Close this search box.



There is plenty of work to be done in the garden at this time of year. Every thing I can do before the garden is put to bed for the winter is one less thing to do come spring. And of course there are other tasks that simply must be done in fall, like planting bulbs.

Still it is difficult to keep from thinking about projects for next year. I can’t be responsible for whatever kind of insanity I might come up with in January (this seems to be when the spark for new garden is ignited), but I have had two ideas rolling around in my head since the middle of summer or longer.

One of them deals with the edge of our property on the far side of the driveway. Our house is pretty secluded and from almost every angle the views are at least broken up, if not blocked, by trees. That’s probably why I’m hypersensitive to areas that feel too open to me, and this is one of them. There is a large gap in the mature trees (at eye level, anyway) on that side of the property, opening up the view to our three neighbors down the road. And to my eye, anyway, it’s not pretty.

There’s a lot of stuff sort of cluttering up the view in this direction.

There are boats of various levels of usage (some frequently and others that have not seen water in the dozen years we’ve lived here), RVs, trailers, sheds and lots and lots of cars. And for cars or people coming from that end of the road, it’s a clear view straight into our patio and front door. For a person who routinely gardens in her pajamas (you know how this goes: You grab a cup of coffee and go outside, see one weed and 45 minutes later you have pajama pants with muddy knees), this is not optimal.

Growing something there would be great, but because of a very large maple, it’s a very difficult location for much of anything to grow. Several years ago I planted five viburnums there but they’ve not really thrived or accomplished what I put them there to do.

The viburnums I planted several years ago have not fulfilled their mission.

So I’ve been toying with the idea of putting a decorative fence—not something that would completely block the view, but enough to distract the eye—along a portion of the open area. I would start it at the end of a large stand of cedar trees and continue it into a woodsy area toward the end of the driveway. A chunk of fence is a bit odd perhaps, but it’s the best I have at this point.

The fence I’m thinking of would start at the last cedar tree on the left and continue past the right side of the photo. The viburnums would either be composted or moved.

Before I jump into anything I might do a little playing around with it on Photoshop to get a feel for what it might look like.

What about you; are you already thinking about projects for next summer?

9 Responses

  1. Hi…Diane Amick here. Why wouldn't you just plant said tree/shrub straight into the ground and mulch the entire area – so much easier than in planters/pots that require so much work for the long haul. Use the exact same plant – just no pot/planter. Add a tall skinny evergreen between the windows on the front of your house for some vertical/winter interest and add evergreen boughs in the window box to continue the effect. It should last almost November through February or March in your area. I understand the effect you are going for, but it seems you will be making lots of work for yourself using planters, plus the expense of said planters. You could purchase much larger plants for the same price as buying/making the planters and get the desired effect much faster.

  2. If you do a cedar fence then you can just ignore it as far as maintenance goes which would be good. We have witch hazels under a silver maple but they were planted as tiny shrubs and you would probably want to be able to plant something biggish to block that view. So I think a fence would be a good solution and then maybe try one focal plant/shrub in front of it. That could be small and have time to grow since it would not have to hide anything.

  3. Yes, a pretty section of fence might give you some privacy and also be something interesting to look at, even in winter. The suggestion about yew trees is pretty good too — a line of windbreak yew trees might do what you want it to. I'm totally with you on crazy (and expensive) new garden ideas arriving in January and February: I had a particularly bad case of that this past winter, and now have three huge new garden areas to deal with…. 😉 Good luck with your fall chores and spring plans! -Beth

  4. Good idea to block the less than inspiring view. Maybe a manmade fence/wall (like the plaid one you posted lately), but what about yews? They can take a lot, they are green all year and can tolerate trimming. I am looking forward to seeing your solution. Best, Cathy

  5. Good idea! I need privacy as I am a pajama gardener too! We have lots of fall projects as we are now mountain gardeners, trying to make our wooded cottage property our own. Just purchased a dozen native rhododendrons at an end-of-season sale that have to be planted. Then establishing trails around the property. Just planted daffodils. Will take a few seasons to get it right but that is the fun…planning and then seeing it come to fruition. Good luck with the fencing project!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

What would you like to know? Search, or jump to categories below.