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Side yard help!
December 10, 2012
Hi I've recently just built a new house and as pictured I have a small side yard that needs some greenery! My three main living room
Windows are all facing this area so I want it really appealing but something that is fairly inexpensive! I was thinking some
Clumping bamboo plants to screen off the ugly fence but can't decide if I should put them in pots or just straight into the ground? I also am not really sure about what variety to use I no I need to use clumping so it won't take over and spread through the rest of the garden but I only want variety that grows to around 1.5 - 2m heigh an grows fast? If anyone can give me some tips they will be greatly appreciated! :)
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I love this kind of look!
    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 4:45PM
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I've heard that although bamboo is fast-growing, it's also very invasive and could hurt your foundation. I don't know if that's accurate but that's what I've heard.

I would attach small trellises and plant vining plants along the fence, or maybe even attach planters to the fence and grow asparagus ferns and such. Would be very pretty.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 4:47PM
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Ross NW Watergardens
Very few plants can give you height in a narrow space better than bamboo. Clumping bamboo is not as invasive but still needs to be contained in an area like that. Go ahead and plant it in pots- either decorative above ground planters or plastic pots below ground. If you put the pots in the ground make sure you leave the top of the pot 2"-3" above soil level.
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 5:45PM
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Knitter 81439
I would first take a look at the drainage. There appears to be a slight swale between the fence and house. If you were to create a gently curved path the width of the door (from the door frame edge) that swings nearly to the fence at about the third panel from the building and then gently curve away from the fence you would be adding perspective. Outline the path with benderboard, put down a layer of plastic to keep out weeds, next place a layer of drainage stone with stone stepping stones on top of the drainage stone. Then, around the stones use bark or small river rocks to accent the stone steps.
Now, use the Nandina variety of the height that you like along the house wall in a line that follows the path curve. Be sure to trim the Nandina by removing old stalks at ground level (no square or globular shearing, please). The Nandina is evergreen with brightly colored berries and the leaves turn color with the season.
Next create trellising attached to the fence that extends as high as you need with an irregular top line. Plant a vine that does well at your site to grow up the trellis. Virginia Creeper is deciduous and turns beautiful autumn colors and when bare the vining is interesting and nice to look at.
A nice, simple ground cover under the vines and bushes both next to the house and fence would finish your look. If not a groundcover planting, you could add medium size river rock.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 5:53PM
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Knitter 81439
The bamboo that Ross NW Watergardens suggested would be perfect up against your neighbor's lattice fence.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 1:01PM
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Go to your local nursery ( not a national chain). Ask the horticulturalist on staff about plants native to your geographical region. They should need little to no water once they are established.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 4:35PM
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Have you considered euonymus? I have used many different varieties for different needs. For your side area, possibly Manhattan would do it. Fast growing evergreen with a nice leaf, flowers and then pink berries, it can be trimmed to do anything you want it to do. You didn't say your Zone. "The fast-growing euonymus is popular in landscaping because it comes in a diverse array of leaf shapes and colors. As evidenced by their widespread presence in the wild, they are also extremely durable and low maintenance. They thrive in the sun, but also do well in shady areas. Euonymus plants can also survive in a wide variety of soils."
1 Like    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 4:47PM
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An arch over the space will allow you to plant vines, but also to incorporate fabric panels for privacy.

If you build a narrow raised garden bed along the wall, you can "double" the height of the plants used.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 5:01PM
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Like some of the photos above from Feeny with gravel as a "path" and some plants in pots or ground along fence. I actually like the metal fence and think greenery will look nice in front of it. Is it metal or wood? cant make out photo. If wood then you can paint ! But if not, then greenery will soften it so just leave as is.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 5:37PM
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Pebble and Co. Mosaics
Based on your note that this area will be highly visible from your house and your desire for maximum visual appeal, you could consider some customized pebble mosaic pavers amongst the greenscaping and paving options, to serve as visual highlights that will add artistry and class to the space.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 8:27AM
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Jayme H.
I agree with growing vines (ivy's grow fast)..up the fence and/or attach trellis work. Other perennials could mix in also in varying heights and textures.
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 8:37AM
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Thanks everyone for all your help! It is a metal fence so I can't paint it. I like the idea of ivy grown on trelasses. And also a little stone pathway maybe with some specialized pavers! Thanks again!
3 Likes    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 12:26PM
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the fence is not ugly at all. what you need is to work with it. think industrial chic. zen. fill with gravel and get stepping stones. work with the linearity of the fence and the brick. look in houzz for Zen landscape and so not cover that fence. this could be a unique, beautiful side garden.
    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 12:40PM
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    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 12:46PM
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Jayme H.
I like to throw in a boulder or two here and there too if you like that look...best of luck:)
    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 5:01PM
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