Gardening for Privacy
There are many types of neighbors, most of them the friendly type, but you also may live next to the nosy neighbor, the messy neighbor or the just plain crazy neighbor. Even if you love your neighbors, everyone can use a little privacy in their outdoor space, to garden, relax and enjoy a little solitude.
The first step is to analyze the layout of your outdoor space. Will you need to shield your entire yard or just a small area? Can you set up a deck or a small patio next to your home or garage to limit the amount of screening you will need?
If You Need a Lot of Cover
Privacy Fences: If your yard is wide open, a tall fence is usually the first step towards creating privacy, but these structures are often an eyesore. Make sure its style matches up with the style of your garden. Then, dress it up with colorful flower beds, shrubs or trees positioned in front of your fence.
Living Fences: If a privacy fence sounds a little overbearing for your garden, try creating a hedge with trees and shrubs. Evergreen trees and shrubs such as cypress and boxwood are perfect for creating hedges because they will shield you from your neighbors all year and are able to be planted closely together, for maximum privacy. For a softer touch, you can mix varieties or try flowering shrubs such as Blackhaw viburnum or Rose of Sharon.
If You Only Need a Little Cover
Lattice Screens: If you only need to shield a small area, lattice screens are a beautiful and inexpensive option. Vines look beautiful laced around them. Larger vines, such as wisteria and climbing hydrangea, are beautiful but can easily destroy your screen. If you are unsure of your screen’s strength, try Cardinal vine, Clematis, Hyacinth bean or Morning glory.
Living Screens: Bamboo is a great option for growing a living screen. They grow quickly, tall, hardy and look modern and chic.
When You Need Sanctuary Right Away
If your neighbor is not the friendly type, you might require some privacy right away. The quickest way is to install fencing but it can be expensive and unattractive without living décor to spruce it up. You will need some tall, flowering plants and fast! Bamboo is your best bet for growing a quick living screen, growing tall and spreading quickly. Thuja or Arborvitae can grow several feet in a year, making them a great choice for quick hedges. If you do decide on fencing, Ivy, Clematis or Hops should be your plants of choice because of their ability to quickly cover structures. No matter what you decide to grow, try adding Grower's Secret 521, an all-natural fish emulsion fertilizer, to your plant care regimen for even faster growth.
Create an Outdoor Room
If you just need a slice of privacy to relax with a cup of coffee or to entertain friends, create your own little paradise on a patio shielded by canopy trees or pergolas, shade sails and arbors. Add shade and even more privacy by draping fabric curtains or flowering vines over these structures. You can also add a little extra privacy by fencing your patio off with screens or hedges. Grow ornamental, fragrant or edible plants around the perimeter or in stylish pots and containers.