If you live in a suburban or urban area you may have some big challenges in creating privacy on your property. With sections sizes getting smaller and smaller this challenge seems extremely tough. Most property owners don’t want to install giant fences. One of the ways property owners can create screening is by adding trees and shrubs to their properties at strategic locations.

If you’re considering plantings to help screen your pool, patio, or other areas of your property there are a few questions to ask yourself, landscape designer, and/or landscape contractor:

Do you need the screening all year round?

If this is the case, you’re going to lean towards using evergreen plants. If this is only a consideration during warmer months when you spend time outdoors, you will have more choices of deciduous plants to include as well.

What is the minimum height of a screen you need?

If you only need around a metre of a screen, you don’t need to plant trees that will grow to 2 metres plus. That will just create more maintenance for you in the long run. If you are going to be needing frequent hedge trimming, keep the hedge as short as you need it. Letting it get too tall will create more labor and more debris, and thus more cost to you.

How wide can the screen grow?

Plants want to grow. So, if you take growth off of their tops on a regular basis, you will push more growth laterally. Research the plants you’re using. The last thing you want is to lose the space you’re trying to screen because you installed plants that are going to grow over top of your patio. Your neighbours will also thank you if you’re planting near the property line and can keep your plants off of their property.

Do you want a wall or a tasteful grouping?

Unless you’re going for a formal, colonial garden, most sites look better if you mix it up a little. Consider using a mix of both evergreen and deciduous plants, varying in texture and color. Even when installing an evergreen screen you can alternate varieties of trees for a softer look.

How far apart should you install plants?

Give plants room to grow, otherwise you’ll have problems later. Each plant needs to develop to maturity and then touch. They each need their own space to form a root system and take in nutrients and water. Planting too tightly can lead to poor nutrition, girdling roots, and disease problems.

How close can you plant your screen to the area you’re trying to get privacy to?

If you have a small patio and you’re trying to provide privacy from your neighbor’s windows 20 metres away, you could plant closer to your patio instead of putting plants near the property line. Don’t always think of going out as far as you can. The closer in your vantage point you install plants, the sooner they will grow to block the view. Putting them farther away means you will have to wait even longer to get your screen.

There’s a lot more to consider with a landscaping project for screening than you may first think of. Finding a local landscaping company with experienced landscape designers can help you consider all of these factors. If you’d like to discuss how we can design and install plants for screening on your property, please don’t hesitate to contact us.