneath him.

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  8. I finally had a neighbor convinced to let me cut her privet down that was over my fence and (potentially) sunny part of the yard. After I realize now from my bedroom window I can now see through 3 houses ugly back porches and onto the freeway near us. I marvel at how much this one ugly tree was hiding from me. However, I don't regret it. It made my yard much easier to clean, I can now choose better plants for screening, and this new sunny part of my yard makes reading your blog much more satisfying now that I can actually grow some plants that I find out about here!

    You might have some nice tall posts put in, and wire between them, and grow something fast and furious on them. Or a good line of bamboo. Your yard style could handle more bamboo, you have so much good composition.

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    1. Thank you for the encouraging words Sara! I also also really like the visual of wire (or metal rods) between tall posts with a vine on it.

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  9. Just to echo Scott, the simplest solution is probably the best especially fencing is something one rarely wants to highlight. And for the back garden is more often than not best concealed or blended away. The horizontal/vertical mix looks good and you always put discrete wires across them to train climbers for a green wall of sort.

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    1. You read my mind! The horizontal bits are just calling out for a climber aren't they?

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  10. Yes, you will be in for a shock, but I'm sure you'll have everything looking Loree-brand fabulous inside of a year. Coming from the land of big houses, with some experience in Houston's inner 'hoods (Houston has no zoning laws whatsoever), I actually think you're pretty lucky. Those houses are large but attractively designed, or so it seems from the picture. And I sympathize with homeowners, esp those with kids, who want to live in close-in neighborhoods but not in 1,100 square feet of space. Maybe if you reframe those houses in your mind as helping to avoid suburban sprawl? ;-) At any rate, I eager anticipate your redesign and am off to see your Pinterest board!

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    1. Yes you're right, they are well designed (except for the double colored garage). Your comment also made me laugh because one of the 2,700 sq ft houses has a older couple (no kids) living in it and the other has a single man who's daughter appears to live there part time. Don't they get lost in a house that big?

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  11. Hi
    I really like Pauline's fence, if you scroll down to the bottom of this post you will see what I mean
    http://plantaliscious.janetbruten.co.uk/2013/11/end-of-month-view-november-2013/

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    1. Oh that's a good one, thanks Helen!

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  12. I've been pinning modern fences, too!
    http://www.pinterest.com/chuboola/fence-gate/

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    1. Thank you for the link, I look forward to checking out the possibilities!

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  13. I'm not a good one to comment because my tastes are on the opposite side of the (modern) spectrum. I will say, however that I really like the fence in the last photo, with the trellis. With an evergreen vine wending its way along and down it, you'd have a lot of privacy fast.

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    1. Our tastes are at opposite ends of the spectrum aren't they!? Thanks Grace.

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  14. I'm sure that whatever you select will turn out great. We're facing a similar situation. We're replacing just the back fence with our back neighbor. I look forward to watching your project progress. Are you going to have a work party to rip out the privet?

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    1. It actually sounds like fun when you write "work party"...no I think we're going to do it the old fashioned way, pay somebody.

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  15. First, can I just whine that those house are too big for your lovely neighborhood. Ok, done. Next, I really admire the horizontal / vertical mix, but one of your pins caught my eye too, I have it a heart. It had a lower corrugated metal piece that looks like it was placed in front of the actual fence. I like the material contrast.

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    1. Aren't they just mammoth?! I am thinking that working in a little metal is a must do, but just a little after reading Scott's comment. I don't want to bake the plants I plant in front of the south facing bit!

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  16. I find the old Sunset Books are great idea sources. How about back lit poly carbonate panels framed in rusted steel? Honestly don't have to settle for what ever your neighbors fence IS. On your side of the property line, you can do what you want. Keep it simple and think of it as a background not a feature as all of the above suggest.
    Dave

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    1. Oh ya, and I have a few too, I should look through them. And you're right of course about building another fence on our side. It's more of a cost thing, since there is a fence there we're going to have to keep it as is.

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  17. I had similar problems in my old house.

    #1 - privit--I really needed the screening from the privet but hated it. I gradually pruned it up as a tree so all that big bulk was gone next to the fence but it still left me some evergreen screening higher up.

    #2 - 3 differnent styles of ugly older wooden fences --I stained them all the same color - a medium-ish semi-transparent gray and that did wonders. There was even a section that had a couple of metal posts that I also stained. By the time the plants started growing in folks didn't even notice the fence styles.

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    1. #1 - someone else suggested this (great) idea a while back. I would love to, but the gazillion tiny privet trunks are all over the property line. Once limbed up we would have to build a fence and would end up doing so about 3-4 into our property, which just seems like a bad idea.

      #2 - that's a very smart way to handle the contrast, thank you!

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  18. Hmmmm. I get your worry. You will definitely want some vertical height. There are a multitude of plants that could do the trick. I know you've been doing lots of thinking about the space. What are the main contenders to date?

    ps: I've been loving your pinterest fencing ideas!!!

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    1. Did I tell you I bought a Drimys winteri var. chiloense? I think I might have forgotten to. Well it's going in over there, along with the Quercus dentata 'Pinnatifida', Cytisus battandieri and Ceanothus 'Dark Star'. I've been enjoying your comments on my pins!

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    2. Soo exciting! I love all of them! The fragrant blooms from the cytisus will be so wonderful. YAY!

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  19. The one fence with the Opuntia...that looks purdy darned cool, Danger!

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  20. What is, in your area, "privet"? Here it is Ligustrum japonicum. The same plant? That shared garage painted two different colors is hilarious, or is that just me?

    I've been wrestling with an unwanted view (the downhill neighbor's roof) for 14 years now. I'm proceeding to my 3rd generation solution, and hope it works, finally. If not, more plant shopping! Good luck with yours!

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    1. Yes I do believe it's Ligustrum japonicum, I hesitate to identify it as such though because I inherited it and have just gone on others id as it being privet. I am totally and completely uneducated on Ligustrum.

      Yes hilarious, as long as you don't have to look at it!

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