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Screening needed for more patio privacy

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#1 NewtoMI


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Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:16 AM



We bought a house in MI 8 months ago, having moved up from GA. So I'm not at all familiar with this zone's plants or seasons.


Our house is in a neighborhood of similar homes.  I hope to add some "character" to our landscape and would greatly appreciate any help the forum can offer!


One problem with our lot is the open and close proximity between ours and our neighbors patios.


While I don't expect totally privacy, I would like some screening, or even camouflaging so I don't feel that our toys and furniture on the patio is the main view from our neighbor's patio perspective.


The picture below shows the right side of our patio and walkway, the patch of grass between the 2 properties, and our neighbors raised patio.


I would like to add a planting bed in that grassy area with some bushes, perhaps another tree and flowers to add to our view and for more privacy.  I lost on what shape, what plants should go there etc. All advice would be greatly appreciated. 


The distance from the tree to the walkway is about 8 feet.

From the back of the tree to our property line is about 10 feet.



Thank you,


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#2 Steven Nikkila

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 02:21 PM

What you need is a hedge on stilts for an immediate screen, or even for one that can grow to your satisfaction in just a few years. Any shrubs you plant will screen ground level right away but will take two or more years to reach and screen the height you need -- by which time they’ll be so wide you’ll be cursing them for filling all the available space and croading the walk too.


Put a stake in the ground a few feet off the walk way so you can guage the height you need, and then look at garden centers for round crowned trees (species with a natural habit of spreading rather than ascending branches). Look for what they have that is a good size now or soo, to put a screen up into the air where you need it. You can put a bed under it and fill it wit pretty things that will draw your eye down, but they won’t be part of the screen.




What we drew onto your photo is what we think a tree such as a Sargent crabapple will do if you buy one that has been grown to have about five feet of trunk before its branches begin. So it gives you the scren without taking up all the available ground level space.


Other plants that might create this same hedge-on-stilts effect for you, fairly quickly, are tree lilac (Syringa reticulata), dappled willow (Salix integra‘Hakuro Nishiki’)* grown on a standard


*(Be sure to check out these plants for their other charactertistics and care; we’ve written about dappled willow before -- fast fast growth but you will need to cut it back hard every year or it will get out of hand and lose much of its colored-leaf beauty) 

#3 PaulineG


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Posted 26 April 2013 - 12:35 AM

As you’re designing your backyard patio, consider adding water features such as a backyard pond. You might decide that your patio installation needs something creative like this. As you proceed through your backyard patio installation, with adequate information and instructions, you’ll succeed in creating a restful and enjoyable space in your landscape.

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