Page 54 - Galveston Monthly - September 2017

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spring (each plant may contain up to one million seeds per
flower head), this plant can become a major problem and is
considered invasive and a fire hazard in many areas.
Ridding one’s area of the grass is a dangerous undertaking
and should be approached with caution. With leaves that are
razor-sharp and harsh, Pampas Grass also has a far-reaching and
massive root-system. Seeking professional help in its removal
would be wise.
Bamboo has become a trendy addition to the landscape
in recent years with an eco-friendly movement for its use in
the manufacture of flooring, furniture, and even sheets and
clothing. Hardy and fast growing, some species may grow more
than three feet a day and it can make a great privacy screen
around homes. However, bamboo shows no respect for fences
or property lines, growing especially energetically when in close
proximity to irrigation systems.
Some bamboo species are considered detrimental and a
neighbor may legally force you to remove them as “noxious
weeds,” even generating a liability issue for any damage to their
property. Bamboo has also been categorized as an invasive
exotic plant that can threaten native species, thus the cultivation
of bamboo may be best left to professional growers while the
rest of us settle for a “lucky bamboo” in a small indoor pot.
For alternatives to these invasive species that still provide
for privacy or that add a perception of solitude and seclusion,
consider the more unusual and less familiar species that are
equally notable, such as the Leyland Cypress and the Italian
Cupressus sempervirens
, known commonly as the Italian
Cypress, Tuscan Cypress, or “pencil pine,” is native to the
Mediterranean area where it is valued for its scented wood.
The doors of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome were crafted from
Italian Cypress.
This tree grows in “elegant” symmetrical columns, has
dense foliage and a soft texture. It is drought tolerant, frost
tolerant, and adapts to most soils. Plant in full sun or part sun
depending on your location requirements.
The Italian Cypress will add sophistication and grace to your
landscape as they grow upward while not expanding in width or
requiring an ever-increasing amount of space. When they reach
a height that satisfies your needs, just trim back.
The Leyland Cypress tree is a fast growing evergreen that will
quickly become a “living wall” or a massive privacy screen as
they mature. Cross pollinated in 1888 from the Alaska cedar
and the Monterrey Cypress, it became popular for its rapid
growth habit and ease of maintenance, as well as its beauty.
An attractive soft feathery texture in a deep green hue, a high
tolerance to salt (making them sustainable in coastal climates),
hardy, drought tolerant, and thriving in full sun or part sun, this
is a perfect choice for most area soils. If less height is preferred,
the Leyland Cypress responds well to shaping and pruning.
Bamboo shoots coming through from neighbors yard
Leyland Cypress responds well to shaping and pruning
Italian Cypress