This post is for my records so you may find it boring. Lots of pics, though.
I'm documenting my efforts to create privacy and screening around here. Since I've been here many trees/shrubs in the neighborhood/golf course have been removed and nothing has been replanted.
So I've been doing my best to recreate the 'private, park-like setting' that was advertised when I bought the house in 2002. (Click all pics to enlarge.)
First off - golf course screening is doing well. The pines (4/2010) are coming into their own for sure. Also, this year's extension of the wooden snowfence along the pine tree arc, resultant deep growth from my not mowing back there, and 100% return of sweet Joe Pye plants (6/2012) along the back is filling in well. I've not caught any golfers in the yard this year - so far. (The back border yews (4/2010) are still there, basically stumps due to fracking deer.)
The 4-year-old (8/2011) line of hemlocks between me and my nabe to the south suffered major deer damage last fall. The bucks used them to clean their antlers, breaking lots of branches and leaders. Last spring I'd cut a dead leader out of a smaller plant and was pleasantly surprised this spring to see that it responded by turning up 2 lateral branches to become more leaders. Taking heart from that, I trimmed out all dead from the others, hoping that they, too, will figure it out.
On the north side, the line of burning bush planted last June (6/2014) came through the winter relatively unscathed, in spite of the deep, persistent snow.
The canopy of fencing I installed when planting kept them from suffering the fate of the previous plants there - more ill-fated yews.
The burning bush were about 12-14" tall when planted. Now they are about 24". The extra protection (and Milorganite fertilizer) keeps me optimistic on this border.
The driveway border shrubs (Miss Kim lilac, golden vicary privet, double-file viburnum, rose of Sharon, grey-twigged dogwood, and hemlock) along the driveway are thickening up and filling in. The hemlock here were (*knock wood*) ignored by the deer last fall so are much taller. But I gave them each a cut too. I want them to get thick and full, not great height.
3rd & 4th pic from the deck. A glance to the south and you see that the neighbor's pool is getting harder to see. And look how much of the golfcourse green is obscured now as the pines get thick, the crabapples get wide and the Joe Pye get tall.
About the only non-improvements are in the corner of the front yard (5th pic). That arc of burning bush (2011-2013) take the brunt of the deer devastation every year. And this spring the cherry tree (2013) that was to fill that semi-circle gave up the ghost and died. I've installed a Snowdrift crabapple (5/2015) there, hoping it will be made of sterner stuff.
And finally, a good shot of the pines in back, candling out well right now. About 10-12' tall. Good news - they are doing great. Bad news, all the Georgia Pines in the golf course dying or dead from some beetle or disease (left in pic). Their white pines are okay, so mine should be safe. I'm really going to miss those 6 huge trees (60+ feet) when they take them down. It's going to make a HUGE hole in the sky back there.
So there. With my borders, time helps. Bounce dryer sheets help. Milorganite fertilizer (deer deterent) helps. If there were no deer, I'd need none of the former. Oh well. It's better than it was, and not as good as it will (hopefully) get.