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Privacy Planting

Friday, 3 April 2009

If you have an apartment block or neighbours houses facing onto your garden it can sometimes be difficult to keep it private. Today Eugene will be showing us some simple steps anyone can take to keep their garden private.

Some easy tips on keeping your garden private .

Eugene Higgins, Garden Guru
. Eugene will be running through two privacy planting options, trees and trellises.
. He'll also have his tips for the garden for this weekend.

Trees are great for privacy as they are easier to maintain than hedges. They also grow higher than hedges and are easier on the eye.

Trees
Planting Trees

Bare rooted trees should be planted when the trees are dormant, that is from the beginning of November until the end of March. Container grown trees can be planted all year round but the trees must be well watered if planted during the summer months. Planting of trees should not take place when the ground is frozen or water-logged. Avoid periods of cold drying winds especially with evergreen trees.

How to Plant Your Tree
Before planting;
. Dig a pit wide enough to take the spread of the roots and deep enough to have the tree at the same level in the soil as it was in the nursery. (You can see this level by looking at the base of the trunk where there-is a colour change between what has been below ground and what has been above).
. Then you will come to what is called subsoil which is easily recognizable because of its lightness of colour. This subsoil should be removed and not re-used and in its place use fresh topsoil or compost which should be mixed with four ounces of a general fertilizer.
. Break up the bottom soil in the hole and mix with peat moss or leaf mould-not fresh animal manure.
. Trees should be staked. The stake should be 4.5' to 5' (1.5m) (approx) in length and be driven in before planting to two-thirds of its length on the prevailing wind side of the stem. Hold the tree at the correct level and spread out the roots in the bottom of the pit.
. While replacing the soil, shake the tree to help the soil settle around the roots. Firm gently and then more strongly as the final soil level is reached.
. Remember to give the tree a good watering after planting, to settle the soil around the roots, using at least one bucketful of water, applied slowly to avoid runoff.
. The tree should then be secured to the stake with a durable strap like material which will not damage the tree stem. There should also be a spacer on the tree tie to act as a buffer between the tree and the stake.
. A mulch of organic material such as compost or well rotted manure, coarse moss peat or bark placed at the base of the tree will help it to establish quickly by conserving water and controlling weeds

Aftercare
The tree should be watered during dry weather in its first year and the area around the tree should be kept free of grass and weeds for the first three years.


. 3 Trees for privacy

Acacia - €44.99
This is a very popular tree which grows very well in Irish soil. They need to be maintained as they can grow very high, very quickly. The Acacia trees roots don't spread very far, they tend to burrow down instead which means their roots shouldn't disturb the rest of your garden.

Photinia - €74.99
This is a shrub which can grow into a tree. They come in many different colours but the most popular one would be the "Red Robin" variety which is easily recognisable due to its beautiful red tipped leaves.

Bay Laurel - €27.49
This is a wonderful smelling evergreen tree which can reach up to 18 metres in height. The bay laurel is the source of bay leaves which are used in cooking. The tree is native to the Mediterranean region and bears small berries.

Trellises are a great decorative piece for the garden so if you don't fancy planting a tree then a trellis is the way to go. Combine a trellis with ivy and you have a very decorative wall for your garden. They are also a great way to hide eyesores in the garden.

Trellises;
Castlewall Trellis - €27
Castlewall Country Trellis - €35


Eugene's tips for trellising
. Make sure to invest in better quality wood as you'll get a better return in the long term.
. Make sure it's up correctly secured to a wooden stake if needed.
. To grow a climber on it, plant a climber on the bottom of it. These, when settled in can grow up to four feet a year.


Privacy if you live in an apartment

Eugene recommends growing up rather then hanging baskets in the balcony. Use big containers and plant tough shrubs which will give you privacy and won't be swinging, obstructing any view you may have from your balcony.

Eugenes tips for the weekend
Dead head daffodils. You have to be careful about this. Once dead headed let the leaves die back naturally for six weeks. This is when they gather their energy. Give them a liquid seaweed feed and this will ensure they'll be back next year in force.


Trees supplied by Tully nurseries, www.tullynurseries.ie / 018433174

Trellises supplied by www.cloneesawmills.ie / 018252017

Other plants supplied on the set come from Blackbanks Garden Centre, Raheny, Co Dublin 01 8327047.

Eugene Higgins Landline 01 8674319/ 057 9355840 or email ebhiggins@eircom.net

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