Trellis and vine provide narrow space privacy

QUESTION: "I own a little Cape Cod built in the 1940's. It sits on a 40 x 120 lot, which doesn't leave much space between the neighbors' houses. I'd like to have a privacy screen on the one side of the house, but there is only about 8 feet between the homes. My property line is only four feet from the wall of my house. I need the screen because the neighbor's kitchen window over their sink looks directly into my bedroom window. I always keep the blinds drawn now but it is so stuffy during nice weather and I'd like to have the option of opening the window.
"I've considered a fence (expensive), a trellis w/a vine (not sure what kind), or a tree or bush of some type (scary - too close to house). Is there any plant that the roots wouldn't push against the foundation if I plant it that close to my house? It is a westerly- facing wall that gets all the afternoon sun... the peony bushes that are there now love it. Thanks for any guidance you can supply." - Sue
ANSWER: In a tight space such as the one you describe, I believe your idea about a trellis and vine would be the best solution. Something that would stay green most of the year would be English Ivy. The trellis need not be too large or too expensive if you only need privacy for one or two windows and it is unlikely to be offensive to the neighbors.
QUESTION: "I recently saw your article about "Oak trees targeted by voracious caterpillars," and the same scenario happened to me two years ago. One of my oaks, around 10-15 years old, seems not to have recovered and I didn't see any leaves coming back this year or last. How do I know if it is really dead? It just looks like it now...with no leaves.
"Now another oak, close to the first one, is also missing its leaves on one third of its branches. Does that mean that it is on his way to die? I checked the trees and didn't see either fungus or ants or caterpillars. Let me know what you think I should do at that point as I would like not to lose those great oaks on my land." - Beatrice Moreland
ANSWER: This is a serious condition that is beginning to affect oaks in many areas of the country. It is not just the caterpillars and we need to treat the cause and not just the symptoms. The cause in many areas is lack of good nutrition and water. Drought causes stress to our trees. Lack of organic material in the first 10 inches of soil where the plants get their nutrients is a problem. The most important thing that needs to be done is to improve the soil and make sure the trees have adequate water. When they are healthy the insects are less likely to attack. Insects are like anything else in that they attack unhealthy or weakened plants rather than the healthy ones.
QUESTION: "I have a peony that was given to me about 5 years ago. It grows each year but has never bloomed. I moved it to a new home this year in the fall and fertilized it when I replanted it but it still won't bloom. Can I do anything to force it?" - C. Hall
ANSWER: This is something I do with wisteria. Try putting one tablespoon of Epsom salts in one gallon of water and pour around the base of the plant. It may not work this year since most have already bloomed. However, this fall after the plant goes dormant and then right before it come out in spring, try the treatment. Do not fertilize anymore since that promotes top growth but does not help it to bloom.
The Plant Man is here to help. Send your questions about trees, shrubs and landscaping to snipped-for-privacy@landsteward.org and for resources and additional information, or to subscribe to Steve's free e-mailed newsletter, visit www.landsteward.org
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I am getting really tired of Gupta, he is suffering from way over exposure and way outside his area of expertise. Like all broadcast journalists, he and they know who is paying for advertising and self censor to keep their jobs. Gupta probably agrees with Moore 100% but he tried to find SOMETHING to disagree with to keep the sponsors happy, so he basically "nit picked". And Moore was not going to allow that nit picking because they used the term "fudged" which is a loaded term in scientific circles where it basically means "made up the data and is lying about it". not considered nasty outside science circles, is very nasty inside science circles.
In the United States, the vast majority of people have never visited another country. We "think" EVERYTHING in the US is THE BEST. I suppose Americans think our nursery and day care is the best in the world, our care of the elderly is the best in the world, our education is the best in the world.
Our health care is not the best in the world by UNBIASED measures. It doesnt matter how "happy" we are with our health care, how "satisfied"... that means nothing, it is a feeling, a belief that is not based on facts.
I actually lived in Canada, used their health care system, and I mean really used it cause I was working with disturbed kids 170 miles north of TO in the lakes district where the population is very thin. There were physicians available in those little towns, and it was easy and fast and what they couldnt handle there was an airplane to fly the person to a major center.
I just want people outside the US to know that not all Americans are blind to our faults and ignorant of how compassionate people in other countries are that have a heavy duty safety net for those in need.
Ingrid
wrote:

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On Thu, 12 Jul 2007 12:28:35 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.com wrote:

Thanks Ingrid, for this post. Many of us agree with you.
Care Charlie
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we have a similar set up but only have 3 feet between houses (old part of city). what I have done is use some liquid that "frosts" the window so nobody can actually see in. since you have blinds maybe you want to turn the blinds (the horizontal ones) so that the air comes in but nobody can see in. also, if it is possible to open the top of the window rather than the bottom so there is no "line of sight"
given that, Virginia creeper grows in the shade really well. Ingrid
I'd like to have a privacy screen on the one side of the

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wrote:

Today, Michael Moore will be live on Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC at 8:00 PM (EST). If you forget to set your alarm clock, it will be on again at midnight (also EST).
Peace!
Webmaster http://www.michaelmoore.com /
Get it while it's hot! He'll likely get a little respect tonite.
--
Charlie



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