Landscape Suggestions for Privacy Screens

Blocking the view in your property from passersby and inquisitive neighbors gives you the privacy to relax at home, free from exposure to the outside world. Installing a normal hedge may be the expedient thing to do, but creating your privacy displays part of the general landscape design requires just a little more effort. Creative usage of full-foliage plants, conventional building materials and decorative containers increases curb appeal as it decreases unsolicited glimpses into your own personal space.

Mixed Hedge

A couple vintage tall-hedge shrubs, such as arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis), which grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 8, are the foundation of a living privacy screen. Together with climate-appropriate evergreen shrubs and little trees of different heights, shapes and hues of leaf, a line-up of woody plants makes a mixed hedge with uncommon visual appeal to outsiders. From within your yard, the swath of greenery provides a vibrant backdrop for smaller deciduous bushes and beds of flowering perennials and herbs.

Panels and Vines

A decorative wooden fence panel mounted between two sturdy posts is just the right size to screen the perspective of a toilet window or an outdoor heat pump unit. The panel is best positioned far enough away from the hardened item to allow incoming sunlight and good air flow. Stained or painted to complement nearby landscape elements and architectural characteristics of the home, the solitude screen’s look is softened even with the addition of vines to climb up the support posts. For example, clematis vines (Clematis spp.) , which grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 11, can protect the screen’s side with bright-green leaves and profuse flowers in shades ranging from white to deep purple, depending on the variety.

Intruder Resistance

Privacy displays that do double duty as a repellant to potential intruders are ideal for backyards that adjoin an alleyway or in areas where foot traffic tends to stray off the beaten path on your property. A row of American holly trees (Ilex opaca), which grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, will rebuff all but the most persistent trespasser with sharp thorns on its own shiny, evergreen leaves. Reaching up to 50 feet high at full adulthood, diligent pruning will keep the screen to proper proportions to your landscape. Scarlet firethorn shrubs (Pyracantha coccinea), which also grow in USDA zones 5 to 9, have sharp spines in their branches. The plants grow up to 15 feet wide and high, but may be molded for screening purposes. Both these hardy plants sport bright red or orange berries that appear in the summer and stay, including a bit of colour to the winter garden.

Container Garden

An attractive privacy screen is possible even if you have a tiny area for landscaping. Long, narrow planter boxes full of “Golden Goddess” bamboo (Bambusa multiplex “Golden Goddess”), that thrives in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 through 10, make a low-maintenance screen of Zen-like simplicity. A contemporary-style screen is produced by lining up a row of urns in deep, rich colours, each holding a little evergreen conifer tree, such as dwarf Alberta blue spruces (Picea glauca “Haal”).

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