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Hi, I have a neighbor with a number of dogs and their place
is messy and I can hear the dogs, I dont want to use a fence.
The problem that Im having is the area that I want to put bushes
on has some very large trees. I need bushes that will grow fast,
6ft or more in height, live in a somewhat shady area and will do a great job blocking my neighbors property -

Do you have any ideas, how would you landscape my property, I live on Long Island NY

thanks for your help



The following shrubs would be a good choice for your site,but they will not do much to block noise from the dogs.




Although not ideal,landscape design can be done without the designer visiting the site. Basically, a base map and photos are required. The map of the site can be done by a surveyor or other technician or by the owner of the property. This can sometimes give you all you need to complete your project and would save you the cost of the designer visiting the site. Here are some guidelines:

Show an arrow pointing north on the map. You can use an ordinary hand held compass but magnetic north varies from true north,so please indicate that the north arrow was determined by compass. Moss growing on a tree is also a reliable indicator of the general north direction. Moss always grows on the north side,which is the direction providing the least sunlight.

Measurements can be taken by walking at a normal pace. To determine your pace stride,place a tape measure on the ground and walk at a normal pace along it and then divide the number of paces into the measure shown on the tape. This will give your pace measurement,which is normally about 2 feet. Just walk at a normal pace along whatever is desired to be measured on your property to obtain the dimensions.

You can also use an ordinary tape measure or a plastic,metal or cloth surveyors tape. Hold the tape level and taut and perpendicular to objects measured. Measure off to objects on the ground at a perpendicular angle from a building or other structure whenever possible. A large carpenters square can help keep the angle at 90 degrees.

Take photographs of whatever you consider to be important to the project as well as copious photos of the property in general. If you have any hint that the photo may be important to the project as a whole,take the picture. Particularly,take photos of areas you feel may be a problem,such as a bad drainage area. For instance,a photo of an eroded slope or an outlet pipe may be helpful for the design of the project.

In general,here is what you should show on your map:

Dimensions of the property with boundary lines and their approximate angles and distances.

North arrow.

Location of walks,streets,driveways,curbs,fences,gutters,steps,paved areas and all other site construction pertinent to the work.


Existing buildings.

Drainage patterns.


Spot elevations if available. These are points indicating the height of the ground measured from a datum point.

Location of all trees having a trunk diameter of 4 inches or more at waist height.

Mark Harshman

Landscaping & Design

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Design of landscape structures and design of planting arrangements in the landscape. I usually do not answer questions of a horticultural nature or about growing plants or gardening unless they are related to design. I will answer these questions at my discretion. I will answer maintenance questions at my discretion,usually when they are related to design. I am a landscape designer. I am not a contractor or a gardener. Although I will describe how something is built I do not provide detailed installation or construction instructions. Here are example categories of problems I can help you with: Design of residential walks,low walls,low retaining walls,fences,drainage systems,arbors,plant selection,xeriscapes (low water use landscapes),rain garden design,rain water harvesting,permeable paving,sustainable drainage. No advise on an architectural or engineering level. I DO NOT PERFORM ACTUAL DESIGN WORK THROUGH THIS SITE. I only provide suggestions and advice. For more comprehensive help check out my website at:


Landscape concept plan for a 30,000 square feet housing site. Involved site recon by pace measurements and photographs and a site analysis and a site analysis report and recommendations and a preliminary cost estimate. Design elements included canopy trees,shrub cover,accent flowers,trash receptacles,benches and planters. Landscape concept plan for a 7,000 square feet site for a community center. Involved site recon by tape measurements and photographs,a site analysis and the creation of 3 conceptual designs for the site. Work was done through a local professional design center. Design elements included tree garden,playground,sitting area,lawn,cooking area,lighting and concrete and brick paving. Landscape concept plan for a 3,000 square feet housing site. Involved site recon by tape measurements and photographs and a site analysis. Concluded in 3 concept designs for the site,shown at a formal presentation,a site analysis and recommendations. Work was done through a community volunteer program. Design elements included decks,a playground and fencing. Briefly as draftsman for landscape designer/gardener. Conceptual landscape design for residence. Involved site recon by tape and pace measurements and site analysis. Design included covered patio area,ground cover and flower beds. Two years experience as draftsman for transportation department in engineering firm and for engineering consultants to phone company. Duties consisted of plotting topography. Survey crew member. General assistant to surveyor. Work was done for U.S. Army and County Highway Department. No instrument work. Duties included tape measurement,holding graduated survey rod and plumb bob for sighting and clearing brush. Marketed Landscape Design Services. Brochure writing,promotional material and marketing graphics.

Course in Computer Aided Drafting. 700 hours in AutoCad 2000. 700 hours to date on AutoCad Light 2000. Certificate in Manual Drafting. 1200 hours drafting time. Course in Civil Engineering Technology. (One Semester)

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From Civil Engineer: I am very impressed with your work and with the obvious thought you have put into the marketing of your venture. It was especially good to see a print of that job we discussed on the phone. I wish you much luck with the venture as I do with your plans for school. Im darn proud of you buddy. And by the way,when I get my license,maybe you will consider me for a consulting job down the road. I hope to get together with Rick sometime soon and I would really like to show him your stuff if its ok with you. From all these questions you ask I get the feeling that you are genuinely interested and have put alot of thought into the idea and process of landscape architecture and if you could possibly afford the cost I would urge you to take some classes in the areas you are most interested in. The subject is not so simple as it appears,mixing science and engineering with art and a certain amount of religion to create a comfortable and pleasing balance between man and nature. A thoughtful soul like yours can do this but it can be a lifes work getting it right.

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