Thursday, September 18, 2008

Natural Screening

I wanted to get this post up for Gardening Gone Wild's Screening and Trellis post last month but since my computer was down most of last month I didn't do it. So here, better late than never, is my post about some screening in and around my garden.

Our lot is situated on a street that is adjacent to a very busy street that has an S-curve where our lot is right in a curve of the S. So people have to slow and people have to look at our side lot. If I didn't have shrubs, trees and, the focus of this post, Helianthus tuberosus or commonly called Jerusalem Artichoke our garden would be fully exposed.

A closer look here.
A glance from the patio toward the corner of the garden.
Every year I get people commenting about these tall beauties. However I wouldn't give them to everyone that asks for a start. This is a wildflower and well, it acts like one. If you put them into a cultivated bed you really have to keep after them as they will try to take over. However they are worth it if you want something tall and blooming their heads off this time of year. The birds, bees and bugs love em too. As their name suggests there is an edible part of this plant. The roots are thick and I have sliced them into salads. They are sort of crunchy and give that texture of water chestnuts but they have more flavor.
While they are the sturdiest 10'tall flowers I am aware of hurricane force winds, that being 60mph, will blow them down. I am thankful that the Martin Houses withstood the winds. So I would say that if you want some natural screening that doesn't take years to develop this is a good way to go. Just remember that it won't be up during winter, hurricane winds will take them down and I am not so sure you can ever eradicate them if you tire of them. Edit: I had to change the date for posting to today since I started this post several days ago and then got sidetracked. Ha.. sorry about that.

25 comments:

Carol said...

Those are pretty and I think you have just the right spot for them. In my suburban garden they would probably be a bit overwhelming. Do you have problems with them self-sowing at all?

Carol, May Dreams Gardens
(P.S. I added a link to your blog in my latest post...)

Nan said...

Lisa, I just loved those views. I like being able to 'place' people's yards and gardens and houses. Do you have a picture of the same scene in winter? Do the shrubs and trees keep it hidden somewhat then or not?

Nan said...

Oh, and do you own the stretch of grass between the fence and road?

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Carol they are aggressive growers from their fleshy roots. I don't think they self-sow. All you have to do is put the tiniest part of the root in the ground and you will have them. As I said they are difficult to eradicate once established. Yes, they would take over a small garden in no time.

Nan, I am sure I could come up with a winter picture. I just cut these down when they are frozen out. We have that 4'wooden fence but it isn't very useful as privacy. It was ok at first but when they tried to straighten the road they raised the road quite a bit and now you can see into our garden from the road. I have planted shrubs along the fence too. THey do alright. I have strategically placed trees and shrubs in the garden as well. At the end of the patio I have a privacy screen built with a honeysuckle growing on it. No we don't own that big stretch of grass. The city does but we maintain about 1/3 of the area. We have for many years. I have planted a cutting garden there. My DB has planted quite a few trees on the third that we mow. The city doesn't care. I have officially asked. I can do most anything there other than put a permanent building.

Naturegirl said...

Lisa I loved this look at your garden! I am anxious to get back to my quiet piece of heaven at home in a country I love! I'm in Germany and it has been a long month away from home travelling in Europe. Thank you so much for regularly commenting because I felt like I had familar family with me! hugs home by Sunday! xo aNNa

Diana said...

Lisa -- I like the long shots, too and getting the perspective there. Those seem like the perfect plants for that area and they are so bright and vibrant. They remind me of our Esperanzas here. Big growers and they come back year after year. So, it's almost like your yard out there! And nice to have some open space between you and the road.

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

I love Jerusalum Artichokes and have never seen them growing. Amazing! These are truly beautiful. I know what you mean about planting wildflowers or even native plants - they can go nuts on you and take over unless kept in their place. With a whip.

Frances said...

Hi Lisa, you have done an excellent job with your screening of the street. I love big tall yellow plants that bloom in the fall, very majestic. Now all you need is some ironweed to set them off!

Frances

http://fairegarde.wordpress.com/

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Frances funny you should mention Ironweed. I have been wanting to incorporate some into the garden for some time. I had just mentioned this once again to my DB. I am going to do it as soon as I find some.

Anna, good luck on your flight home. I hope you can get all your souviners through cutoms. ;)

You are quite right about the whip Debi. Really you need a chain saw and a backhoe.

jodi said...

Lovely to 'see' you again Lisa, after my long summer of gardening/blogging discontent. I love your happy sunchokes and am glad to hear that you've eaten them. I keep meaning to try them because I'm told they're great, but somehow have never gotten to it.

EAL said...

I LOVE overwhelming plants. Those are great.

Barbara said...

This lovely but "hard to get rid of" helianthus is in the garden of my mother too. Every Spring we dig some roots out of the ground and in this way the plant doesn't get too big. I like this flower which brings some bright colour to the autumnal garden. It is also very pretty in a flower bouquet inside the house.

beckie said...

Lisa, they do very well as a natural screen besides addind some great color this time of the year. I have seen them growing wild in the fields around here. A few years ago some were planted for harvesting. But the spread so much and caused problems on other farms so they stopped.
I didn't know you got 60 mile an hour winds. My goodness! It's a wonder you weren't all blown away. Must have been scary. How did your screen room do?

Jayne said...

Those make a great barrier for your beautiful garden Lisa.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Ho Jodi, good to see you come around. I hope you are feeling better and able to enjoy this lovely fall weather.

Beckie, the screen house did quite well. It shifted on its brick pad but it was ok. The privacy fence that is behind it keeps it somewhat protected.

Yes Barbara, the flowers do make great cut flowers. I too add them to bouquets because they last so long.

Mike - Fenphotography said...

Your garden looks stunning Lisa, I will show you my garden I'm sure it would fit nicely into a small corner of yours. Keep up the great work.

Q said...

Dear Lisa,
My father planted them in his backyard many years ago and they did try to take over. You have the perfect spot for them.
I enjoyed seeing your gardens and yard. I too live on a corner with a "busy" street across the front.
I have thought about all sorts of screens. In back we have bamboo. Good screen but also can take over.
Sherry

Gail said...

Lisa, I have always wondered about this plant and this post has been very informative! They would love clay and limestone, way too much! But having said that I might have the perfect spot for them!

How would forsythia do out there? My hedge provides winter screening, too...It has gown quite tall and thick.

Gail

Roses and Lilacs said...

The helianthus make a big statement even from a distance. We have them wild here too and I'm thinking about bringing some to plant around the barn. They bloom forever!

I love the way the path winds around your flower beds.
Marnie

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

That's a great use of the Jerusalem Artichoke! They are too big for most gardens, including mine. I love seeing them on the prairie & what a treat that must be for drivers coming past your house. Give Luna a hug for me.

Rose said...

Lisa, these are beautiful, and I appreciate all the warnings. You seem to have the perfect spot for them.
I can really relate to your past computer problems right now. Mine is still in the shop, and while I'm lucky I can use my daughter's, all my photos are on my computer. It's really frustrating.

verobirdie said...

Hi Lisa, mine did not do as well as yours (http://aufildujardin.blogspot.com/2008/09/gts.html), but from the comments, that might be a blessing, at least if they like this new place :-). Untul now, they did not tried to spead. But they might try this year, as they seem to like the new spot. OTOH, I need a screening between me and my neighbours...

Annie in Austin said...

I like the way you have the Jerusalem artichokes clustered outside the green part of the screen, Lisa... the flowers are so bright they'd catch the eye of anyone passing and keep their focus outside the fence.
Years ago some people we know planted them because they heard diabetics could use the tubers as less starchy substitutes for potatoes... those sunchokes almost swallowed up their little city garden... bet even with your space you have to keep your eye on them!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Teri C said...

Great photos! I see Luna managed to get in one. And I remember growing those J. Artichokes.

cyndy said...

Hooray for the Jerusalem Artichoke!

I've read that they can be eaten steamed as well as fresh (though never tried it).

I don't mind them taking over the hillside in my garden...they are one of the last to flower..