Hedges gone - we need privacy

petuniaxyzApril 7, 2012

We have lived in our NYC suburban home for 30 + years. The neighbor behind us just cut down a dense hedge between our properties. For some reason they left bush size stumps and I must admit my view is not pretty. We live on little lots, about 50 X 100 ft and now the only thing between us is our 4 ft chain link fence.

The neighbor to the left has a 6 ft vinyl privacy fence and the one to the right uses one side of our chain link fence to keep his dog in his yard. I never liked the chain link but we put it up to keep our neighbor�s wandering children out of our yard and house.

Do you think it would be a good idea for us to remove the chain link and continue the white vinyl around the perimeter of the yard? We would be the 3rd house in a row to use the vinyl.

Hubby and I are seniors and may be selling in a few years when we retire. We really do not have time to plant evergreens and wait for them to grow. Any suggestions on how we can increase our privacy to see less of these neighbors are greatly appreciated.

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Could be the neighbor behind you thought the hedge plants were getting too "leggy," and cut them back to force them to become "bushy" again. Doesn't do much for you in the short run. I'd approach the neighbors behind and to the right and tell them you would like to install a fence, but can't quite afford it. Perhaps they will offer to contribute to the cost, or at least provide the labor.

Cedar is the preferred fencing material in my area, and I know nothing of vinyl. You can get some feel for the pros and cons by perusing the reviews on the Home Depot and Lowe's sites.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 5:19PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

I see you are in NJ, so I would suggest planting shrubs. They will grow fairly quickly and help camouflage the chain link while also providing privacy. Evergreens do grow slowly, but you could intersperse with deciduous such as forsythia, viburnum, azaleas, etc. Camellias are evergreen with a moderate growth rate, and not too expensive. If you just want screening quickly, go for forsythia and then in a few years, list your house when the new hedge is in bloom! :)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 6:31PM
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Thanks for your advice. Any suggestions for shrubs that flower in June or in the summer? The lawn is Zoysia and it does not green up until after the forsythia has bloomed which is usually late April.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 7:55PM
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"For some reason they left bush size stumps..." I would also speculate that this is a rejuvenation effort. (If they were getting rid of the hedge, there'd be no reason to let large stumps remain.) If that's their plan, I'd just wait it out. The "stumps" will grow a new top very quickly.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 2:07PM
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oath5(z6b/7a MD)

iteas bloom in early summer, New Jersey Tea, Annabelle Hydrangea...lotsa nice stuff.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 10:50PM
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Brad Edwards

great advice cyn. Not sure about plants up there but forsynthia would probably be my first choice as well, depending on location and if it were to get enough sun a climing vine before planting a screen could give you a double screen if evergreen.

If the neighboors are really tacky you could go the postal route of english Ivy :)

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 1:35AM
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I resided in NYC for several years, so I understand the culture of keeping one's distance from one's neighbors. Under the circumstances, though, I wonder if it might not be appropriate for you to attempt to initiate some dialogue with the neighbor behind you, to see what he may have in mind. I don't think it would be too "pushy" to volunteer a "Nice, day, isn't it?" at an opportune moment, and take it from there.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 11:26AM
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