We like to think of our home as our castle, a secure and private place where we could escape from the world. And though we can not all build moats around our houses, we could employ plants to enclose and screen our private worlds. Unlike architectural structures, plants also contribute colour, texture, odor and motion which change with the seasons and also help us indicate time and love nature’s rhythms.
Shrubs maintained as a clipped hedge, as shown, are a literal interpretation of fences or walls and create a formal feel. Select plants using a compact branching structure; boxwood (Buxus spp), yew (Taxus spp) and privet (Ligustrum spp) are traditional favorites, but I’ve also seen stunning hedges of quince (Chaenomeles spp).
Formal hedges will have to get sheared annually — or more frequently — to keep their crisp form. A plant with an ultimate mature size that’s like that of your preferred hedge will be a lot easier to keep in the long term. It is important for the health of your plants to trim them into a wedge shape, together with the base marginally wider than the top.
Troy Rhone Garden Design
Narrow evergreens with thick foliage, such as the arborvitae (Thuja spp) in this picture, upright junipers (Juniperus spp) and columnar blue spruce (Picea pungens ‘Iseli Fastigiate’) need little pruning and supply a yearlong screen that’s a lot taller than most construction codes will permit for structures.
Wallace Landscape Associates
The mixed edge of deciduous and evergreen trees, perennials and tall shrubs displayed here is a look that provides diversity. If you wish to attract wildlife or like gardening, desire a vast assortment of seasonal interest, this is the look for you. A fairly large footprint is required — think planting beds 8 to 24 feet deep — to achieve this look.
Neumann Mendro Andrulaitis Architects LLP
Sometimes an entire perimeter “wall” of foliage is not necessary. Placing screening plants in strategic locations can create privacy where it is needed while keeping the view, sunlight and air circulation.
On a smaller scale, plants may work in combination with fences or walls to expand their elevation. This may be done with ornamental trees or shrubs. Place them as necessary for screening small spaces. Japanese walnut (Acer palmatum, zones 5 to 8, revealed here) serviceberry (Amelanchier spp), cornelian cherry (Cornus mas, zones 5 to 2), lilac (Syringa spp) and viburnum are a couple of candidates for this program.
Looking for something with a more mod vibe? A row of trees pruned into a flat espalier is a striking and clever way when space is at a premium, to create fence or a wall.
Consider, also, that the quickest and most effective method to achieve privacy is to where it is necessary, to place a display in immediate proximity. Screening is the trick to making a cozy destination patio. Shrubs or ornamental grasses 4 to 6 feet high may be perfect for this purpose.
Landscape Techniques Inc..
This larger patio area is lightly screened and enclosed with a soft planting of shrubs and perennials. (Ornamental grasses could have worked well here, also.) This strategically placed garden provides a second, and much more instant, layer of privacy in combination with the lawn perimeter plantings. This technique is a great way.
Carson Poetzl, Inc..
Last, but not least, a small distance could well be screened by a mixture of a structure and plants. Grid-like fences (or sturdy trellises) and blossoms may be utilised in very tight spaces to give lots of privacy without sacrificing the delights of this garden. Fast-climbing, twining vines like clematis, honeysuckle (Lonicera spp) and akebia can offer flowers or odor, too.
SB Garden Layout
As always, use these design concepts to suit your taste and distance, and use plants which grow well in your area.
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