"Borrowed" Views--Any You'd Like To Return?

Red sky at morning

Unless the garden is completely ringed by high shrubs or a tall wall, we've all got views of what is beyond.  "Borrowed views", they are called.  Those of us who live in a country setting may have further beauty all around (wild hills), or not (a sewage treatment plant).   Not in a perfect setting, we do things (or not) about our "borrowed" views. 

Over time I've been doing my best to carefully obscure what I don't want to see beyond my little Eden, with mixed success.  

A Metrosideros 'Springfire' is perfectly screening out the house across the street.  
 A Callistemon 'Slim' to hide the neighbor's bedroom window, exposed since they overpruned their oak tree.  Grow 'Slim', grow!
 Grow Syzygium, grow!
 One of the black-foliaged Lagerstroemias will eventually obscure the house up the street.  Deciduous, but that's okay. 
 Nice work by  Lagerstroemia 'Dynamite'.  It's just right in leaf. 
 Valencia Orange very helpful.  Also a beautiful tree. 
Pittosporums just tall enough to screen the house but not the hills across the valley.  We have the nicest neighbors you can imagine.  I just want to pretend they are not there.  
Recently, with a new neighbor moved in, the "borrowed" views are changing.

Masses of stuff removed. What will they do here now?  And how do I hide it? 
  This large young oak and the large Jacaranda are growing a wee bit close together, don't you think?  Another Jacaranda (on the left) much younger, sprouting adjacent to the larger Jac.There's another oak about five feet away, and a citrus two feet away from that. If you want trees to maximize their potential for health and beauty, do you do this?   Never saw how close they were before--the area was filled with weeds, shrubs, an old stump...
This was a mass of weeds, weed palms, weed palm seedlings,  Agave attenuata, Aloe arborescens, Toyon, a dead stone fruit tree.  In progress to something new.  What will the reaction be to the size of the water bill? 
 The above is nicely hidden behind the hedge I planted a few years ago:
 There's space between the hedge and the fence so I can clean up and trim the back of the hedge and keep it out of the neighbor's property.
A pair of guys has been working there off and on, arriving in late afternoon after their regular jobs were done, working into the darkness.  Lazy immigrants, you know.  

Yee-haw!  The weed palms are gone!
 Fearful, though, for the poor guys climbing and chainsawing in the darkness.  The Santa Ana winds were blowing, too. 
I should mention the moon, a super/blue/blood.   "Super" is closer to the earth and therefore larger.  "Blue" is the second one in a month.  "Blood" is eclipse;  the shadow turns the moon a lovely rust color.  
Moonrise yesterday, one neighbor I don't wish to obscure:

 Beloved attempted an eclipse shot while I slept.  I got up in time to see the "blood", though.

 Reminded me of the Koi pond drain when viewed from above.

 What views do you wish you didn't have?  What have you done to improve them, or hide them? 


  1. Some moon! So glad I happened to be driving east during moonrise yesterday; that's the biggest I've ever seen it.
    That drain's remarkably lovely. I'd have believed you if you tried to pass it off as a moon reflection.

    Great news about the removal of more trash palms. My thoughts are with the men doing the work in the hot, windy dark, and with their families and communities under siege.

    1. Wasn't it beautiful, that moon? The drain cover has an interesting patina. It's actually concrete--I can slide it away from the drain with a pole to clean out algae. The old one was plastic and attached, making clear outs difficult.

      Hard hard working people.

  2. Love this post. Yes, I, too, want privacy. My own little paradise viewed in pajamas. I have an additional problem. i want to keep the nice view as well.

    I've used olive, but they painted their house orange. Olive is nice because it isn't so solid. On another side I use crape myrtle but it is deciduous. That's kinda OK because I'm not outside so much in winter. I 've used t Asian pear to block their damn security light that shines into my bedroom. Need extra protection here in the form of light blacking shade.

    The other edges are blocked with rampant vines which I don't keep trimmed enough but they do work well for noise, light and ugly views: plumbago. grape, bougainvillea and rose.

    1. We all have strategies to feel comfortable and define our spaces, don't we? Too many people, not enough planet.

  3. Screens are a moving target here. The Yucca elephantipes at the bottom of the slope hid our view of the south neighbor's house, until my husband decided to remove it before it took over the entire area - Pittosporum are creating a replacement screen (slowly). The oleander thicket hid the same neighbor's driveway until it became diseased and now more Pittosporum have been planted to provide a screen (eventually). An Auranticarpa hedge shielded us from the street on the west side until I got carried away trying to rejuvenate it and killed 3 of the shrubs - 5 Xylosma are in place to fill the gap and connect to the hedge to the north (but they're taking their bloody time filling out). I'd hide parts of the harbor (like the shipping cranes) if I could but my husband objects...

    1. They are a moving target, aren't they? Unless they are a very tall block wall. Had to look up Auranticarpa--now I know. Those cranes are huge--can you sit and watch them do things from your patio? Do you see what they are doing, lifting?

      Everything green-screen is slowed down by the drought I think. My privet hedge would be much taller much faster if it was getting some water. Surely the same for your Xylosma. So horribly dry. I feel like giving up on gardening lately. Even the Aloes look thirsty.

    2. I'd need the telescope to see the crane operators at work but, when they periodically drop something, I can certainly hear them! I hope they only drop empty containers...It happens with some regularity.

      I just had another look at the extended (90-day) weather forecast and it's bleak, making me think I should think twice before planting anything new. Of course, those forecasts fluctuate wildly so I'm trying not to get freaked out but news of South Africa's severe drought is adding to my anxiety.

    3. I can't watch the weather forecast at all. Just can't do it. Can't think about it any more--the worry place is all worn out. Best not to think too far ahead right now.

  4. Three Lawson cypresses planted 25 years ago to block the sight of the new double-wide perched on a hill above us. "How long before they grow together?" I asked the landscaper. "It's hard to say," she said, " no one's ever let me plant them this far apart before. " (I'd taken very seriously the info in the referee books about eventual width.).

    They've done the job beautifully, but I wish back then I'd also sprung for some more screening further up, to block the double-wide's idiotic "security light". And now the small barn in the next field has a new super-reflective unpainted metal roof. White pines being ordered as I write -- but can no longer afford anything but very young, small ones...

    1. You have more patience that the typical homeowner--I hope it will be rewarded. I am guessing in your climate an exceptionally cold winter is more of a set-back to growth than anything else? Very different trees in your area than here--and you have a lot more space--both those conifers look monumental eventually.

  5. I have planted out most of my neighbors. I have used shrubs and trees too. I call it going back into the womb. I like in a neighborhood where the houses are fairly close together, an older neighborhood. I like to think I am out in the woods away from traffic and people. Sometimes it feels so. A lot of my plantings are deciduous. During winter I see more than I care to. Most evergreens that will grow here are so large they would take up too much space in my garden. So it goes. I have become good at ignoring the neighbors homes.

    1. It's been an interesting challenge to "plant out my neighbors" (great way of saying that, btw!). Sounds like you've had success. Could also be called...going back...to Eden? ;^)

  6. It will be interesting to see what the cleared neighbor's garden space brings to you. We struggle mightily with screening and views, since we are on a corner lot. After carefully creating privacy with Pinus contorta and Western Red Cedar in the back garden, we lost all three pines to a bark beetle and snow load. Now the gauzy replacement Azara microphylla and Ozmanthus are growing, but at just a year in the ground essentially a future vision of screening. It's a good thing we like our neighbors so much. Another perimeter has a camellia, some clumps of Fargesia robusta, and various other shrubs for privacy from the neighbor's long driveway. That house is for sale and we wait with some concern to see what new neighbors may do there. Hopefully they don't paint the house bright blue!

    1. Bark beetle--aw, that must have been a disappointment to say the least. Azara is beautiful--hope that works out for you. Too dry and hot here for Azara.

      Bright blue house. Oh......but, surely not? Tell them blue on the exterior fades very badly (this is true: it does!).

  7. the biggest gaps now are toward the street. I don't need to see who is parked at our neighbour's house, thank you. But Halleria and the wild olive are starting to make a determined difference. We work at being surrounded by green - also older houses on small plots - so it's fun to sit at the pond and Not Actually See Another House!

    1. I looked up Halleria--looks like a good small tree and native for you--dense foliage? Those are the best.

      Not Actually See Another House is what I'm after, too. It seems to take a good long while to get it right, doesn't it?


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