Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How To Get Rid Of Your Neighbors Part 1

Screening & Privacy 101

Posted By: in Gardening

One of the more common questions we get at the nursery and one that has often caused the most stress for the person asking is “How can I hide my neighbours….shed, garage, messy yard, treehouse, kids, barking dog, windows, patio…!” Well, you get the idea.

Emerald Green / Smargd Cedars

We get a ton of screening questions and interestingly, most people seem to limit themselves to Emerald Cedar hedging or a large evergreen tree. Many people don’t really think about the delightful options, they want to put up a big block and do so in a hurry and I understand that. As a landscape designer I have also gone into backyards that look like a green jail, with giant green cedar bars, or are so dark that only moss and slugs grow well but the client is unwilling to part with the massive laurel that is 15 feet wide as well as high because is hides the neighbours shed when they sit on their deck…which they don’t do that often now because it is so dark!

I am here to tell you that with a little bit of creativity and outside the box thinking and a little research and plant know-how, you can have your privacy when you need it and have your screen be a stylish part of your garden!

First, the basics, we already know the who…

What are you screening?

A shed, a window, an outdoor patio right next to your own patio, road noise etc?

When

Seems like a silly question but you would be surprised how many folks have planted a giant expensive evergreen hedge and waited and waited for it to grow high enough to block out the neighbour's upper deck view of their patio when a lovely Columnar Beech or Red Sunset Maple or even a pergola with flowering vines would have done the job immediately and taken care of the screening WHEN they were enjoying the patio…later spring through beginning of fall.

Alternative Screens

Where

Do take a look at the sightlines and map them out in the yard. If it’s a window, get a sense of how high. You can estimate or use a stick, or get a bearing on something nearby. Will a screening item on a deck block the sightline or will you need something closer to the object.

Why

Noise, privacy, lights?

How

The how is the fun part! Here are a few handy truths…

Deciduous trees and shrubs are almost always faster growing and take less of a yard footprint than evergreens.

Vines on wood lattice or wire grids can grow blindingly fast… especially annual vines like runner beans…6-10 feet in one season…and the things pay rent! If I need a quick wall, I will often pair these with the Tropical Ipomea (Morning Glory…the Annual kind…dies reliably with the first frost…honest!) I love the hot pink and sky blue trumpets in the Ipomea seed mix.

Lattice

The direction of your lattice or screen has meaning:

  • Diagonal Lines create movement and energy…if you want a serene patio oasis, don’t use those tiny squared lattice sheets you can buy from DIY stores.
  • Vertical lines create a focal point…or exclamation point…it will draw the eye.
  • Horizontal lines create a sense of rest.
  • Rectilinear lines create a sense of solidity, sturdiness.

Roofs, canopies even implied ones create a sense of shelter/privacy even if you are not completely sheltered.

The closer the screening object is to you, the smaller it can be and still screen you. A well placed patio umbrella and a small potted tree near your fave reading spot on the patio can create an immediate sense of privacy from the neighbours upper deck vs. a tree planted at your property’s edge closest the offending window. Though sometimes all three things working in concert is needed!

Japanese Maples As a Screen

One of the more important points I do try to make when designing a screen for a client is to make something lovely they would rather look at, than just a big green block. In many instances the right plant in the right place solves the problem, in other cases, a little bit of creativity not just makes a screen, but creates a welcoming area people are drawn to. In the pictures above are two potted japanese maples used as screens.

There are some amazing reference sites out there and I’m sure you can add to these, but I’ve wiled away many an hour adding pictures to my folders and getting ideas. If you need inspiration and haven’t taken a look at these sites before I think you should take a wander over to these as well.

Specifically I would love you to take a look at Fencing, Pergola and both wooden and metal grid trellises on these sites. The ideas are endless.

Another favorite haunt is Surrey New and Used…I have sent many a customer here for goodies as well. I have found some stained glass pieces to hang on a pergola to block a neighbour's window at my parents house and I have found some great old windows for my garden.

In Part 2 of this series (coming soon), I'll share with you some of my favourite plants for screening and hedging.

Laurelle Olfdord-Down

Laurelle Olfdord-Down

Laurelle is a certified horticulturalist and Landscape designer. She is currently an up and coming apple guru, growing over 120 cultivars which explains her passion for edible garden design. Laurelle works part time for Art’s Nursery. You can also interact with her through Art’s monthly newsletter, our blog and our gardening channel on YouTube.


Sponsored Advertisement

Blog Profile

arts nursery logo
Art's Nursery is a 10+ acre retail and wholesale garden centre located in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We've been in business at this same location since 1973 and we're proud to serve you today!

We carry an incredible selection of plants, shrubs, trees, annuals, perennials, vines, groundcovers, roses and much more. Soils, bulk materials, pottery and a variety of garden accents are also available.

Our plant selection is so large that you can actually drive a golf cart while you shop!

We pride ourselves on providing high quality plant, expert advice and an exceptional gardening experience.

Blog Search

Recent Posts

Friday, October 5, 2018
Green Manure And Cover Crops

Friday, October 5, 2018
Fall Colour Plants With Two Jobs

I think it is safe to say that all of us plant our gardens with a vision in mind that it will be bea...

Monday, September 10, 2018
From Garden to Table

On August 29th, I was lucky enough to attend the Coquitlam Farmer’s Market Long Table Dinner, to whi...

Sunday, September 9, 2018
Cool and Crisp Fall Container Recipe

In this design we're featuring a cool and crisp container planting for early Fall. It includes 10 pl...

Sunday, September 9, 2018
12 Fantastic Ferns

Ancient history has a common thread, it is the fern. These plants have fossil records that date back...

Friday, September 7, 2018
20 New Bulbs for 2018

September is the month where all the new bulbs for Fall arrive and are put out on display. This year...

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Unusual Plants for May 2018

Check out this collection of rare and unusual plants available at Arts Nursery in May 2018

Sunday, March 4, 2018
Dormant Oil Spray

Spring is on its way, and now is the last chance to protect your trees by applying dormant oil spray...


Tag Cloud

green manure cover crops fall crops fall gardening fall rye rejuvenation mixfall colour fall foliage plant combinationsgarden. edibles fall veggies farmers markets long table dinner kale fall and winter gardensfall container recipe container plantings container design cool and crispferns woodland plants tree ferns polystichum adiantum dryopteris plants for shadebulbs new bulbs spring bulbs flower bulbs new bulbs for 2018 tulips iris anemone hyacinth eremurusrare plants unusual plants collectors plants senecio angel wings eucalyptus russelia abutilon echium dendroserisdormant oil dormant oil spray dormant oil kit insect damage deciduous trees fruit trees protect from insects protect from fungusTop 6 Colourful Winter Plants Winter Interest Plant for Winter Colour Cold Hardy Plants Top 6 Plants Top 6 Winter Plants for Winter Interest Winter Plants Viburnum Davidii Leucothoe Rainbow Crabapple Red Sentinel Crabapple Tree Evergreen Shrub Skimmia Female Cedar Sienna Sunset Globe Cedar Skimmia Cedar for Winter Colorful Crabapple Fruit Tree Winteramaryllis hippeastrum buy amaryllis amaryllis bulbs indoor bulbs amaryllis care waxed amaryllisgrasses ornamental grasses gardening cool season grass warm season grass miscanthus pennisetum fall bulbs daffodils colourful companions new flower bulbsfall fall planters fall plantsplantsomethingbc contest bcplantstropical tropical plants outdoor tropical palm trees palms banana plants jasmine monkey puzzle tree phormium new Zealand flax agapanthus dahlias lilies canna calla florissastrawberries strawberry strawberry care strawberry varieties day neutral strawberries june bearing strawberries alpine strawberries everbearing strawberries growing strawberries types of strawberrieshellebore helleborus spring series hellebore Lenten rose Christmas rose perennial shade perennials annas red pennys pink winter jewels series gold collection hellebores winter dreams helleboreswinter gardens november november garden calendar winter garden tasks plants winter plants garden gardenings november gardens winter interest plants plants with winter interest

Blog Roll

Other interesting gardening blogs that we follow include:

Blog RSS Feed

Keep in touch by subscribing to our RSS/Atom News Feeds


Subscribe Via FeedBurner

 Subscribe in a reader

Copyright (c) 2018 Art's Nursery Ltd.  | 8940 192nd Street, Surrey, BC, Canada, V4N 3W8  | tel: 604.882.1201  | SiteMap  | Privacy Statement |