A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Monday, July 30, 2007

Finally, A Solution

I’ve been living with The Ugly Green Fence since my neighbors installed it in 2005. I’ve tried different ideas to break up the loooooong boring expanse of green with varying degrees of success.

Morning glories fill the bill quite nicely.

The only problem is that my neighbors don’t like me to grow anything on their fence. I keep telling those naughty morning glories to stay on their own (short) fence, but they just won’t listen.

I was going to try Love-Lies-Bleeding which has been reseeding itself in my gardens for the past several years. Except this year, of course, when I actually had a use for it. Must have been the weird winter/spring weather we had. Not a single seedling popped up.

I’ve tried roses and zebrina.

Well, you know how that turned out.

I had high hopes for the Hyacinth Bean tepee.

Hopes which were dashed by the extremely poor germination rate of most of the seeds I ordered from Park’s this year.

This is all that came up of the hyacinth beans.

I think I have finally hit on the perfect solution. It was accidental. I had some extra wintersown Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate and thought “What the heck? I’ll just stick them along The Ugly Green Fence”. And voila:

The leaves are large enough to break up the solid fence. The pink flowers add needed spots of color. And the best part is that the plants won’t crowd out or shade out lower-growing plants.


At 8:49 PM, Blogger Colleen said...

That is a great solution! I tried growing KMOTGG this year, but it never germinated for me. I'll try it again next year for sure...I have several spots in my yard that could use a plant like this!

At 8:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am sorry to ask this question through your blog but I was wondering how I would be able to add my blog to the garden voices page? I visit gardenvoices almost every day and I have been wanting to be on there for over two years.
Any advice you can offer is greatly appreciated!

Louis J. Gastelum

At 10:34 PM, Blogger LostRoses said...

Nice solution! And I wouldn't give up on those tepees. If hyacinth bean won't grow (I had no luck with it either) I'd try something else. They would provide a vertical "wall" of foliage and flowers that would surely detract from that fence.

They don't want you to grow anything on "their fence"? They're mighty proud of it, aren't they? Too funny!

At 10:58 PM, Blogger Naturegirl said...

The tepees look good if you can find the perfect vine for it...clematis??
I see hollyhocks or sunflowers..that would do it or delphiniums!Some neighbors I just cannot figure them out figure them out or their lack of taste. I havn't seen Nature-trail on Garden voices lately?

At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Ellen said...

I enjoy reading about your ongoing struggle with your neighbor-from-hell, only because it's a relief to hear that others have similar experiences.

In our case, we erected the fence to keep our none too bright neighbor with freshly minted contractor's license off of our property. He's come onto our property to cut trees, sprayed herbicide on windy days that damaged our landscaping, run down our t-posts with his truck and then complained to us about how it damaged his truck (!??!!) The fence, while not attractive, was a small investment for peace of mind and protection from his stupidity.

If your neighbor has specifically told you that he'd prefer you not grow vegetaion on his fence, but you're looking for a way to disguise it, you could put up some cedar lattice on your side and grow perennial vines. Otherwise, all it will take is a blast of RoundUp on his part to undo your efforts.

At 8:27 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Louis, I've added your blog to Garden Voices and sent you an email confirmation.

At 9:33 PM, Blogger Gina said...

I like the tepee too! I'll have to go back and read your historical posts so I can get up-to-speed on your neighbor. I'm curious what exactly they do when you grow stuff on there. Do they pull it out? Kill it? Tell you to get it off their property?

At 4:03 PM, Blogger Connie said...

I grow KMOTGG, too. It looks like something is eating holes in yours, just like they do mine. I haven't found out yet what it is that likes it so much....do you know? Mine has yet to bloom and has lost most of it it's lower leaves, because they turn yellow and die after being eaten by the mystery bug. Arrrgghh!

At 10:43 PM, Blogger Sylvana said...

If I were neighbors with them, I would totally spend the money for a nice, bigger, wooden fence to block out their ugly green fence and give my plants something they could grow on all they wanted!

I can not believe that they would rather look at that big, ugly expanse of metal and green plastic than beautiful flowers.

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Beverly said...

Your neighbors need to live next to my neighbors. They would probably get along real well with each other. I've been living with a growing pile of junk next to my moon garden for 6 months now. Austin calls it the dangerous house:)I think big sunflowers taller than the fence sounds like a great idea.

At 9:44 AM, Blogger ~~ Melissa said...

Looks like you're dealing with the problem just fine. In case someone wants another solution...I used to have T.N.F.S. (terrible neighbor fence syndrome) and a friend gave me this solution which I used. I built a bunch of 6-8 foot tall trellises out of 1x1 cedar (making up the design as I went) and placed them approx every 6-8 feet around the perimeter of the garden and gave them vines. The key was to place the trellises about a foot in from the offending fence (I snuck little support pieces behind, anchoring them to the ugly fence for added strength). That allows the vine to go on all sides giving a nice 3-D effect and really distracts from the T.N.F. It also makes the border beds look much deeper.


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