So, how do you feel—we mean really feel—about your neighbors? If you generally like them and maybe even hang out with them from time to time, that’s great! Even so, you probably still want at least a general sense of privacy when you’re enjoying your outdoor space with your family or guests. And if you don’t care for your neighbors, privacy is an absolute must so you’re not constantly scowling at each other from across the way.
In New Jersey, America’s most densely populated state, privacy can be hard to come by. Especially in places like Short Hills, Summit, New Providence, and other tight-knit NJ communities where homes are built very close together, you have to get creative if you don’t want your backyard to be in plain sight. And although good fences can indeed make good neighbors, plants provide a little more subtlety when designing your outdoor space for privacy. Here are a few backyard privacy ideas incorporating foliage and flowers:
1. Full Screen
Looking to create complete seclusion in your backyard? Consider planting several large trees. In this case, you’ll need trees that grow up, not out, so you get a tall, dense, full screen that will shield your outdoor space from prying eyes. A perfect option for this purpose is the emerald green arborvitae. As an evergreen, it retains its foliage throughout the year, even during the winter months. When planted in a tight row, these trees form a natural and beautiful green screen that blends harmoniously with the surroundings.
It’s also possible to create privacy without feeling entirely enclosed, using a slightly more spread-out tree like the green giant arborvitae. As the name suggests, these evergreens grow to be truly majestic, reaching heights of up to 50 feet and widths of 20 feet. By planting them with some space in between, you create a semi-screen that offers a balance between openness and seclusion. The green giant arborvitae’s lush foliage and towering presence make it an impressive addition to any backyard, providing both privacy and visual appeal.
3. Flowering Fence
An extra creative twist on using plants for a privacy screen is to incorporate flowering trees into the lineup. These eye-catching additions not only provide a partial screen but also add vibrance to your outdoor space. Consider planting some of our favorite picks, such as dogwoods, magnolias, and cherry blossoms. Plant them in their own rows or mix them in with evergreens to create unique collages of color.
4. Sprawling Trees
Privacy isn’t exclusive to densely populated areas; it’s equally important for homeowners with larger properties. If you live somewhere more rural in NJ like Hillsborough or Flemington, where space stretches far, planting trees along the edges of your property can create a personal horizon line. Norway spruce (often the Rockefeller tree in NYC!) and Serbian spruce are excellent choices, boasting impressive heights and hardy foliage. These sprawling trees define your boundaries, providing privacy while giving your backyard a grand and expansive feel.
Privacy screens don’t have to be limited to blocking views of your neighbors. They can also serve to conceal unsightly aspects of your home, such as the garage or a window AC unit. Colorful hydrangeas or hyacinths can be strategically placed to add pops of color while providing visual cover. Alternatively, if you prefer to keep the main color green, boxwoods can be shaped and maintained to cover heights up to five or six feet.
When to Plant for Privacy
Creating a lush and private backyard requires thoughtful planning and precise timing. The ideal time to plant privacy screen plants is during the fall season, as it offers several advantages that promote optimal growth and establishment.
During fall, the weather begins to cool, creating a more favorable environment for newly planted trees and shrubs. The soil is still warm from the summer months, which encourages root development even as the air temperature cools down. This combination allows plants to grow their roots without the added stress of scorching summer heat.
Moreover, fall planting provides a head start for your privacy screen plants. By getting them settled into the ground before the winter frost sets in, they have time to acclimate and establish their root systems. This preparation helps them withstand the harsh winter months and ensures they are primed for gorgeous growth come spring.
In New Jersey, where climate and soil conditions vary across the state, plant selection is crucial. By carefully considering the timing and selecting plant species that flourish in your area, you can set the stage for a thriving privacy screen that will transform your backyard into a unique and personal retreat. Let High Tech help you choose the perfect plants and ensure they’re planted flawlessly. Contact us today to get started.