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Monday, April 23, 2012

Making The Neighbors Disappear

I got inspired in Kauai at the Allerton Garden to finally tackle the issue of the hill and the creepy neighbors.
I have been looking for something to plant since we moved here and I never knew there was such a thing as clumping Bamboo. Bambusa Olhamaii you are my new best friend. My expensive needy best friend, but that's okay. Below is a picture I took at the Allerton Bamboo Forest - this one is Giant Golden Timber Bamboo and does not do well in our zone.
This stuff grows up to 55 feet ( probably won't get higher than 35 feet here) and spreads 6 feet wide. It needs maintenance 3 times a year and does not require a barrier. It will also hold up and in the retaining wall that belongs to my neighbors and with luck it will prevent extensive damage when their hillside detaches in the next few years. It also will provide an excellent privacy hedge. I wont even go into that creepiness.
Here you can see how bad the retaining wall is.The neighbors won't address it, so this is my answer. I built up the bed wall using  whatever  we had lying around to go to the dump.There is even a bowling ball in there, ha ha! Better to reuse and recycle then put it in the landfill. I will eventually cover up the barrier with grasses and Canna. For the bed I dumped all of last years gardening attempts to build up the soil. Bamboo is a grass and needs a lot of Nitrogen and water. 

Here is the view now. Can you say Fishbowl? 
My First Bambusa Olhamaii . I went with a smaller 3.5 gallon plant for this corner. I have to be really careful digging out the dirt here and there are some old roots and rocks that make it hard to get a big enough hole for a 5 gallon plant. 
On the other side of the yard where the gate is, we have chain link fence and another view directly into our other neighbors yard, plus the dogs see all the outside action and react accordingly. These neighbors we are on the same level with and they do a lot  in their yard and when we are not home the dogs bark at them.
I decided to use ideas I got from Pinterest to do a smallish container garden that will create a living fence. If the dogs can't see out they will be less stimulated to "guard" the yard.  Yesterday MCH helped me get it started. Most everything is an idea I got from the gardening " Pins". I will report back through the season to let you know how each idea actually panned out for lil ol Brown Thumb !
The new redwood trellis. Great price at

The lovely view

The Wine Barrel will eventually be tiered, but for now it is housing my  Tangerine Beauty Crossvine which will  cover the trellis and fence. Lots of Hummingbird food ! The pallet will have strawberries and flowers in it plus provide a much needed barrier for the dogs. More on the pallet garden next time.  

Last years Yellow Pepper plant which I am experimenting with . I used a wash of 4 cps warm water and 1 Teaspoon of Epsom Salts to revitalize it. I will spray it again in 10 days. It already has about 25 flower buds on it. The water bottle in the soil is for deep watering and feeding. I use SuperThrive. 
Some of the above ideas came from these cool sites : , , and

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