Wednesday, January 8, 2014
They Say Patience is a Virtue...
Well...it's the New Year and all that jazz...and you know what that means...Garden Changes, y'all! Every year, even in the midst of enjoying the garden, I have a keenly critical eye for things that aren't working...or, at least, aren't working FOR ME!
One of the spots in my garden that is a perennial source of frustration is the back yard. Tricky light has forced me to admit that the whole area needs a good re-tooling this year (more on that in a future post). The hot-button subject for today, however, is this total lack of privacy. In the shot above, it looks quite nice...lush, colorful and cozy. However, if you look up...
...ACK! Yup...the neighbors house...just a few feet from the fence (seriously, maybe 4 feet away). Their windows look RIGHT DOWN INTO OUR BACK YARD. When we first moved in, there was a nice family that lived in the house...and we didn't mind so much that they could see us...we'd even talk to them through the windows if we happened to be in the backyard. Now, however, it's being rented to a rotating cast of college students...and judging by the noise (and the fact that I rarely see the same person twice), I'm guessing there are between 6-78 people in the house at any one time. Oh...and they have a "band"...yeah.
Here, I've labeled each window. The kitchen window is the source of 90% of my anxiety. There is, quite literally, ALWAYS someone in the kitchen...usually more than one. There are so many people in the house that at least a few of them are always awake. Also, since none of them have jobs, they are home all day long, every day.
Now, as much as the previous few paragraphs would seem to contradict this, the point of this post isn't just that I needed to vent about the people next door (ok, it is a little). It's trying to find a way to achieve a little bit of privacy! Two years ago, I planted a clumping Bamboo (Fargesia rufa, I believe) in a stock tank, hoping that it would eventually get tall enough to screen out the neighbors, especially the kitchen window. However, after two full years, it really hasn't grown much at all...at least not vertically.
See...this is what I had it mind...I knew it wouldn't happen overnight...but going on year three, I thought the stupid Bamboo would at least be as tall as the fence by now! And here's where you beautiful readers come in...help me! I'm inclined to wait one more year to see if the Bamboo takes off this year...but...if it hasn't made any appreciable progress by this fall, I'm wondering what you'd do for privacy?
I've been considering a small tree...maybe a Witch Hazel or (as above) a small, upright Japanese Maple or Vine Maple. It can't be TOO big, or it will block too much light from the rest of the garden (and light is all to precious in my garden). That being said, I also prefer deciduous over evergreen trees/shrubs. Of course, any extra seasonal interest (flowers, good fall color, interesting bark) are a bonus!
I've also considered putting up a tall framework trellis, perhaps 10' lengths of rebar or something else, just behind the fence as a support for the existing Parthenoccisus vine to eventually grow up onto...but I fear that by the time I sink 2' of the rebar lengths into the ground, the tops will only extend an additional 2' above the fence...which wouldn't really help the situation. I could use taller lengths of Bamboo...but I fear that eventually they'll rot and break down.
Anyway...what do you think...do any of those ideas sound feasible. Would you give the Bamboo even more time...or would you replace it...and if so, with what. Either way, thanks for listening to me gripe about it :-)