Having neighbors in close proximity to your Dutchess County home can be a wonderful thing, but it doesn’t guarantee privacy when you need it most. While fences and other architectural structures secure privacy, their hard lines and artificial cleanliness are, for some, less than ideal for everyday viewing. Plantings, on the other hand, offer a variety of textures, colors, and fragrances that cycle with each passing season. Follow these tips to keep both peeping onlookers and visual boredom at bay.
Fast-growers for Quick Solutions
Sometimes, you just need a quick-fix. Perhaps a neighbor suddenly cuts down a large tree or builds a second-story balcony, exposing an entire section of your yard. For swift and ample coverage, build a privacy screen using plants that grow tall and are quick to mature such as bamboo, Arborvitae, and Cypress. Ornamental grasses and shrubs which grow up to six feet in height may also be planted for immediate privacy. To protect a raised deck area from unwanted viewers in a pinch, use potted plants like boxwood or Photinia. Not only will pots add height, but, if lightweight or stationed on casters, can be easily moved to cover multiple viewpoints.
Perimeter Plantings for Privacy
For long-term, exceptional coverage, use perimeter plantings. Composed of thick rows of trees or shrubs grown along your property line, these plantings generally come in two flavors: formal and informal. Clipped, dense hedges borrow the form and function of actual walls when properly maintained and are typically formed using boxwood, privet, and yew. Be advised that formal hedges do take longer to grow and require annual shearing, though they are ideal for small yards. Informal perimeter plantings involve a stunning combination of trees, shrubs, and perennials that provide both diversity and adequate privacy. Perimeter plantings are especially useful when maximum coverage is needed because they are often not subject to municipal ordinances limiting the heights of structures.
Cover Up With Layers
A healthy mix of plantings and structures can work wonders for maintaining privacy in your yard. Train fast-growing clematis, akebia, or honeysuckle to grow up a trellis or fence for a lush and fragrant living wall. Top fences and walls with tall privacy plantings to enclose an outdoor space, letting perimeter plantings finish the job. Or, if your yard is large enough, stagger and group plants in odd numbers to create a multi-dimensional privacy screen. Even a few cleverly placed shrubs and trees can conceal select parts of your home or yard while allowing sunlight and air-circulation to naturally flow through.
Considerations for Good Neighborly Conduct
Even if your neighbor does install an unbearably large statue that overlooks your yard, it’s important to respect their property use, as well. When using plantings for privacy, make sure their shade and falling leaves or branches do not disrupt your neighbor’s enjoyment of their swimming pool, patio, vegetable garden, driveway, or any other feature of their landscape.
Privacy is key in preserving a sense of comfort and security in your home. Using these tips and tricks, you can rest assured that, with the help of plantings, peeping eyes will not make their way into your home or yard.
Related: Sustainable Landscape Design