Gardening & Landscaping
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Planting For Privacy In A Small Backyard

Hello Nesties :-)

I was wondering if anyone might have some suggestions for good plants to put around a fence in a small backyard.

I have a pretty good view of the back of my neighbors houses from the areas with out greenery around my fence.

I like my neighbors a lot but I'd love to make my yard more lush and private.

I was thinking of planting bamboo but I've not worked with it before and I'm unsure if that is really the best option.

Any suggestions on what to plant to beautiful my boxy yard?

Thanks a bunch for any tips! 

Re: Planting For Privacy In A Small Backyard

  • Well....first thing is where are you? I am in Ohio and I am grappling with the same issues. There are some great tall arborvitae that are pretty skinny that would help (would take up less room than a pine tree). Other good shrubs are forsythia, burning bush. I have also read that clethra (summersweet) makes a good but thinner hedge for screening. Here is a link to an article I read recently:

    http://www.dennysguide.com/story/2011/02/14/privacy-and-screening---don-t-fence-me-in/

     I listen to him on Sat mornings...he really knows his stuff. Hope this helps!

  • Thanks for the link!

    It looks very helpful.

    I live in the Houston, TX area but I'm sure many of those plants would do well here:-) 

  • In general, bamboo can be extremely invasive.  I've heard there are less invasive species out there but I would no more research.  If you are looking for year round privacy I don't know if forsithia and burning bush are the way to go.  Farther north they drop their leaves in the winter. Your local master gardners extension through the state university can be very helpful.
  • I agree that the burning bush and forsythia won't screen as well if their leaves are dropped. I am not sure how these shrubs do in TX, didn't know that's where you were from. For me, I would use something evergreen to screen out other people's windows or decks, but also use deciduous shrubs to gain a little color/interest where you don't need TOTAL screening.

    I would also visit a reputable garden center near you and ask them for some recommendations. Take a few pictures, make a sketch and they should be able to find the right plant for your yard to help you out for your region!

  • I asked about bamboo on MM once and everyone was pretty much convinced that I'd destroy my entire neighborhood with invasive plants if I planted a stalk of it.  Some said they'd never buy a house with bamboo in the yard.  There are non-running types, but from what I've read online, some garden centers are clueless and will sell you the wrong kind, leading to problems.

    Depending on your yard, consider red tips.  They grow pretty fast and I've seen them shaped into a tall wall.

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