You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me. A garden eyesore!

This, my friends, is my latest challenge/ opportunity in the garden and the subject of this post…how to deal with a landscape eyesore. Apparently my neighbors are not so fond of my dog, Roxy, and have erected this “fence”. Oddly enough, they are rarely outside and Roxy rarely ventures out of our yard, but that is neither here nor there!  Needless to say this fence would hardly stop a 70 lb. Yellow Lab! And it wouldn’t bother me so much if they had erected it properly. But, look at it, people! It’s a disaster!

This corner/side of the yard has been a problem since day one. Orignally that entire side of our lot was covered with big beautiful Elm trees. When the neighbors built their house and began landscaping they immediately took to chopping down all the trees on their side…along with a few on our lot. I still remember coming home from work to the sound of the chain saw. I asked them if they would please stop until we could determine exactly where the lot line fell. Sadly this led to angry words and our relationship was off to an unfortunate start. Recently the original neighbors moved away but have opted not to sell the house so we now have new, renting neighbors. Through the years we lost the remaining elms due to Dutch Elm disease. 😦

Over time I’ve made several half hearted attempts to landscape this area.  Following the chain saw massacre we planted a Blue Spruce but it died shortly after planting and wasn’t replaced.  Two remaining large pines are on either side of these pictures. Wild honeysuckles were allowed to grow large, hiding the electrical box in the corner.  Unfortunately their root system squeezed out the red twig dogwoods I planted. Chives growing around a bird bath reseeded themselves like crazy. I tried various other things…purple iris from Pat Buechs…Anenome from Donna Walsh…perennial Geraniums…day lilies…Phlox, more.  Nothing seemed to work.  An unwelcome patch of snow on the mountain was encroaching further and further. Not to mention the weeds!  The back corner was a mess!

So, last weekend the plan was to till it all up, ammend with compost, redistribute the mulch and relocate some Iris and Lamb’s Ear. In Spring we would plant a few more Red Twig Dogwoods and a Juniper of sorts to hide the electric box. And then I came home from work one day to find this! You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me!

A new challenge!  We proceeded with the tilling and mulching around the pine tree but now, what to plant!???  Spring/Summer/Fall isn’t a problem beause there are any number of things that would grown tall enough to hide the fence.  Concealing the fence in the Winter is now the issue. At this point I think I may proceed with my orginal plan but maybe add a few more junipers or yews as they grow well in Zone 5.  Something evergreen will shield an eyesore year round as will a large pot or large-scale garden art.  I have a birdbath which I’ll reposition, maybe replant the chives and anenome…I will just have to keep control of them this time!

Here are a few past pics of the back corner…

October, 2005
This is a great shot of the spruce to the left of the bird bath.  You can also see how the chives have taken over and the anenome are in bloom behind the birdbath.  It looks like the dogwoods were still living too.  If you look closely you can see the yellow blossoms on the honeysuckle.  This was the back corner at it’s best.
Spring, 2005
This Spring shot shows the dogwood and the chives just starting to come up.
Early Spring, 2011
This shot really shows how the chives have taken over.  They start out looking great but after they bloom they flop over into a big mess.  You can also see the patch of anenome coming up but the shrubs are long gone.
Evil Dog, 2011
Roxy and the Asters, October, 2010

And so now my challenge becomes an opportunty…and I’m off to the garden center to see if anything strikes my fancy.  Oh, and Roxy, by the way, is the best dog on the planet!!!

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