QUESTION: I am wanting to plant something around one end of my pool
for privacy. My only concern is that the plants should not have a very
big root system due to it being around 2 3 feet from my cement. I
also need something that will grow 10 12 feet high. I do not need
total privacy, just something that will break up the view of my pool.
ANSWER: Tall growing ornamental grasses work beautifully in pool areas
as do clumping bamboo (which I would recommend planting in large pots
for extra height). Most shrubs or low growing trees are going to
produce root systems that may bump up against the concrete. Another
thought is to berm the area so that shrubs such as junipers or cypress
(evergreens) can be planted with root space.
Since space may be limited, landscaping with large pots or containers
is a gorgeous way to bring in tall growing plants (depending on where
you live, of course). Bamboo, grasses, holly, other broadleaf
evergreens with a blending of seasonal color (perennials) can create a
most interesting setting and provides needed privacy.
I hope this gives you some ideas to build on.
QUESTION: We bought a home in the woods. We have a lot behind us that
is approximately one-half acre and narrow. The lot was sold and all
the beautiful 200 year old pine trees were taken down. They built a
home on stilts and proceeded to put a dog pen attached to the home in
the back. I planted a few Thuga trees in anticipation of this but we
have many deer and they have feasted on them this winter. The house is
placed directly behind us, giving us about 30 feet between the two
homes. Help! What can I do? Carole
ANSWER: That does sound terrible. Step one would be to install panels
(you know, like the lattice type or fencing panels) so that they are
more tall than wide. This will at least give you immediate privacy and
peace of mind. Then you can work (gradually if necessary) on providing
landscaping to fill in with the fencing.
If you choose the lattice panels, plant some type of ivy or Carolina
Jessamine to grow up and fill that in.
As you begin to fill in with landscaping keep in mind to layer plants.
Larger (or taller) plants especially evergreens planted in the back
half of the area coming forward with shorter deciduous, ornamental
grasses and other evergreen plants finishing off with colorful
perennials in front.
Cheryl and I have put together a slideshow that you access via our Web
site www.landsteward.org It should give you a few ideas on layering
plants in the landscape. Look for the link on the right of the home
page that says Ideas Slide Show.
The next question comes from a reader who brings up a very good point
about being careful about what can be planted in proximity to
QUESTION: I have 18 blackberry plants. My question is how far from
the blackberries can I plant tomatoes? My blackberry plants have been
in the ground approximately 12 months. Harold Daniels
ANSWER: Tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant carry root rot
called verticillium which can harm blackberry and raspberry plants.
Berry plants should not be planted in soil where these vegetables have
grown within the past 4 years. 30 to 50 feet away might be a good
distance. The biggest thing you will want to look for is drainage.
When it rains or you water the tomatoes or other vegetables, you do
not want the water draining down towards your berry plants.
As I mentioned above, Cheryl and I have put together a slide show of
color photos and descriptions, and readers are writing to tell us they
are getting some good ideas from them. You are welcome to go to our
Web site and slide through the pics!
The Plant Man is here to help. Send your questions about trees, shrubs
and landscaping to email@example.com and for resources and
additional information, including archived columns, visit www.landsteward.org