Need Fast Growing Privacy Plants- special circumstances..

cesperonMarch 14, 2007

(long I know but I am trying to address all the issues I am facing)

I know this has been addressed before, but I couldn't find an answer that pertianed to my zone & circustances. My neighbor's dog is driving me NUTS!! He is the nicest dog unless he is in his back yard. When my dogs or kids are outside he will stand at the fence- a cyclone fence. He doesn't bark when he hears them.. only when he sees them and then he goes into attack mode.. Snarling growling.. even biting at the fence. It is to the point now that the kids are afraid to go on that side on the house. The fence borders our driveway so avoidance is not an option.

I need something that will block his line of site from us but here are my special circumstances.

- I only have about 1.5 foot wide area to plant... between the fence and the driveway. My driveway is narrow enough as it is so I can't have anything that will grow over into the driveway.

- Cost is a MAJOR issue. I really can not invest more than $100 in this project- we are strapped due to interior remodeling

-The neighbors dog and one of mine are both large breed male dogs... whatever I plant will get pee'd on from both sides.

-This area gets a few hours of morning sun (borders my property on the west) and then is in complete shade for the rest of the day.

- They "own" the fence. Last year I tried clementius, but they cut it down when we were out of town.. they "claimed" they thought it was a weed

- They have a mulberry bush that sometimes grows through the fence- what ever I plant needs to be hardier than that bush. (Now if they would leave the bush alone.. it blocks his view but they keep trimming it.) We have asked them not to but they "forget". I also need it to be different enough from the bush to keep them from "accidently" cutting it back.

-I have BLACK thumb... whatever we plant needs to grow well in our area even for gardening dummies. I also suffer from severe summer allergies and tend to hide in the AC a lot during the summer. I need to have something that won't require a lot of pruning during the summer. (lol I know- what you are all thinking- put up a privacy fence right? but there is the cost issue again)

They are not bad people... just a little wierd when it comes to the dog (childless couple who treat the dog like it is a baby) and saying anything to them about their annoying dog would be like telling someone their kid is a brat. I have tried to hint diplomatically about it but they brush it off saying "oh he loves watching you." Which is why they keep trimming the mulberry back & I think why they cut down the vines- to give him a better view. I also live in somewhat of a glass house- I have no right to throw stones, complaining to officials about the dog would invite trouble (2 kids two dogs.. my yard is not a candidate for Better Homes & Gardens if you get my drift).

I live in Zone 5 (right off Lake Michigan on the IL/WI border. I read several suggestions on sunflowers, but I don't think that it would be right solution for this area.

I do LOVE lilacs... any opinion on planting those? how quickly will they grow to fill in the area. I only need it to be 4 ft high- but dense enough for him not to get a clear view.

For those of you who have stuck with me throug the long posting- thanks & I look forward to hearing your advice.

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Your stuck. The real solution would be a fence, but you don't have the cash. You could restart the clematis but build its own supports on your side of the fence. Wood or metal posts hammered in the ground with wire or mesh running from pole to pole to support the growing plants should be within your budget. (That way your neighbors would realize that they are plants, not weeds. Grin.) While clematis grows you could plant some annual climbers to cover for this summer. Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 6:21PM
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fast growing eh? Set up a trellis a few inches from the fence and plant stuff like morning glories, moon vine, or try a few clematis. a trumpet vine may be good but it can self seed and can be a nuisence. but my question is, is the fence directly on the boarder line? if it is, it belongs to both sides (at least here in canada it is) if it's a few inches towards their side o fthe line, you really can't grow stuff on it. Now if you really can't stand them, find the property map, and figure out where the fence stands. If its in the middle and they keep on cutting it down, try to import poisin ivy (just joking lol) but seriously, just stick some bamboo poles a few inches from the fence and grow any vine. if they reach over to cut it, you can sue them (yes, I said sue, but I wouldn't personally)if they complain/sue you for blocking their view, use the mulberry tree. Some vines you could consider:
morning glories
moonvine (I. alba)
hyacinth bean
beans in general (scarelet runner?)
akebia (Akebia quinata; 20-40 ft in a single season, and it's a perennial!)
castor bean, but considering you have children and dogs, this would be a no, castor beans are extremely poisinous...EXTREMELY POISINOUS
ivy (english kind, not the poisin kind!)
clitoria aka butterfly pea

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 6:24PM
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cindra(z5b Ont)

If you are really in a hurry and want something fast that you don't have to prune, water, or take care of you might consider bamboo fencing. Often times I have seen these go very cheap on ebay. You didn't mention how long this area way but maybe you only need 25 feet or so. You do not have to attach it to their fence. Just a thought/suggestion. I've included a link to show you what I am referring to.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 3:20PM
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Well, here's a couple of thoughts:
They 'own' the fence. You put that in parenthesis so I wonder who owns the fence. Was it put down properly? Do you "own" 6" on the other side of the fence? Look for boundary markers buried at each end of the property. Check with city hall etc.

Cyclone fence? Is that chain link? If so, they make inserts to weave into the links. Still a dog could see thru the cracks and still act like he wants to tear someone apart. Which is what it sounds like. They might not approve of this but the owner of the fence......

1.5 ft is enough to sink in posts for a good privacy fence. And, just sinking a couple of posts (in your budget) might send a message across to them. Or, get an additional loan on the remodel loan to cover the cost of a few 8' sections. Finish it later.

I was down at the river a couple of years ago and noticed a type of plant that grew vines and hung from trees and over anything it could. Not invasive, not poisonous, no berries. I cut a few small shoots where it was rooting new roots and planted it at the base of my fence to shield me from a neighbors porch. Renters come and go, I stay and it is my barbeque area/plant table. Well, now the vines have covered a 30' section of fence, 6' high. I weaved them into the top two feet of fence which is lattice. They also hang down and are now covering the top of my bbq/plant area. ( I train them). They are native to my area (Upper midwest) and do well. Also, there are some types of vines that once were used in this area (survive cold winters) that grow fast and have large leaves. The name of one excapes me now but I believe they are not illegal, just undesirable. Someone might know.

What deters a dog from an area? What products can be applied to areas of the home to keep a dog from that chair etc? They are available and may have to resprayed (perhaps a few choice rocks aligned along the driveway could be sprayed some moonless midnites? Ever see a dog run from a high pitched whistle that we can't hear?

If you planted some flowers along the drive you would have to water them. Perhaps a dog going ape would be a good time to turn on the sprinkler set so that it only waters your side?

My above thoughts are given with the belief that you have tried to discuss that dog with them and got nowhere. I also assume you don't care to much for them anyway so a privacy fence properly installed is the best option.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 3:01AM
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karen_w(5 MI)

Deweymn, I wonder if your vine is grapevine. It grows like kudzu in the midwest. My neighbor lets it go nuts on a common chain link fence and I'm always hacking it back.
Might just work.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 5:10PM
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karen, it finally came to me:

Buckthorn. (Rhamnus Cathartica)). I looked it up and found that it does produce poinsonous berries. Of course if that dog ate them while he was tearing at the fence with his teeth, I think the taste would make him go away.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 8:03AM
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I'm new here, but I'll put in my two cents worth!! Like the other posters said, fast growing vines, but they do take a while to grow! The bamboo poles(tall ones) can be put down in a line then tie ones going across with twine to let the vines grow. But is the dog going to pee on them?? dog pee will kill it all. Another thing which concerns me is that if the kids are playing and he is lunging, will he break his rope and get thru at the kids, sounds like he would. I had a german shepherd that was my baby, but if anyone was around his property he was protective!!! My son's friends could walk in the house and he wouldn't touch them, but once he was out on his rope, he meant business!!!! You may have to have a real good talk with the neighbor and let them really know, after all, it IS your yard and YOUR kids have a right to play without FEAR in YOUR yard. You pay taxes and it is your right whether or not you have a dozen kids and a dozen dogs!!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 9:15AM
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suzygal, welcome. I'm rather new here also. I have had dogs, been around dogs, and know something about the law.

and people.

I think you read more into this than I did. Where did the rope come from?

Origami hasn't been back but he said:

"My neighbor's dog is driving me NUTS!! He is the nicest dog unless he is in his back yard."
HIS back yard. I think our posters rights will end at the property line. A barking, snarling dog is probably not illegal. A nuisance yes...a danger...animal control would have to determine that. Our poster does not want to alienate the neighbors who love the dog. He may have to eventually.

"When my dogs or kids are outside he will stand at the fence- a cyclone fence."
I believe what he said or meant was what I call a chain link fence.

"He doesn't bark when he hears them.. only when he sees them and then he goes into attack mode.. Snarling growling.. even biting at the fence."
Kind of hard to chew thru a metal fence but it would worry me enough to build a privacy fence of my own on MY side of the line. I would want two fences and a loaded shotgun on my side. Especially if Rover is a pit bull.
But, we don't know.

"It is to the point now that the kids are afraid to go on that side on the house. The fence borders our driveway so avoidance is not an option."
I would like to know how old the kids in question are.
If they are real young they could be in grave danger if that mutt could get out of his enclosure. We all have knowledge of dog attacks and what they can do.

Myself, I would not have my kids there if there was danger. Most would not also. But we don't know all the facts.

Without more info we just don't know. I hope all turns out well and not tragic.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 11:43PM
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Sorry, I was thinking a cyclone fence was one of those plastic snow fences, so figured the dog would have to be tied to keep it from going through or over the fence! I also hope it turns out well! :)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 8:27AM
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Hi everyone, I'm new here , but just wanted to add my comment. I've been in this exact same position and my cheap solution? a couple of sheets of lattice(4x8's)and some nasturums. The fencing can be found almost for free. You can post on the "wanted" adds and usually people are more than happy to give it away. Or Home Depot sells it for $7.00 for a 4x8. The seeds are vigorous and fast growing and can be pinched if they start to overhang, and the plants dont seem to suffer much. The lattice can be grounded in some heavy planters on each end of the lattice and put a couple stones in the planters. If the neighbour complains, the planters make it easy enough to move it a foot here or there.
Otherwise, if this "peaceful" solution doesnt work, I'd definately have a talk with them, and soon, about the fact that the dog is scaring the kids and not permitting them from enjoying peace in their own home.
This is just my opinion.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 5:25AM
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Good add to this melissa. I might try some nasturums for my privacy fence that I add lattice to the inside of, (mainly because I happened on ten pieces of 4x8 for free last year.

I don't know what happened to cesperon or his problem. Maybe the dog ate him.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 7:43AM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

I agree that solid privacy fence is probably the best option, even if he/she just does that one section of view.

Another thought of mine was to plant a tree like swedish columnar aspen. My initial thought was that you can keep it narrow at the base and then let it grow wider near the top, but this probably wouldn't work, since near the bottom is where they want the privacy and these trees are somewhat just bare trunk near the bottom. Cedars wouldn't work as well, unless perhaps thuja occidentalis 'degroots spire' cedar but even then it would take a while to gain any height (not to mention expensive to try to make a hedge out of many of them, might as well buy a section of privacy fence).

Maybe lattice and an aggressive yet dependable vine like virginia creeper? Dropmore honeysuckle? The only downside with any vine is that in early spring, late fall and winter there would be no leaves so poochie would be able to see through. Hard to believe he/she doesn't bark when he just hears the kids as opposed to seeing them.

I'm no dog trainer but perhaps the owner has to get involved and start scolding him when he growls at the fence? Somehow make him understand the kids are not in his territory? I wonder if he's one of those dogs that's just left outside alone all the time, which can lead to behavior problems too.

Anyways, I hope there's a solution as I can't imagine it's pleasant for the kids to be growled at in their own back yard, nor for the neighbors who probably listen to the dog barking.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 9:37AM
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I would definitely recommend a bamboo or willow fence roll that you can just put on your side of your fence. It will be below your $100 budget, look nice, require no maintainance/watering/sunlight and your neighbours can't 'accidently' cut it down.

I just saw a willow fence on Mr. Fothergill's website (not affiliated with them) for $40 for a 5 m section. They have others as well.


Here is a link that might be useful: Willow Fence

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 7:16PM
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brendall(z5 que)

I had some of the same idea that have been posted here. Morning glories, beans, lattice wood and if its a chain fence weave the plactic strips thru it.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 2:14PM
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Greetings to all - Guaranteed fast growing vine and bushy too, with beautifully scented tiny white blooms in Spring and Fall ... Sweet Autumn Clematis.

Do you suppose the huge pooch is deaf?

Bamboo & willow fencing looks great and not pricey either :-)!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 12:51PM
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How about a swamp cedar fence, it gets pretty tight if you plant them close, I dont know how much you got to cover. but you can get them from about 5 dollars a tree bare root about 4 ft tall. Dont plant them too deep, and tie them with metal wire to metal posts one in each end, so them dont fall over.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 8:19PM
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If you just want privacy. Instant fix would be butterfly bush is spreads fast and height can be 6 feet are more. If you want to enjoy the flowers yearly and you live in cold climate cut back about 12" from the ground in late Oct,Nov. are just wait until spring and you will have lots of flowers. If no time to cut back thats ok but you will only see flowers on the top of the bush. Warm climates need not do anything it may bloom all season. .Just keep cutting dead flowers. This is a cheap plant and you get what you wish for on a big scale. I just had to pull 2 out of my garden because they take out.I like looking at all the plants as I drive up. I kept one and its growing already for this year it really stands along in a spot that I can still enjoy the beautiful clusters of flowers and butterfly's. I gave the other butterfly bush to my neighbor who asked questions about the bush last year she couldn't wait to plant it. So i still see it in her yard.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 1:14PM
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I have a similar problem but on the other side of the fence (no pun intended). I have a one year old Sheltie that loves to bark at all the neighbors' dogs. He constantly barks at the neighbors' dogs. I have a 4 foot fence but of course its not a privacy fence. My husband is not working now so cost is an issue. I live in Zone 5 as well and need foliage on the two sides. An evergreen is probably best since I want it to block his view 365 days a year. Does anyone have input for me? I don't want to drive my neighbors "NUTS".

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 5:06PM
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your best long term solution is not a fence, but a shelterbelt. this blocks smell, wind, some sound, and sight; a fence cannot do this. when i was a kid on the farm we would plant caragana as a windbreak and quarter line marker. it grows to 5 feet in its first year if it rains a lot. it is technically a legume, so it also fixes nitrogen. it is nasty to cut down though...

see link below

Here is a link that might be useful:$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex986?opendocument

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 7:31PM
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