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Screening plant for tough location


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#1 Ozquoll

Posted 25 October 2019 - 08:28 PM

The neighbours over the back laneway are putting in a monstrous two-storey extension that overlooks nearly the entire backyard 🙄. I am keen to put in some quick-growing hedging plants that will reach a height of about three metres. The back fence is a tough location though - very dry, average quality soil over a heavy clay subsoil, plus two existing trees that will compete heavily with any plants I put in. Tree 1 is a huge deciduous tree but has a relatively sparse canopy so lets in dappled shade. Tree 2 is smaller (6-8 metres?) but with a fairly dense canopy. Naturally both trees are very good at guzzling up water.

Options I have looked at are this tall, narrow variety of Lilly Pilly.
https://www.ozbreed....ed-trees-range/

This Acmena Smithii, although I don't love the red new growth.
https://www.screenhe...hii-bwnred-pbr/

This Callistemon
https://www.screenhe...nalis-cv01-pbr/


I like the look of Pittosporum but worry that it won't be quite tough enough for the spot.
https://www.bunnings...folium_p3820315


Would love comments/experience with any of the above plants, or suggestions for other  plants that might fit the bill 🙂.

#2 notsoretro

Posted 25 October 2019 - 08:43 PM

Have you been given an opportunity to comment on the plans? In this case, higher or frosted windows in the extension will ensure your privacy.

#3 Lifesgood

Posted 25 October 2019 - 09:04 PM

Maybe put up some lattice and grow a climber?

We have a type of justicia (white flowers) along our rear fence to provide privacy from the neighbours, and it is probably 2.5-3.0m tall now but I can't tell you which type it is. Most of them are shrubs, but this one is perfect as a screen. In fact we had it cut back this week as it is going nuts.

#4 got my tinsel on

Posted 25 October 2019 - 09:23 PM

What about Viburnum Odoratissimum?

When I was catching a bus to work, I passed a house that had a hedge along the side fence - I couldn't believe how fast that thing grew!  We have a heavy clay soil in our area so it doesn't seem to be a problem.

The Emerald Lustre variety is a really lovely colour, too.

Edited by gettin my fance on, 26 October 2019 - 08:22 PM.


#5 Avocado tree

Posted 25 October 2019 - 09:25 PM

Would you consider a bamboo like Slender Weaver?  Does need abit of water at the start and can be expensive to get enough for coverage but something different to consider. Relatively quick growing.

#6 Ozquoll

Posted 25 October 2019 - 10:15 PM

View Postnotsoretro, on 25 October 2019 - 08:43 PM, said:

Have you been given an opportunity to comment on the plans? In this case, higher or frosted windows in the extension will ensure your privacy.
We are renting - our unit is in a small block of four. I assume the owners had a chance to object, but don't know for sure. They are only at framing stage, but given that their outlook towards our yard is north, I'm guessing they'll be putting in a LOT of glazing to catch the sunshine.

#7 Ozquoll

Posted 25 October 2019 - 10:20 PM

View Postgettin my fance on, on 25 October 2019 - 09:23 PM, said:

What about Viburnum Odoratissimum?

When I was catching a bus to work, I passed a house that had a hedge along there side fence - I couldn't believe how fast that thing grew!  We have a heavy clay soil in our area so it doesn't seem to be a problem.

The Emerald Lustre variety is a really lovely colour, too.
This one?
https://www.australi...ald-lustre.html

It's very pretty, and I love that it has scented flowers, but I'm concerned about the comment on that link that it needs a 'goldilocks' climate to thrive, cos it ain't gonna get that in my yard 😕.

#8 Ozquoll

Posted 25 October 2019 - 10:25 PM

View PostAvocado tree, on 25 October 2019 - 09:25 PM, said:

Would you consider a bamboo like Slender Weaver?  Does need abit of water at the start and can be expensive to get enough for coverage but something different to consider. Relatively quick growing.
Expense is a problem unfortunately. I don't have much money to spend and would probably buy cheap tubestock and water and fertilise it like crazy in the hopes of getting it to a suitable height in a few years. Of course it is quite likely the wealthy neighbours have no wish to look into our very unmanicured backyard and are already planning their own screening plants 😅!

#9 got my tinsel on

Posted 25 October 2019 - 11:33 PM

View PostOzquoll, on 25 October 2019 - 10:20 PM, said:

This one?
https://www.australi...ald-lustre.html

It's very pretty, and I love that it has scented flowers, but I'm concerned about the comment on that link that it needs a 'goldilocks' climate to thrive, cos it ain't gonna get that in my yard .

That's the one.

I'm not sure what they mean by goldilocks climate.  Where I live it gets down to 0-5 overnight in Winter and 40+ on Summer days with high humidity.

Are you in Sydney, Ozquoll?   I saw the Emerald Lustre and the less glossy Sweet Virburnum at Sydney Plant Market at Annangrove a week ago for around $10-12 a plant.  Plants would have been around 40-50cm high which I though was very good value.

#10 Ozquoll

Posted 26 October 2019 - 12:12 AM

^^^
I'm in Melbourne. I wonder if our lower rainfall would be a problem for the Viburnum 🤔? I might mosey down to the local nursery and see what they think of them in our climate.

The prices you saw were certainly good! My local nursery would probably charge $40 for a Viburnum that size 😯.

#11 born.a.girl

Posted 26 October 2019 - 05:10 AM

We have monster houses on one side and over the back. All of the windows are opaque.

We have a nice house on the other side, then they've got a monster next to them. The windows which face them from that house are opaque apart from a top strip, so that someone would have to get on a ladder to see out.

Might be worth having a chat to the builder next time you spot them to ask about it.

#12 Grinchette

Posted 26 October 2019 - 06:19 AM

View PostAvocado tree, on 25 October 2019 - 09:25 PM, said:

Would you consider a bamboo like Slender Weaver?  Does need abit of water at the start and can be expensive to get enough for coverage but something different to consider. Relatively quick growing.

That’s what we have - make sure it’s clumping bamboo, but it’s been great.

#13 got my tinsel on

Posted 26 October 2019 - 09:08 AM

View PostOzquoll, on 26 October 2019 - 12:12 AM, said:

^^^
I'm in Melbourne.

Bugger.

If going for tubestock online, make sure you check the cost of delivery, some are reasonable $15-20 ish and some outrageous.  I was looking at some sites a couple of weeks ago and on one site, it was going to cost me over $90 for half a dozen tubestock plants.

#14 Mands09

Posted 26 October 2019 - 11:22 AM

Pittosporum should be fine if you put some compost and fertilised in to the soil.

#15 can'tstayaway

Posted 26 October 2019 - 11:34 AM

If you’re renting, how long do you expect to stay?  Many of the height guides are what to expect of a mature plant at 10 years.

I’d suggest the bamboo for quick height. It will take longer to get the ‘thickness’ but you could just plant more of them. Id still be careful...is your landlord ok with you planting?  Even clumping bamboo will spread and becomes a pain to remove.

The other benefit of bamboo is the way the leaves rustle in the wind. It helps to ‘soften’ noises which is handy when living close to neighbors.

The pittosporum can grow a metre each year but to get the thickness, you need to prune regularly for the first 3. Otherwise it will just be tall and leggy without offering much privacy.

Lilly pillies are susceptible to psyllid and rust. Look for varieties that are resistant but when planting a whole hedge of them, they become like a very attractive buffet. I had a 200m hedge of lillypilly (planted before we purchased the property) that was attacked and it never fully recovered. It was also relatively slow growing compared to the pittosporum.

The callistemon, like many natives are very efficient at extracting nutrients so can be easily poisoned with too much love. Watch out if you or your neighbor have other plants around with different nutrient needs.

#16 Ozquoll

Posted 26 October 2019 - 04:58 PM

^^^ can'tstayaway

My rental sitch is a bit odd! I've been there eight years, and am quite likely to stay many more years unless there's a significant rent rise. The garden is shared by all four units, but no-one else except my family ever uses it. The first year I lived there, the garden was a right old mess, and apart from a gardener who turned up and mowed every six to eight weeks, no-one looked after it. I started cleaning things up and putting new plants in, and it started to look better. No-one's ever told me not to, so I've kept going. I don't have the time or money to properly keep up such a big garden, but it does look much better than it used to.

I'm inclining towards the pittosporum now that people have mentioned the very fast growth rate. It is available quite cheaply, unlike the bamboo which is very attractive but just too expensive for me. I am not too worried if it is more a screen than a hedge - seems like that might be the price I have to pay to get something that will provide at least some cover within a fairly short time frame.

Edited by Ozquoll, 26 October 2019 - 05:04 PM.


#17 Dianalynch

Posted 26 October 2019 - 05:12 PM

We had a pittosporum screen, grew very quickly.

We moved into a place with clumping bamboo - it wrecked the fence, was an absolute pain to remove. We would never plant it.

#18 HamsterPower

Posted 26 October 2019 - 05:22 PM

We have planted Pittosporums and photinias for hedging for our houses for years. Given enough water to settle in they grow like crazy with not much love.
We have clay soil and similar weather to Melbourne. We get them trimmed annually as I cannot get straight lines :-)
They provide a stunning thick hedge and after maybe two years they are all between 2-3.5 metres tall already. We used Pittosporum Green Pillar as they are as gorgeous bright green all year round and not as spindly as the other varieties can be.
The photinias we have are Super Red and get bright red new growth and white flowers in spring. Some people don’t like the flowers as they can be fragrant but I love them. They grow really fast and again a lovely thick hedge.

We used both in different parts of the yard to screen ugly fencing and provide privacy from the neighbours.
We got them for about $15/ plant at about 50-75cms tall and plant them approx a metre apart.
They are tough plants but like I said need a annual tidy up and a decent watering in early months plus a deep watering here And there in summer when established. So easy and so lovely.

Edited by HamsterPower, 26 October 2019 - 05:23 PM.





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