questionsgarden help: i need to find some screening for my…

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Oh, good, something that's interesting. I'm going to be thinking about this a while, but I like Bamboo. Best part about that is that it'll send runners into your neighbor's yard. Here's how to be evil with it.

Get it started, and once it gets going, only water it at the back. That will encourage the runners to go in that direction.

This will be fun. I'll be back in a bit with more suggestions.

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I meant to say. I do not want to plant Leyland Cypress Trees.

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How fast does poison ivy grow?

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My friend has a few Burning Bushes in her backyard. Nice looking plants, and they seem to be pretty self reliant.

http://urbanext.illinois.edu/ShrubSelector/detail_plant.cfm?PlantID=391

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@sgoman5674: hahaha too fast.

@myrlin: thanks that looks like an interesting option. Plust I like the colour. It would add a new dimension back there.

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@myrlin: Those are very pretty. I have some of those around my school in NY and they look very good and require very little maintenance.

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I guess the only downside to the burning bush that I can see are they are non-native plants. That sort of thing isn't on the top of my mind all the time, but I can see how it would be a negative for some people.

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I do live in the southeast so it does need to be highly heat and humidity tolerant. Also drought tolerant, and not just from my lack of care. I believe in that sort of thing. It is one reason I am not a huge fan of grassy lawns, a lot of grass that was planted isn't very drought tolerant.

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@shrdlu: Bamboo=EVIL for the very reason it shoots runners every where and is an absolute menace. I've been battling it for years.

@hobbit: My parents had a problem with the back yard neighbor's teufel hunden. The beasts barked at every bit of movement in the backyard. Dad solved it by planting Cherry Laurel trees, but keeps them trimmed to about 5 feet high. Beautiful, glossy leaves that stay green throughout the year. They withstand the heat and humidity of NW Florida as well as any freezes they get. Grows amazingly fast and are easily propagated if you want to add them around your property.

edit: http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=nJ9&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&q=cherry+laurel+tree&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=VD6qS979C86UtgfI3LirBQ&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=4&ved=0CCcQsAQwAw Gosh, should've used tinyurl.com.

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@lavikinga: Haha I would do Bamboo because it is evil and grows really fast, BUT it is evil and grows too fast!

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@hobbit: I like the looks of it and made the mistake of planting it in a corner of our backyard. Hateful thing. I dig it up in one place and weeks later it is laughing at me from somewhere else. It's almost as bad as that darned greenbriar vine. THAT is a monster. I cut, I dig and use chemical warfare and still it returns.

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@lavikinga: I KNOW Bamboo is evil. @hobbit was looking for evil. You can encourage the runners to go one way, and not another. Fertilze, water, on the side where you want growth and agression, and a nice dry strip in front of the bamboo on @hobbit's side of the bamboo, and all the runners will head towards the neighbors.

I'm currently researching nice bramble bushes. I lean towards scrub roses at the moment, since they are so very prickly, attract bees, and don't have the fruit (messy) that some other brambles have.

Actually, I have a climbing rose called Sky's the Limit which is turning out to be very agressive (and it's a very sweet yellow, too). That would take some care the first year, and good fertilizer to keep it going. It's probably not going to fit the description, since it would take a year or so to reach the stage that @hobbit is looking for right now.

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@lavikinga: Okay, now that I know what greenbrier is, I have a suggestion for death of the plant. Anytime you have something aggressive, you are going to have to expect an all out war. No skirmishes for you. Get a nice cheap paintbrush, and good old Roundup(tm). After you've cut most of the plant away, leave some bits here and there with the leaves attached, because the leaves are how it pulls in nutrients, or in this case...

Bwahhhaahaa! Roundup. Pour some roundup in a can that is heavy enough that you're not going to knock it over and spill all over your prized bedazzler bulbs. Put in paintbrush, paint leaves and all exposed surfaces of greenbrier (or other offensive plant). Rinse, and repeat, as needed. This may take a few weeks or so to convince it to quit growing, but it will eventually give up. I've used this method on the neighbor's ivy (it's okay, we'd both agreed to kill it) to keep from harming my roses that the ivy was next to.

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@shrdlu: Ha! I laugh in your general direction. So does the greenbriar. The leaves of this spawn of the devil are waxy. Roundup beads and rolls right off. However it sticks to the vine stem. Last fall I took to leaving 4 or 5 leaves on a plant and sanding them with sandpaper and THEN spraying them. Crazy, no?
I try to pull up as much and as many of the nasty little boogers as I can when they're younger as their thorns are less likely to penetrate my leather gloves. Such a good for nothing, hateful gift from nature. grrrr!

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Another idea:

http://www.highcountrygardens.com/catalog/product/82560/

3 leaf sumac - it only grows 5-6 feet tall so I don't know if that is enough, but it meets the requirements for looking decent, privacy, soil conditions, and hardyness.

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@shrdlu: Just re-read what you replied about the bamboo. Remind me never to tee you off!

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Chinese privet makes a good screen in the SE, but it can be invasive. My yard is surrounded with it on 2 sides, and I've found it's easy to keep it in check with some light pruning. You can let it grow bushy or shape it into a tree like a crepe myrtle (although I'm opposed to crepe myrtle mutilation). It's a fast-growing and cheap screen that will drop berries all over your neighor's yard, which quickly turn into new little trees. Of course, it will do the same thing in your yard, so it's a trade off.

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@shrdlu: can you do that with bamboo too, do you think? The roundup trick?

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@lavikinga: Okay, then. Ground Clear. A careful application of this will make the ground sterile for about a year.

http://www.amazon.com/Ortho-0430210-Complete-Vegetation-Concentrate/dp/B001ACMBZO

I spray it on various places where I don't want to have to fight the natural growth (russian thistle, tumbleweeks, goatheads, bindweed, the list is endless). Pick a still day. Wind is NOT your friend. Pick a day when it isn't going to rain the next day. Don't apply where there's a great deal of foot (or other) traffic, since it can make nice dead footprints on your lawn, until it's had a chance to settle in for a week or two.

Evil stuff, but deadly. Sometimes a zone of death is a good thing.

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@hobbit: I can do that roundup trick with most anything, but I have enormous patience, plenty of time, and I don't need much sleep.

BTW, people who are reading this and thinking how they'd like to try it..if you have a Koi pond, or anything that has fish anywhere nearby, the trick with roundup is even more important, because it will kill your fish very dead if you mess up and spray any of it on the water.

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@myrlin: aren't people allergic to Sumac?

@shrdlu: thanks because I copied and pasted all of that for a co worker who has been trying do decimate his bamboo forest, he is worried he might find endangered wild life in there. (kidding)

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@hobbit: Huh. That must be new. I hit the "Add Comment" button, and it still added your name.

Just wanted to say that the ancient art of Bonsai refers to more than just the stupid crippled tiny plants that are popular with people that are too snooty to get chia pets.

Studying this art will tell you how to encourage almost any plant to be a blessing to you, and annoy your neighbors, all at the same time.

Actually, I think I mean Penzai rather than Bonsai (although the study of either is good for management of plants that are amenable to this).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penzai

I am currently applying this to a Crabapple, and to a Variegated Box Elder. The rest of the trees in my yard are allowed to grow naturally, but these seemed to be amenable to a little "assistance" from me.

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Lilac bushes can grow quite tall (some varieties grow 6 to 8 feet) to help screen out many things but they are not rapid growers. I love the smell of them in the spring.

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@shrdlu: I think it might be a bug, I have seen that happen before. It is annoying.

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@hobbit: I thought so at first, but apparently this is completely different than poison sumac. These berries are actually edible.

As a side note, if you deep fry cauliflower and sprinkle some powdered sumac on it, it can take a healthy vegetable, make it bad for you, and delicious all at once.

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@tweber: If I could heart you for the crepe murder remark, I would!

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@shrdlu: THANK YOU! I'll have to farm out the Aussies for the day as many of the vines are on the perimeter of the property where they like to patrol for rogue squirrels and play "I'll chase you, you chase me."

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@tweber: are those leaves little and almondy round, sort of shiny, and does it grow up in stalks? I ask because it sounds like what I currently have in parts of my yard now. The berries were the give away. Some Moron planted it the planting beds, I have been pulling it out of portions. I have left it one section because it sort of screens my bedroom window from the neighbors house - we are a bit close on one side.

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@hobbit: Ok! I've got the perfect something that should keep the little crumb crunchers far away from your fence: pyracantha, also known as Firethorn. You can esplanade (is that the right word?) it along a wall or fence or just let it get nice and bushy. Only drawback is that it hurts like a son of a b*tch if you stick yourself with it.
http://images.google.com/images?q=pyracantha&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=JlSqS-7vNMG0tgfE8OnRBQ&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=6&ved=0CC4QsAQwBQ

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@hobbit: Let me jump on the bandwagon for pyracantha. It's even better than a shrub rose, and oh, so pretty and yet vicious.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyracantha

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Pyracantha is pretty and it does have those nasty thorns, but it does not grow that fast around here. In fact, some bushes near us were still pretty small 3 years after planting. Kind of sandy soil here, not clay though.

Lilacs won't grow here very well. The soil has to be amended and still no blooms most of the time. (neighbor keeps trying)

There is a bush here that grows like crazy, has sweet smelling blossoms and is called _Olive - can't find the name of it and my neighbor is not home. It is a light green, I'll find it later. Grows really fast.

EDIT: Looks like it might be Russian olive, considered invasive. I am in zone 8 according to the map. Maybe oleander would work well for you.

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@sand4me: Yea I wasn't going to try Lilacs the summer can be a bit harsh for them.

do you mean Tea Olive? http://www.wilsonbroslandscape.com/TreeFileTeaOlive.html OH man the Duke Mansion in Charlotte has some of those and they smell heavenly.

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Carolina Sapphire Cypress? I'm not sure about cost but it meets your other requirements.

Cupressus arizonica var. glabra – ‘Carolina Sapphire’- steely, blue needles; dense, lacy foliage; yellow flowers and nice scent; smells like a cross between lemon and mint.

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@hobbit: No, I don't think it is Tea Olive. It is Russian or Jewish of some kind of ethnic name in front of Olive. The pictures I see of the Russian Olive don't quite look right. I'll find out later and be back.

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coworker suggested honeysuckle

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You should also look at rose of sharon, which is a type of hibiscus so no thorns, grows fast, is shrubby, produces flowers in late summer, and will take over that entire section with no effort from you. I had them in ohio, in clay soil. If you don't keep it mowed back or at least rake up the flowers in the fall you will get shoots everywhere. Big windstorm blew my chimney cap off and it landed in a clump of these and I didn't find it for like 6 months so you know its good screening plant (or that I am mostly blind). Plus they are cheap.

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@hobbit: Or Carolina Jasmine?

Rose of Sharon does well here, although I think it loses its leaves? Pretty blooms. Indian Hawthorne grows well in the heat, but I'm unsure how fast. Variegated pittosporum is nice. It loves the sun and is a lovely green and white leafed plant.

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@hobbit: Privet has small leaves that DO look almond-y. The females have tiny white flowers and a cloyingly sweet smell when blooming. It smells nice for about 5 minutes, then enough already. Kind of like Chanel 5. The flowers are followed by clusters of green berries that turn purple-black and look like tiny bunches of grapes. These are pretty in flower arrangements if you're into that sort of thing and even better for decorating mud pies, according to my daughter. The berries ensure lots of purple bird poop on everything. As for that moron comment, I like to garden on the edge. I have also planted bamboo, vinca major, and mint straight into the ground. This guarantees I will always have a gardening project and something to cuss at as I'm weeding.

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Also to add to the Round-Up topic, if a water feature is a concern or you want to protect a nearby plant, you can cut the bottom off a milk jug and put it over the target plant. Then spray into the jug. Had to do this with the mint growing right next to my pond.

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@attilathemom: already have some of that on the side of the house. It seems to require work. Well my other neighbors next door seem to work on theirs. I would feel bad if mine didn't look as pretty.

@tweber: I have never seen flowers on my plants so maybe it is a different variety. But the berries all sound the same. I just hate them. I am slowly eradicating it. I want to put in more butterfly bushes and flowers.

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OH yea and it can't be something that cankerworms wants to munch on. I know they like trees mostly but I don't want to spray for bugs.

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@tweber: We can still smell mint in one section of our back yard when we mow. We used the area as a vegetable & herb garden a few years ago. Learned the hard way to pot both the mint and the oregano.

Did you know that a bamboo thicket when it catches fire sounds like small fire crackers are going off?

I use the milk jug/round up trick sorta kinda. I cut the bottom from a big plastic tub of coffee. The opening is a bit bigger for me to work with.

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@hobbit: Dont do the japanese honeysuckle, its an invasive non native plant and is choking out everything in southern ohio. I swear this stuff eats kudzu for breakfast. You can see it along the roadsides everywhere, and I was constantly trying to uproot it from my flower beds.

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@attilathemom: I will find something native to North Carolina.

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Here is a link to the North Carolina Native Plant Society's recommended plants:

http://www.ncwildflower.org/natives/recommend.htm

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What about Red Twig Dogwood Shrubs? I planted them around the swing set in my back yard after we lost several trees at once.

You should be able to find them locally. They grow very quickly (usually around 8 feet tall). The bare red winter twigs are often what is pictured by the nurseries but they have full beautiful green leaves in the summer.

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How about something like Cytisus Gypsy Broom plants. The ones I had were about 8 ft tall and had beautiful flowers in late spring/early summer. I had to take them out last weekend due to snow damage, but they would definitely work as a screen.

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Thanks everyone for your advice. I meant to respond last night, I forgot. It was a tough day yesterday.