SCREEN THY NEIGHBOUR
The Surfcoast has become the place to live (we can only blame ourselves for letting the chat out of the bag). Whether you are living in Wombah Park, the Bald Hill in Jan Juc or tucked away in amongst the ironbarks of Aireys, the recent boom in building has created increased housing density and a subsequent lack of privacy.
After the bushfires of 1983 the coastal wattle self-seeded in the bare earth and with little competition grew quickly and was used by many people as their major screening tree. Similarly melaleuca armillaris has been promoted by the nurseries as the best, fast growing screen plant. Unfortunately this melaleuca is invading the surrounding bushland and becoming a major problem. Both wattles and melaleuca last about 15-17 years and they are dying of old age right now making neighbouring houses even more exposed.
Similarly, a further close inspection of many established native gardens will show the effect of four years of drought. Inevitably the large trees, especially eucalypts, will have successfully grabbed more than their share of the available moisture by spreading out more surface roots and therefore hastening the demise of the understory plants. You may well be left with a tall gum, that used to block out an unsightly view, and lots of very sick shrubs.
|How can I plant to create my private little world and yet ensure the natural beauty of the surfcoast is maintained?|
|1.||Seek good advice|
|Preferably get a professional to have a look at your site and get planting suggestions. Take photos and a simple plan and head to a nursery that really cares.|
|2.||Consider the possible combinations of plants carefully.|
The best screening solutions rely on more than one plant.
Remember: Australian native plants need fertilisers that are low in phosphorous (P).
|3.||Talk to your neighbours|
|They are probably just as sick of looking at your house as you are of looking at theirs.|
The future quality of the landscape of the SurfCoast is in your hands.
The residential environment you create will determine how effectively you have left suburbia.