Southeast Gardening forum: Want to create a GREEN WALL

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Apr 11, 2016 7:28 AM CST
Hi everyone. I am not very versed on the topic of plants and species, so I turn to you all for help. 4 years ago, I bought a wooded acre and built a little house on it. For 3 years or so, it was my little haven. Away from other neighbors, and tucked in the woods, it was our little paradise. Then the lot next to me got purchased by a mad man. He cut down all the trees on his 1.3 acres Crying , and built a huge 3 story monster right on top of my home Blinking .
Despite my sincere begging, he put it literally as close as possible to my property line and next to my back yard, and now when I go in my back there, it's all I see. My wife and I are still devastated and would do anything to make the row of Leyland Cypress trees grow faster. However, we realize there is not much we can do to speed up nature.
I wish the problem could be solved by putting up a fence. But because the house is so close and so tall, the towering hulk will loom over any fence we can put up. Also, our windows are about 8' off the ground, since the home is situated on a hill. These factors make fences a waste of money, hence the Leylands, which should get up to 70' tall (someday).
This brings me to my next question. I still have a few tall trees growing on my property. Would it be possible to string some sort of wire or netting and have vines grow up them? How tall can they get? How thick of a wall could they make? Are there ones that stay green year-round? We live in NC and it gets pretty cold in the winters.
All responses and ideas would be appreciated.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
Apr 11, 2016 7:47 AM CST
I feel your pain, and hate you have had the unfortunate experience to have this happen to you. It might be possible to do what you are thinking about, but I really don't think it very practical. If you have actually had the unfortunate luck to have a crazy man move next may not want to live there much longer any how. May be time to sell and move on to "greener pastures".

Apr 11, 2016 8:01 AM CST
Well, I know in about 10 years, those leylands will be nice and tall, and give back some of that charm it had when it was surrounded by trees. We might actually move, but I don't want to sell the house. The area is a very good one, and I want to keep my stake in it. I plan to rent it out and have someone else pay the mortgage on it. But is there anything anyone can think of I can do in the mean time to help blot out that monolith? We'll be here for at least a year or three.
The problem is that it's just so tall, when we look out of the windows, you can't help but see it. Being in my own back yard feels like I'm in someone else's now. And there is no privacy. I've even thought of hanging up a huge sheet of that military camo drape they use to hide jungle outposts from aerial surveillance Sticking tongue out
[Last edited by IDoSeaDoo - Apr 11, 2016 8:03 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1112599 (3)
Name: Rosie
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Garden Art Region: North Carolina Bookworm Plays in the sandbox Deer Dragonflies
Apr 12, 2016 7:51 PM CST
We had a disappointment too...when we built we had a very small area where the driveway could go ...the land is shaped like a backwards flag the "pole" was the entrance onto the property and the "flag" sits behind another piece of property......that other piece of property has a nice long property road frontage to site a private is an almost perfect rectangle.

Well...we "pictured " a nice skinny drive that begins at the bottom of the "pole" (our only road frontage) and swings left onto the main property (the "flag")... Well.....where do you think the folks that bought the land put their driveway? RIGHT ALONGSIDE OURS! A foot away ...those two side by side look like a wide landing strip. And they put their house...50 feet from the drive. The house is visually completely open to the road..( the 8 or so neighbors along the private unpaved road all have drives cut into the woods and their houses are obscured by woods) ...sigh......a young couple bought the land from a developer and sited the drive and the house as cheaply as possible...doing it the way they did...right on the road...involved less tree removal and so cheaper. The private little nook we had was destroyed. My husband did not speak for a week. Such was his disappointment. No way to get the private entrance back. We would have to purchase more land and cut another drive and replant the one we a mature wood. We are retired...we should have bought that land under the "flag" rectangular portion...but we did not need nor want to manage it. The plus is that ..we really like and appreciate the neighbors. Wonderful couple. Great kids. MExcept for a toilet and sink sitting on that drive for a few weeks (he is a plumber ) 😝

What I am getting to is that sometimes there is no remedy for some dilemmas. You would not be happy with a big net covered with greenery no matter how appealing it sounds. Invest in curtains you love or shutters on the most visible view window.

May I make a suggestion? You can give yourself a sense of privacy and enhance that private feel for a future sale. Speak with a landscape designer and locate an area off a house exit or appropriately sited and build yourself a courtyard with a small water feature. The materials can be wood ..or cinderblock.. painted.. Or brick clad on foam block or structural insulated panels...and those can be clad in whatever your house is clad in (structural foam is a nice sound dampner and is very solid and dimensional..goes up quick!! ...with the water feature and perhaps a speaker or two will forget all about what is beyond. You will have the added protection from the wildlife to grow anything you want in there. Any wall that does not look at the offending area can have a beautiful view of the woods cut into it via a round hole or an arch or decorative openings in the brick. A courtyard is a very desireable thing and designed properly..does not have to be $$$. When you are IN it you will see nothing but the views you want to see.

Edited to say I am in Orange county. In some parts of wake and orange there is little to no set back on the back lines...side and front rules are different
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
[Last edited by MISSINGROSIE - Apr 12, 2016 8:29 PM (+)]
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Sf, ca (Zone 10b)
Apr 12, 2016 8:47 PM CST
Hi there,

Oh, I feel your pain! I live in a very urban area and the first year we lived here did I not want to go into the backyard due to five houses facing our yard. I know our climates are very different, but I've had a lot of success creating privacy over the last three years with foliage. Pittosporum silver sheen was a big winner- fast growing and blocked off one neighbor quickly. I also planted an acacia cognata on the other side which has grown about 10 ft in two years. The foliage is lacy, but thick, much like the pittosporum. That gave me a nice place to sit under and I don't feel like everyone around can see me. Finally on the other side I put black bamboo in stock tanks. Not quite as privacy providing as my previous two examples, but not bad either.

Perhaps you could find some plants that have similar foliage that would do well in your climate to fill in before the cypress does?

Another idea could be a pergola with vines to at least give you a place of privacy like Missingrosie suggested.

Good luck!
[Last edited by Laurelca - Apr 12, 2016 9:07 PM (+)]
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Name: Robin
Southern Michigan (Zone 6a)
I'm the gnome in my garden...
Region: Michigan Seller of Garden Stuff Seed Starter Cat Lover Daylilies
Apr 12, 2016 9:24 PM CST
IDoSeaDoo, it would be great to see some photos of the offending area, let us know where the property line is in the photos too.
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Aquaponics Hibiscus Orchids Fruit Growers Tropicals
Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad Birds
May 10, 2016 7:01 PM CST
That is an unfortunate situation. I too have heard of similar instances, in one case there were several acres of buildable land and they put the McMansion right on the property line. It just doesn't make sense.

I do have a concern though about the Leyland Cypresses. They do grow quickly but they also succumb to diseases quickly. I would encourage you to interplant them with another variety of evergreen that might grow more slowly but live longer.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.

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