Arguably, the pandemic has given rise to more attention paid to home and yard as haven. One Portland, Oregon, Fox 12 report in March announced: “Landscaping industry booms as more people do yard work during COVID-19 pandemic.” And, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce included landscaping and yard companies on its list of thriving business during the pandemic.
Jason Henry, a principal with landscape architectural firm Berger Partnership in Seattle, pointed out that Americans at home are paying “much more” attention to their landscaping wants and needs, and one of those is added privacy. He said privacy is achievable in many ways other than investment in expensive and often slow-growing trees.
“Architectural walls and fences are often limited in height by zoning code, but this is usually the first go-to solution when someone wants more privacy,” he said. “Plus, fences are relatively inexpensive and effective … eye level views with a very small footprint. Walls are typically more expensive, but better longevity.”
Henry shared other ways homeowners can achieve yard privacy:
• Plant hedges, both evergreen and deciduous. “This can be the most cost-effective, but often it takes longer to develop a hedge dependent upon the initial size of the plants.”
• Plant shrubs. He pointed out that shrubs are cost effective, “but can take up a lot of space dependent upon species. If space is tight, a hedge is often a better option.”
• Construct, assemble or purchase a trellis or pergola. “These are especially effective when your neighbors might have a taller home and you want to block views from a second or third story window looking down on you.”
Henry pointed out that individuals embarking on the construction of a new home should carefully consider neighbor views and privacy when establishing site planning.
For stay-at-homers interested in a DIY yard privacy project, bobvila.com provided 14 “inventive vertical gardens” that include garden walls made of cedar posts, hex wire, and terra-cotta pots or recycled pallets affixed with can planters.