How much is privacy worth to you in your home?
If you don’t want to live in a fishbowl, but can only afford a home in a crowded development, there may be a solution for you: Landscaping. Or, to be more specific, creative landscaping that assures your privacy.
But first, an important question:
How much privacy do you want?
The first step to planning your landscaping is determining how much solitude you want and need. If all four sides need to be screened, the plan will be more complicated than if you just need something to block out the nosy neighbors behind the home.
Do you want your home completely shielded from view, or would a lighter touch be OK? Dense privet hedges will screen out most views, while tall perennials combined with trees or widely spaced trees will give you privacy but have a softer silhouette.
Make the plan
Once you know what you want, it’s time to plan! Measure the space you need to fill. Knowing the size of the space helps you choose the right plants. Measure the length of the area and the approximate height of your barrier.
Choose the right plants
The National Arbor Day Foundation says that American and Green Giant arborvitae (40 to 60 feet tall in maturity) are popular and will do the trick for those who need something tall. If something more shrub-like would work for you, consider two other arborvitae, Emerald and Nigra. Emerald grow to 15 feet tall, while Nigra may reach 30 feet. Both can be pruned to the height you want.
Make sure the tree, shrub, or hedge you choose is evergreen; otherwise, you’ll lose your privacy in the winter. If you prefer deciduous plants, experts from Colorado State University suggest choosing plants with lots of stems and branches that can provide a screen even after the plant loses its foliage. Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) is one suggestion.
The height and width of the plant matters, but so does its hardiness zone. Assure that the plant you choose is adapted to Southern Maryland. Native plants are the best choice.
Landscaping narrow areas
Not many of us feel comfortable being greeted by our neighbors’ faces while we make our morning coffee. If the area between you and your neighbor’s is narrow, fill it with quick-growing, columnar trees. Although Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) remains slender, it will grow quickly (up to 3 feet per year) to be quite tall. Plant several of these, 5 to 6 feet apart, for a dense screen, or consider native vines with lattice, painted an attractive color, on which the vines can climb.
Privacy for front and backyards
The front and backyards are typically most in need of blocking from prying eyes. And because these spaces are larger than side yards, landscaping them can be pricey. Consider a mix of trees and shrubs with a few perennials thrown in for interest.
Blocking the bird’s eye view
If your neighbor’s home looks down on yours, getting the privacy you want can be tricky. Trees with wide canopies, such as American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), American chestnut (Castanea dentate), or Modesto ash (Fraxinus velutina), can give you the coverage you want. For year-round privacy, latticework or arbor can give you privacy; soften the lines of the structure with a vine.
Keeping it legal
If the home you’re landscaping is governed by a homeowners’ association, you will need to make sure that the privacy landscaping you’re planning abides by HOA rules. Look for landscaping rule sin your HOA documents.
Mechanicsville MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309
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