If you’ve ever set out to build a privacy fence on your property, you know what an expensive hassle it can be. You have to dig holes that are two feet deep, mix and pour concrete, and nail countless boards together. Everything has to be level and in a straight line. Paying someone to do it will cost several thousand dollars. However, there’s a better way to get the same results through creative landscaping.
Privacy fences can be attractive when they’re brand new, but they need to be painted and sealed every few years. Boards will need to be replaced when they inevitably rot after being in contact with soil, sun, and rain. If you didn’t get that spacing just right, your fence will lean or fall over. Privacy hedges are a great alternative that add beauty and are good for the environment to boot. They add color and texture to the exterior of your home while simultaneously blocking your yard from view and muting unwanted noise.
There are many variations of hedges to consider as you think about the look you want for your space. Landscaping can determine the aesthetic of your yard, so you’ll want to decide if a more informal or formal look most desirable. For an informal privacy hedge, think about choosing bushes like the blue- or pink-flowered hydrangea or the striking rhododendron. For a more formal, trimmed hedge, consider the stately sweet bay or the lovely white-trimmed leaves of the evergreen euonymus. If you’re looking for something unique or unusual, bamboo may be an option for you. There are two kinds of bamboo: running and clumping. The running types fill in quickly but have to be contained so they don’t wander their way into your neighbor’s yard by accident, while the clumping variety grows slower and is more shrub-like.
For the maximum level of privacy, you’ll want to choose an evergreen shrub. Unlike the deciduous varieties, evergreens won’t drop their leaves in the winter. They afford lush privacy all year long. The blue holly will grow from 5-12 feet tall. It has glossy leaves, sprouts beautiful red berries, and grows in partial shade or full sun. You also may want to look at the Oregon grape. This bush has a little bit of everything. It grows 6 feet in height, sprouts small, yellow flowers, and produces an edible blue-black fruit. It loves full sun and can be trimmed into a formal hedge or left in its natural state.
Picking the right bush depends on where you live, the look you want for your yard, and the space you need to cover. Hedges come in all shapes and sizes, so you may want to reach out to a landscaping professional for advice. A professional can help you design the privacy hedge of your dreams and can help shape your living “fence” into neat shapes and incorporate the beautiful mix of colors best for you.