Strategies to Ensure Privacy for Your Property

by : Carol Freyer

Many homeowners find that, while they like the convenience that society affords them and their families, that they do not like the lack of privacy that comes with living closely with other families. It can be difficult to effect changes in a place that is already built or where local zoning laws have to be circumnavigated before one can put up a fence. Plants are an effective solution to many privacy woes and here's some ideas that you can use to put them to work for you.

Trees are very good natural barriers and shields. They can provide shade and, in the case of some varieties, fruit or edible bark. Trees can add value to your home as well. Unfortunately, if you don't have grown trees in strategic locations on your property, they are expensive to buy and have planted. Some adult trees cost more than even a relatively expensive fence, but if you want insta-privacy via trees, they are probably your best bet.

Another method of gaining some separation from the outside world is a hedge. Hedges can be cultivated to grow quite tall, but even a lower hedge can prevent people and animals from wandering easily into your space. They also can provide some natural light while still forming a barrier. Many different plants can be used to create hedges; people who want quick privacy might naturally gravitate toward the faster-growing varieties, but the celerity of growth also means more frequent pruning to keep the hedge looking good.

Planting a line of ornamental grasses can decoratively screen some areas of your property from prying eyes. There are many varieties to choose from that suit different climates and soils. They are fast growing, transplant easily and many are not tasty to local wildlife. Also, they are pretty cheap to buy, making them a low-cost, tasteful option for the homeowner on a budget.

Bamboo is a plant that may not come immediately to mind when thinking of ornamental grasses, but it is a fast growing grass that can be used to create an unusual barrier. Be sure to look for 'clumping' bamboo, as the 'running' version will try to 'run' away and grow in every available area around the original planting. Some people use barriers to prevent inadvertent colonization.

Terracing a garden by creating various levels can be another strategy that gives you the maximum enjoyment of a slope and maximum privacy due to the varied heights you can create to work with. If you place tall plants in the highest terrace, you can create a verdant 'wall' that slopes into your property or towards the street. Terraces also provide measured space between your property and the public area, something that sloping ground is not effective at.

Trellis plants, like ivy, can be used to cover up places on a fence or standing structure without seeming artificial or garish. If managed properly, they can even provide a green curtain in front of windows that can be hung in front or tied back as inclination dictates. Climbing roses can provide a sharp deterrent to not-so-casual onlookers.

Inside your house, you can use plants to screen windows while allowing light in. Hanging plants can be used to screen windows or even create private areas within the home. Some ornamental plants, like cacti, provide a barrier of thorns in windows that can deter idle hands from entering.

Plants require regular maintenance, both to look good and to stay healthy. Depending on the type of plant, they may be expensive or difficult to procure. Some plants require special treatment, either to stay healthy or to keep the area looking tidy. If the maintenance isn't an issue, especially if gardening is a passion of yours, then this could be an ideal way to gain a little bit more privacy out-of-doors as well as in.