Need assistance: side yard plantings

xine(8)August 16, 2009

Help! I live on a cul-de-sac, but have a rectangular shaped lot. My neighbor has a pie shaped lot and her house is angled funny on her property to almost completely face the side of my house and my front yard. She has a very small yard. We got along fine until we wanted to put in a fence for the back yard and part of the side yard (15 feet from the back corner of the house), and she fought us on it. We got the go ahead from the HOA to put in the fence 2 years ago, but it's been a constant battle with her ever since. She mows our property about 2-3 feet over, and since she mows at about 2" and we mow at 3" high, it damages our grass. We've finally had enough and want to plant something along the property line to clearly delineate where our respective properties are, but also to afford a little bit of privacy. I feel like we can't use our front or side yard at all since her front windows look out on it and she has NO draperies or blinds. (I know, she's weird.)

Unfortunately, the HOA won't let us plant a "living wall" of any sort (boo!), so we're back to square one. I need to plan a bed that's about 5-6 feet deep max and about 30-40 feet long. I imagining something with a mixture of heights, like leyland cypress or something similar in height interspersed amongst lower height grasses or shrubbery. I need it to be something that I don't have to maintain much, since I won't be able to go over to her side and cut/trim/prune. We already have a large (huge! pampas grass by the road, and our front yard has sagos, palm trees, elephant ears, and pizzaz lorapetalum. We also have a banana shrub (LOVE IT!) and liriope.

The area is in full sun, and we water every day from our well-fed irrigation system. We are in Zone 8 and about 1/2 mile from the Gulf.

Any suggestions?

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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I strongly advise against the Leyland Cypress. They are bagworm magnets, very prone to disease, and if they thrive, they will become the tree that ate your block. Seriously, they get positively huge, not just tall but wide (like 15 to 20 feet wide). They will dwarf your house and positively work you to death trying to keep them pruned to a reasonable size.

I am curious. If you cannot plant a living wall, how can you even consider a Leyland (or any tree)? Maybe I don't have a good mental picture of what you want to do. Such a shame this has caused such strife with your neighbor. It occurs to me that in Charleston, SC in the historical district, virtually every house faces the sea (of course). But this puts all their verandas (balconies?) facing the back of their neighbor's house. The yards are very small there too. If you have access to pictures of Charleston gardens, for which it is deservedly famous, you might get some ideas.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 6:51PM
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Thanks for the info on Leyland Cypress... I wasn't really thinking of using that at its maturity, more like something 6-10 feet. I really meant a mixed bedding area of smaller and taller shrubs. I think I can get away with several taller shrubs, as long as it doesn't create a wall.

I'll check out the Charleston photos (maybe at online and use that as an example.

Oh, and my lot is 85x110... it's the stupid neighbor's lot that's smaller.

Thanks for your reply, donnabaskets. :)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 8:20PM
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