If you’ve ever glanced up from relaxing on your own yard to discover that you’ve got an audience, altering the landscape to provide a little more solitude may shoot right to the very top of the “To Do” list. Regular passersby and nosy neighbors can inspire garden designs that add texture, vertical dimension and seasonal colour to your garden layout. Install trees early in your landscape-planting schedule to provide them a jump-start on supplying a peaceful, personal surrounding for your outdoor living comfort.
Interrupt the line of sight into your windows with a bushy tree — or a group of trees — put a part way between the road and your residence. Make an island bed in the front lawn, flanked by eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana), which rises in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 9, reach up to 50 feet high, and carry compact evergreen leaf in a conical display of deep green.
Plant a large, mixed hedge of evergreens and deciduous trees across the sides or back of the property to block views in the alleyway and neighboring properties. Combine the green and blue-green varieties of Colorado spruce (Picea pungens), which rise in USDA zones 3 to 8, for instance, with Rubra dogwood (Cornus florida “Rubra”) which thrives in USDA zones 5 through 9. Rubra dogwood is filled with pink flowers in early spring and sports reddish leaves in the autumn to present your big privacy screen year-round visual interest.
Screen sensitive areas of the landscape, like the patio in which you prefer to sunbathe, with a row of trees that has dense, evergreen foliage and can be deceived into hedge forms that complement your landscaping motif. Leyland cypress (Cupressocyparis x leylandii), booming in zones 6 through 9, grows up to 3 feet every year, making the tree an easy screening solution that’s also a verdant, bright-green backdrop for smaller flowering shrubs and perennials.
Discourage intruders and ardent window-peepers from venturing on your own property by planting trees with thorny leaves along a fence line. American holly (Ilex opaca) rises in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 9. It reaches up to 50 feet high in full adulthood, but because it rises just a foot per year, it can be kept pruned to a size that’s proportional to smaller-scale landscapes.
Prevent prying eyes from peeking into your yard from second-story — and bigger — vantage points in neighboring houses and buildings with trees that have a thick, full canopy of leaves. Variegated box colleagues (Acer negundo “Variegatum”), which thrive in USDA zones 5 through 8, grow about 3 feet per year, finally reaching a mature height of 50 feet with a 30-foot canopy spread. Their attractive white and green leaves, which turn golden before falling in the fall, shield your yard during summer picnic and play time. If year-round screening is necessary, a row of fast, columnar Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), which thrives in zones 8 through 10, provides a tall hedge of dense, evergreen foliage.