Like many of my fellow bloggers, I garden on a smallish city lot. While the small space is perfect for my current time & energy constraints, the close proximity (combined with an HOA that views fences as "unfriendly") causes some privacy issues. I've managed to seclude most of my back garden by planting shrubs & trees along the fence line. However, the most critical portion (the patio area where we like to sit & dine) was left exposed because the previous owners had poured concrete right to the edge of the property line. You can see from the 2009 photo below that I've tried (unsuccessfully) to obscure the neighbors view by lining up my containers along the fence:
You can also see how close our houses were built to each other. While I like my neighbors just fine, I've longed for some privacy screening since the day I moved in. Initially I thought the only solution was a wall and I explored every option from stucco to rock but the cost was high and I was limited to a 4' height maximum (by HOA rules.) While 4' is better than nothing, it wouldn't provide me with the personal sanctuary I desired so I never proceeded. Finally this spring, the solution that should have presented itself years ago, occurred to me. Cut the concrete and plant evergreens:
4 1/2' tall 'Emerald Green Arborvitae were placed side by side along the 25' length of open fence. I have never felt happier or more hopeful about my patio possibilities! In a year or two, the height and width of the Arborvitaes willI give me 100% seclusion & create the hideaway/retreat I've been seeking. A place to read, putter, relax, plant, etc., in a world all to myself. Where I can sip cappucino in my pajama's, if I choose. You get the idea...
Another view from a different angle:
The Arborvitae that's leaning (in the center of the photo) is an extra that wasn't planted. It's sitting on a section of concrete I chose not to cut out. That space was left open for a future fireplace! I can't wait!
Another garden dream realized. I feel so lucky. Now you see what else has been keeping me so busy this spring.
p.s. Just so we don't have a post without flowers ~ the orchid my neighbor gave me is blooming:
When she passed it on a year & a half ago, it was not in good shape. The roots were brittle and dried out and the leaves were soft and very pliable (when they should be much stiffer.) I've been nursing it back to health and feel very rewarded, especially when I wasn't sure I could save it.