Creative Privacy Planting in zone 6A (MA)

Jinx_1832March 10, 2012

I recently moved into a new home and my backyard is an empty canvas for landscaping ideas. Our 1st priority is creating some privacy in our backyard as we have a house directly behind us at an elevated position (as our yard slopes upwards). Rather than just planting a row of evergreens near our back picket fence, we are interested in some creative planting ideas that will add privacy and be aesthetically pleasing.

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There are many possibilities, so you'll need to figure out what you like and what your budget is. "Here" is a link to the Better Homes and Gardens "Landscaping for Privacy" section. It's heavy on fencing, but still might give some ideas.

I'm thinking of similar things, and I've found a couple of photos that I really like.

Here's a nice, mixed evergreen screen from the Sunset garden design book.

Here's a whole bunch of "mixed evergreen screens".

But I'm focused on evergreens, and you might not be.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 10:50AM
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Thanks for the quick response. I actually am open to evergreens, but would like to avoid a wall of Arborvitaes.
My budget is $2K+/- and have a 40 FT parameter to plant.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 10:57AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

You need to do a real sight-line analysis to figure out just where you need privacy to and from. If the house behind is elevated, what you may need is trees with a wide/tall canopy, not evergreens or fencing at ground level. And the canopy trees can be in the middle of the yard, not necessarily at the perimeter. Have someone go outside holding up an upside-down rake to pinpoint exact locations if you have to. Then create beds or varied plantings around that area to complement the main privacy-providing plant.

Think about whether you want privacy to your windows, your deck, or elsewhere in your yard. Sometimes one tree, the right shape, in a strategic location will do it all. And does the privacy have to be both summer and winter? That will determine whether you go deciduous or evergreen.

Being then by sketching up (mentally or on paper in a plan (birds-eye) view, where you want stuff to block the sightlines. If that is achievable with foliage, well and good, but maybe a pergola or something will work better.

If you want plants to do the work, I would suggest as a next step that you go to your local nurseries and start looking at plants and discuss with the owner/staff there what kind of trees you need if they don't seem to have them in stock - tall narrow ones, or wide with low or high canopy.... They will be getting more stock as the planting season progresses.

If you want some concrete ideas, it will be best if you provide concrete information - a site plan with elevations, or some photos.

Karin L

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 2:49PM
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