Why yes, we are thrilled...

jubilanteAugust 7, 2014

Wouldn't you be excited about an addition to the neighbor's home on a permit they've had for 20 years? Silver lining is we haven't re-landscaped the backyard yet.
How would you work with this? Looking for something low maintenance, low water, legal. :)

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I guess they added a second story to an existing house. Their sense of color is unusual. I would paint the fence a reasonable color to make it disappear into the plant material. The house would look better, not seen as well. Decide how high a screen would need to grow to conceal the house without taking up too much of your yard, and start planting. Al

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 10:46AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Tall, tall screening plants. And additional 4' lattice attachment on top of the existing fence. Fence is a fine color, just plant up against it. Color of the house in construction plywood, Al. I don't think the final stucco has been applied, yet, so hopefully, the final color will not be too unattractive. Pittosporum is a nice choice, but I think we have an entire FAQ on our forum for screening suggestions.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 10:55AM
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SusanC(9b/10a Sunset 17)

My neighbors grew Clytostoma callistegiodes, lavender trumpet vine, up a tall lattice frame to screen out their neighbors. It's lovely, fast growing up to 15/20 feet, and pretty drought tolerant once established. Here's a pic from Pasadena Water Saving plants, www.pasadena.watersavingplants.com, showing what it can do:

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 3:21PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

what sunset zone are you in? It can make a big difference.

Here, you only have so long on your permit. if the time runs out you have to go through the approval process again.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 9:26PM
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I think we are Sunset 15. Some frost.

They have paid a yearly (?) fee, with not so much as pushing dirt around, and now Monterey County does not even hold them to today's codes. Don't get me going...

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 10:10PM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

Yeah, you can renew a permit for quite awhile if you stay on top of it, though 20 years is pretty rare.

If you are goibg to add to the fence, I would wait until they are finishedand havetheir CO. Most places limit fence height to 6 foot but don't enforce it unless someone complains. However, if there is an inspector coming around you could get dinged. Better to wait for the inspector's work to be done next door before breaking code.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 12:47PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

I thought I posted but it vanished

Do you have a "View Ordinance"?

You might want to look for a tree that has more of an umbrella shape to cover your yard and give some privacy. It will change the use of the rest of the yard and give you more a shade garden.

We have a similar issue with a neighbor who's deck is just above their fence height and under a massive oak tree (protected) so little we can do to block their view of us other than shade tolerant vines.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 12:58PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

You can grow some great stuff in 15. I'd select a tallish shrub of rather narrow habit, evergreen. Don't use a tree when a large shrub will do the job. Even though your neighbors might not be ideal, don't make the situation worse by planting a monster that is going to invade their yard. It's not going to help.

'Ray Hartman' Ceanothus? Fast growing. Can be limbed up as a tree.

Maybe one of the Pittosporum tenifolium selections that are narrow-ish growers? How hot is your summer--they like more coastal conditions.

A trio of Italian Cypress 'Swane's Golden', not in a line but in a triangle--looks better.

A trio of the vertical growing Junipers like J. columnnaris selections, or other vertical growers.

Many many options. Just some possible examples to throw out and get you thinking. Don't worry--select carefully, and you'll end up with some beautiful shrubs that make you happy and improve your yard, and you'll forget all about what is next door.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:44PM
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Rhus integrifolia a native, evergreen, grows fast, requires no summer water once established. Grows erect, not messy, excepts pruning to shape. Grows to 20 feet. Al

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 10:34PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Rhus integrifolia. Yes that's a nice plant. They grow wild around here and make a nice tall screen.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 11:11AM
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Any other ideas, fire away!
Looking forward to planting in Oct/Nov when our favorite nursery has a good sale.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 8:41PM
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Myrica californica is an awesome evergreen native screening plant.
I also second Pittosporum tenuifolium. Choose a cultivar that suits your needs. planting the same variety will help for a uniform look if that's what you want. 'Silver Sheen' is a nice one, as is 'Harley Botanica'.
Prunus ilicifolia is another nice TALL evergreen native. Bees go crazy for the flowers.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 2:07AM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

From a design perspective, we need to see more of your garden to getter a better idea of how to artfully screen. We can't see how much room you have to work with, or what is already in place. Show a photo of what your garden looks like from their perspective. They don't want to look at you any more than you want to look at them, so don't rule out the idea that they may plant their own screen. Although, if it took them 20 years to make good on the building permit... ;-)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 1:06PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

what that construction is is truly crappy design. they could have put clerestory windows, or put the windows on the side walls, and/or added skylights. They'll have a window they'll never feel comfortable opening (unless they want to look at your yard). If they have a sense of humor, put two chairs and a telescope pointed at those windows in your back yard.

We've got a window like that in our master bath looking right into the neighbor's patio. I put a solid blind over it when we moved in and haven't raised the blind it since except to clean and repaint. Stupid place for a window. Luckily we have three other large windows and a skylight in the bathroom. Plenty of air and light. The neighbor-facing window really shouldn't be there at all since it is useless. I did plant a hedge of Syzygium, but it has taken time to reach the window height, as the property drops down behind the house.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 3:06PM
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