Monday, June 1, 2015

Privacy/screening progress

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. 


  1. You've done a terrific job despite the pruning efforts of your local deer herd.
    It's frustrating beyond compare to pour so much time (and let's face it--expense!) into landscaping just to lose it to marauding animals and lousy weather....but I'm sure it's worth it all to sit on the deck and admire that yard. Very well done!

    1. Thanks, Sue. It's a battle for sure. This year the progress is very marked and it makes me happy. Especially since I'm getting too old to battle as hard as in the past. If things can get to a certain point, then they can suffer some deer damage and still thrive. I need more of that sitting on the deck time. :-D

  2. Hi Kris,

    I've been trying to access your post about how you made your bottom heat propagation tray and have been unable. Any chance you can point me in the right direction? Would love to see how you did it. Thanks!!!

    1. Hi Jeff. If you're talking about my home made heat tray, here is the LINK. I got so many 100s of hits on that post, only a couple bothered to comment or say HI. So I got miffed and made is a tad hard to find. Hope you find it useful. Let me know if it helps (the post and/or the link). Thanks for stopping by. :-D

    2. Hi Kris!
      Thanks so much for the link! Amazing post and project. We're going to start growing microgreens, so it will be perfect for that. I really, really appreciate you sharing it with me!!! =) Deb (under Jeff's sign in)

  3. I remember planting my honeysuckle in such a row and the neighbor lady thought it strange where I had placed them. Little did she know I was wanting a private backyard and that is what i have today. It is nice to sit outside and not have the people in cars seeing me.

  4. What a difference a day makes (or a few years!) Just think if you hadn't planted anything you would still be at square one. Scotch Pines have been hit down here and I see lots of large trees dead in places.

    Just think when you get old and gray you can sit out on the deck and drink beer and no one will know!


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