Ideas for privacy hedge by pool, narrow garden bed

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by seanjenny, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. seanjenny

    seanjenny Member

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    Maple Ridge BC Canada
    We would love some suggestions for our backyard pool area.

    We look into our backyard and all we see is the vinyl siding of a two-storey house behind us. There is a 2' wide garden bed that runs behind the pool, in front of the fence dividing the two houses. The backyard faces east. I would love to have something that will grow fairly quickly and provide some sort of privacy. We don't mind doing some trimming but would prefer something evergreen to avoid too much mess in the pool. We are putting a pergola where the small shed is (south/east corner). We feel like we are living in a vinyl siding box and we are desperate to green up the space! I have attached a photo. Don't mind the mess, it was our cleaning day.
    Thanks for your help.
     

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  2. englak

    englak Active Member 10 Years

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    2' isn't much space for a hedge. If you're sure you want one, I'd go for Taxus X Media 'Hicksii', but be aware that it's a tight squeeze, and the hedge will need pruning to fit there.

    If you're wiling to forgo the hedge, you might consider applying some trellis to the existing fence (this can actually look quite good) and planting it with an evergreen vine. Or, to break the scale of the house next door, you could make an arbour along the top of the fence and tie it into the planned pergola. Here's a image to help explain: http://www.americanproscapes.com/fence_arbor.JPG Plant with evergreen vine, and serve the iced tea.

    One last idea, you could do like the French do, and pleach a row of trees. This would require careful pruning (high maintenance) and possibly a root barrier (talk to an arborist) but would do the best job of hiding your neighbour's house. To see an image, try the link below: http://www.eastofedenplants.co.uk/images/Pleached_limes.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2008
  3. Chungii V

    Chungii V Active Member

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    Location:
    Hervey Bay Australia zone 10/11
    I am guessing by the fact you have a pool that your winters would be reasonably mild. From what I can gather the position is a morning sun then shaded area.
    For something simple but constant year round colour the likes of cordylines or crotons will give you this without too much mess to fall into your pool.
    Maybe 1 or 2 small palms (Veitchia merrilli, Hypophorbe verschaffeltii) to break the height up keep in mind that when palms flower and seed they can be rather messy smaller palms are easier to manage for that reason and won't outgrow a 2 foot garden bed.
    Then scatter a few hardier bromeliads and other small clumping grasses in amongst to fill.
    That would give a reasonably tropical feel without too much mess.
    Just watch the variety of croton you buy some tend to drop their leaf a bit through cooler months. 'Mammy' is probably on of the best.
    I'd avoid shrubs with smaller leaves because they will have you spending more time cleaning the pool rather than enjoying it.
    Conifers would do reasonably well also and there are many varieties available with diiferent heights, shapes, foliage...
    Finally, find a good garden centre and pick their brains for any extra advice for your region.
    Hope this gives you some ideas to work with......
    :}
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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  5. seanjenny

    seanjenny Member

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    I love the pleaching idea but I agree, probably way to labour intensive for me. I've been accused of having a bit of a brown thumb but I really enjoy gardening. I suspect I'll keep it fairly simple, probably go with a hedging type plant, maybe with the arbour. I am new to the forum and have really enjoyed reviewing the blogs. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to reply.
     
  6. divednet

    divednet Member

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    Hi, New to this forum. I have a very similar situation. I see his thread is over a year old, so I was wondering what you went with and how it is progressing? Obviously need something that won't damage the pool structure or lift the deck over time. Anyone have any thoughts about clumping bamboo? Thanks!
     
  7. seanjenny

    seanjenny Member

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    Hi there,

    We eventually went with 8 Swedish Columnar Aspens. They are tall, fast growing and narrow. We have a unique situation in that the bed is so narrow and it's right beside the path around the pool. The problem is of course that the Aspens shed their leaves. It wasn't too bad this year but as they grow it will be harder to manage. I just couldn't stand looking at that vinyl sided house anymore! I needed something to grow....fast. In between each tree I planted a boxwood for some green during the winter. I have attached a picture that was the inspiration for the choice of the aspen. I have also read about a 'living wall' made of willow. It was too expensive for us and I was worried about the root system of the willow. http://www.thelivingwall.net/.

    We decided against the bamboo because it can look and be very messy.

    So far, I really like the aspen, they have grown a couple of feet already.
     

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  8. divednet

    divednet Member

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    Wow! Thanks for the quick post and ideas! Is there no concern over the aspens' roots growing into the pool? How do you find out which plants roots will spread and which won't?
     
  9. seanjenny

    seanjenny Member

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    The aspens have a fairly shallow root base. As far as finding out what roots spread, which ones don't, I just did a lot of searching on the internet and looked up the characteristics of plants that appealed to me.

    I could have gone for a cedar hedge but they are fairly slow growing and I didn't want to completely block out the light to house behind. Didn't think they would appreciate that.
     

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