Obscuring the View
I’m a person that needs a project to motivate myself. Without a deadline or plan I have little impetus to get going. As we are heading into Winter my thoughts are turning to next Spring and what I want to try to achieve in the garden. Anyone who has read this blog for a while will know that I have been trying to find an identity for the slope at the back of the garden.
When we moved in 6 years ago the back slope was dominated by a huge Laurel. I found the above photo which was taken in April 2008 but it didn’t survive much longer than that. The Laurel drove me mad as it dominated the view of the back garden as well as sucking up all the moisture from the soil around it. I knew when it came out that my view would change dramatically but decided to go for it anyway.
Behind my garden is the a bungalow. As we are on a slope the bungalow is about the same height as my upstairs windows so this now means that we look straight into their garden and vice versa. This didn’t really bother me as we now had a good view of the Malvern hills. But over the last two years the neighbour’s washing line has begun to irritate as well as the neighbour. He is one of those little men who has to stick his nose in things that are nothing to do with him. He also has what I call the ‘scorched earth’ approach to gardening. From what I can see there is little growing in his garden more than a couple of feet tall. However, what really irritates me about him is his refusal to let anything cross the boundary line so my beautiful Prunus which must have been there for years, gets butchered from his side on a regular basis. It is the only flat backed Prunus tree (as you can see from the photo).
I did win a small victory this month as when he informed me that he was pruning the tree again back to the fence I told him that he would be getting rid of the prunings. He started to argue, last time I came home to a pile about 4ft high thrown over my fence. Luckily after the last time I had checked my facts and informed him, with more authority than I felt, that he was required by law to offer me the prunings but if I didn’t want them then it was up to him to get rid of them – and I didn’t want them. Well that didn’t go down well but it made me feel better!
Anyway, I need to sort the fence out as I am sick of looking at it – to me it dominates the view. This year I bought a beautiful Vitus to grow along the fence to cover it and provide some fab autumn colour. Needless to say as soon as my son started to drill the holes for the vine-eyes irritating neighbour was peering over the fence wanting to know what was happening (we share responsibility for the fence). I went for climbers in order to cover the fence and also because if I plant a tree or large shrub it will get massacred by the mad neighbour and I don’t want that to happen. However, I have now got to the point where I don’t want him to be able to look over the fence, nor do I want to look at his house or his washing line any more.
So I have decided that the best plan will be to plant some bamboo along the fence. I have a large clump forming bamboo which I have divided before successfully so I think come the Spring I will divide it again and plant at least two clumps along the top. No doubt that will make mad neighbour twitch as of course all bamboo is known to be invasive! I will move the Buddleja down the slope a little and I am going to add a dwarf Crab Apple to add a little height but far enough from the fence to protect it. I might move the vine to the side fence as I don’t want it getting destroyed by his pruning. I am thinking that if I use Bamboo as the backdrop then I can add shrubs etc along the top of different heights etc to produce a thick shrubbery which he can’t see through. Hopefully the Bamboo will grow tall enough to block the house from the view but still leave me the hills.
If you have any bright idea of plants I can plant along the fence line that will grow tall but won’t grow over the fence please let me know – all ideas will gratefully be received. I have even considered Leylandi but this would cast a huge shadow in my garden so that’s out.