Landscaping for Privacy
If your home is your castle, the privacy features in your landscape are your moat. These strategically placed trees and shrubs don’t just shield your leisure time from outside eyes. They also keep you from having to gaze out on your neighbors. For many people, replacing their view of the house next door with a vista of greenery and flowers is a prime motivator in building their dream landscape.
There are other practical reasons to consider a privacy hedge or fence. In Oklahoma’s notoriously windy spring and summer seasons, trees and hedges provide a very real break from the wind. And if your neighborhood is close to one of Oklahoma City’s main traffic arteries, you’ll appreciate the sound-dampening power of privet hedge all the more.
Choosing the plants
For year-round privacy, choose a screen of evergreens. They’ll stay full all year long, and are especially good at minimizing nearby sounds. Full, large cedars are a surefire way to build a dense screen, but can outgrow your space. Narrower evergreens like a columnar spruce can build height without taking up too much space from side to side. Be aware that conifers can grow very, very tall, and may be more tree than you want.
Deciduous trees bring decidedly more color to the palette than their evergreen counterparts. Their leaves will turn in the fall, giving you bright splashes of autumnal color. This same feature, though, renders them less value as a privacy aid during the winter months.
For a shorter, more solid screen, choose a plant like the North Privet hedge. Trimming it early and often will lead to dense bundles of branches, and the classic box trim of a privet shrub is a formal and effective alternative to fencing. For a more informal appearance, a shrub like viburnum will flower in the spring, and the plant can grow as tall as 15 feet when untrimmed.