Does your neighbor have an ugly backyard? Mine does and it totally drives me nuts every time I step into my own my yard to feed the animals, hang up laundry, or putter around in the yard. One way to hide a neighbor’s ugly backyard is with a wooden fence which can easily cost several thousand dollars or more. There are also less expensive, more creative ways to screen a neighbors yard as well. Here are a few of the strategies I’ve used over the years to create a visual privacy screen between our two yards.
This fast growing perennial vine can grow 20 feet a season and is a fantastic solution for anyone who needs quick privacy screening. Virginia creeper is green in the summer, turns a vivid red in the fall, and will provide dense screening from May to late October. I’ve planted several starts on the boundary fence line and over the years have trained it to go up the fence and over into his yard to block the view.
Temporary bamboo fencing
I love the look of Bamboo privacy fencing which is another great way to provide screening while also giving me a place to hang metal yard art, fishing nets, and other decor. Six-foot high bamboo fencing can be purchased at most home improvement stores or through online garden stores and runs approximately $100 for a 20 foot section.
If you have a collection of shepherd crook” styled plant hangers like I do, these too can be used to create screening. I set mine about 2 feet apart and load them up with overflowing baskets of Ivy geranium which blocks the view from eye level.
Set up an outbuilding
When I had a greenhouse built a few summers ago, I had it plopped down 5 feet off the side yard property line where it does a dandy job of screening well over half of the neighbor’s yard. If you have a garden shed, metal tool shed, or even a child’s playhouse, consider moving it so that it can provide a visual barrier between you and your neighbor’s ugly yard.
Quick growing plants
Shrubs and evergreen trees will also provide excellent screening from a neighbors back yard but does take years to grow. I’ve taken to planting some quick growing Pampas grasses on our boundary fence line which grows to heights of 8-10 feet in a single year. Even though Pampas grass does die back in the winter, the dead foliage will also provide privacy through next spring. Other quick growing plants include bamboo and butterfly bushes which grow so rapidly that many gardeners consider them invasive.
Screening your neighbor’s ugly backyard is easier than you might think. A combination of garden structures and quick growing plants is all it takes to block an ugly view in no time at all.
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