In a Fish Bowl! In need of Privacy...
star25
October 13, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Hi All

Well the summer is coming to a close and I guess I'm already thinking of my next back yard project come the spring. As you can tell from the photos I've built a retaining wall - what's next? I would really love to add some deep privacy screening along the rear of the yard - a few fast growing columnar trees with a mix of "something else". I could really use some help on suggestions on what to plant. I like the natural look - adapting to the local greeny or shooting for a Tuscan garden look. I'm stumped!

Regards,

Sonia

Ontario, Canada
Zone 7
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PRO
builper.com
Where is the retaining wall?
0 Likes   October 13, 2012 at 12:45PM
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olldcan
Yes do plant the columnar, along the side and keep them 2' away from the retaining wall. I'd look for a compact tree/shrub as well in a contrasting colour, maybe burgandy
0 Likes   October 13, 2012 at 12:56PM
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PRO
Urban Renewal Builders Ltd
Depending on your exposure and climate, Arborvitae work great, and grow fairly fast. They don't tolerate wind and dry climate, such as we have in Colorado. This is an American Arborvitae
0 Likes   October 13, 2012 at 1:12PM
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PRO
Ross NW Watergardens
Maybe check out Italian Cyprus or Leyland Cyprus. I like the idea of a mix of screening plants- not a green wall. Maybe wander through some local nurseries this winter?
1 Like   October 13, 2012 at 1:19PM
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judianna20
LEYLANDS GROW LIKE A WEED. I HAVE DONE BEST WITH THEM IF YOU STAGGER THEM WHEN PLANTING, TO GIVE THEM SPACE AND SUN AND SO THEY DON'T HAVE THAT LINED UP IN A ROW LOOK THAT ARBORVITAE HAVE AND FOLLOW THE SPACING REQUIREMENTS ON THE TAG TO A T. DON'T LOOK LIKE MUCH THE FIRST YEAR BUT THEY FILL IN FAST.

ANOTHER FAVORITE FAST GROWER, (MORE $) IS THE JAPANESE PINE. THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL. I LIVE IN MA SO THESE WILL DO WELL WITH COLD AND SNOW.
0 Likes   October 13, 2012 at 1:29PM
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star25
txs everyone
0 Likes   October 13, 2012 at 3:20PM
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nasmijati
Silver lace fence

A vine I like is Silver Lace. It is classified as a low water-use plant in my area (Zone 10).

I had a 30 foot span of side yard to deal with. I put up metal fence poles anchored in 24 inches of concrete so the tops were 6 feet above the ground, and added rounded caps. Depending on your local building codes, you might be able to go as high as 8 feet. I spaced the poles 9.5 feet apart, which is the distance between the roof drain canals of my house (to give the plants extra water when it rained). I used 2x4 welded wire fencing anchored to the the poles with fence hardware from Home Depot. I planted the 1 gallon size vines from the nursery halfway between the poles and three feet across from the roof drain splash blocks. The vines provided good coverage by the second summer and full coverage by the third summer. Silver Lace blossoms on the new growth each year, so mine get a "military haircut" every November. My fence has been in place for 12 years without any maintenance needs. I only needed three vines total.

This fence design can also support a combination of Silver Lace and Honeysuckle vines. It has been 45 years with only minor fence repairs needed. (That was just because the coat-hanger wire holding some of the welded wire to the poles rusted after a while.)

If you get your fence in before winter, you can attach large canvas tarps to the fence posts until spring (think Army/Navy Supply stores for green ones).

Best Wishes.
0 Likes   October 13, 2012 at 3:43PM
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Kivi
With so many neighbours, and your desire for deep privacy I would certainly agree that Arborvitae (cedars) should be one of your primary foundation plantings, along some of your fence lines. You are in a good area of Ontario for some really nice plant material. There is no substitute for making a trip to a really good nursery/tree farm, and speaking to the folks there. As someone who spent years building and planting gardens in southern Ontario there were many times tht we had no firm idea about what plant material we would use for a project until we went to one of the good nurseries. If you are near the Waterdown area Connon nurseries is a fantastic place to get top quality trees etc.. Well worth the trip, and it is still a good time to start some of your plantings this fall.
0 Likes   October 13, 2012 at 5:28PM
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nasmijati
As kaveac noted, your best resource for plants for your geographical region is a local nursery (not a huge chain store). Find plants native to your region if possible. They will thrive the best in your location.
0 Likes   October 14, 2012 at 5:29AM
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annoulaxeni
Please remember that the general rule is that the faster the tree grows, the shorter its life is. If you intend to have many good years in this house (and even if not, think re-sale) you might want to get going on some plantings with a real future.

Otherwise, if your real desire for privacy is perhaps mostly for that seating area, you could more easily provide screening there with lattice or vines or small decorative trees, or even awnings or an overhang of the pergola with slats slanted such as to impede views.
0 Likes   October 14, 2012 at 6:05AM
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judianna20
I didn't know that rule, so I looked up life span of Leylands and you are correct. I never knew that. Thanks heavens (and I am again beating Bobbi P to this) I'll be gone before my trees are. Kinda at this stage the thirty year warranty doesn't mean what it used to. :).

I did get some good advice on my search, however, and one comment was to get professional advice on landscaping. If you spend around 10% of the value of your house in the correct plantings, it will increase the value of your property and is just as good an investment as a new kitchen.

Live and learn on Houzz.
0 Likes   October 14, 2012 at 7:32AM
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jillgp
Butterfly bushes mixed in w evergreens will b natural looking n give u plenty of privacy! Bonus too you will enjoy many butterflies and humming birds in the summer!
0 Likes   October 14, 2012 at 7:41AM
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PRO
Square Root Design
I live in southern Ontario, and another option that I see a lot around here is a living wall.
Similar to how tipi explained, you would build a structure, but use willow branches to weave into it. I have seen these walls grow up to 20' tall, but all that depends on how high the structure is to support it.
0 Likes   October 14, 2012 at 9:13AM
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