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Creating privacy with plants

on July 27, 2014 1:54 AM

Do you need some landscaping ideas that will allow you to enjoy privacy and quiet in your yard and garden?

It is not entirely possible to eliminate all of the annoying disturbances that are irritating, but there are solutions to minimize, filter and reduce many outside noises.

Here are some landscaping techniques to help reduce noise from traffic, pedestrians and noisy neighbors.

Sound barrier

One approach to decreasing the sound from nearby traffic is a sound barrier wall like the one you see along major highways. Made of stone or concrete, these are tall, large barriers that often can be unattractive and aesthetically unappealing.

However, they can be transformed to an attractive sound barrier with good design and the correct materials. Planting vertically with thick growing vines going up and over the wall, or incorporating an eye-catching design with stone or concrete can be pleasing to you and passers-by.


Another alternative for minimizing irritating noises is attractive fencing. A fence made of wood with plantings growing on the fence will help break up light, irritating sounds that interfere with enjoying your yard.

Reach for the sky with some of these vines to cover a fence;

• Clematis, a summer bloomer that likes full sun but cool roots. To keep the roots cool, plant shrubs or perennials around the roots or mulch around the roots. Prune the plant only in the spring.

• Virginia creeper is a tall grower, reaching up to 20 feet, and the birds like its colorful berries that appear in the fall.

• Trumpet vine is short-lived, but its vivid orange, trumpet-shaped flowers are pretty in midsummer, blooming on the fence.


For stand-alone vegetation, such as trees and shrubs, you can mix deciduous shrubs with those that maintain their leaves year-round.

Rose of Sharon, hydrangea, viburnum and Diablo Ninebark are a few shrubs that will drop their leaves come winter, but in the summer, they can act as a living fence.

For a living fence that provides year-round privacy, look for trees and shrubs that hold their foliage. Consider Eastern hemlocks, holly bushes, yews and Pieris Janponica.

Your favorite garden center or nursery can advise you on shrubs and trees that are fast growing, take little maintenance and have dense foliage.

While at your garden center, look for outdoor features that will bring a sense of calm to your yard and garden.

Wind chimes, water fountains and birdfeeders will add a feeling of tranquility. Place wind chimes where you can hear their melodic sound indoors, near an open window, and outdoors, near your favorite chair. Add a water fountain or a small pond to listen to bubbling water and hang attractive birdfeeders with ones that are suited for various birds. Ask garden center experts for special birdseed mixes that attract different birds.

Using landscaping to create a quiet haven can be achieved by finding solutions best suited to your yard and garden.

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