Your home, your humble abode, your cave — whatever you call it, your house and surrounding property should be where you can escape the chaos of life and spend your time the way you want. For many, this means shutting the neighbors out in the name of privacy. But local regulations, preferences, and budget can all affect how you go about this. Here are some options for creating privacy on your property.

Trees and Shrubs

Trees and shrubs offer a buffer between you and the neighbors. You can select tall trees that produce shade for the summer or streamline the look with carefully sculpted varietals. There are many cultivars popular for creating a dividing line. Here are a few:

Italian cypress: This plant is popular because it rarely exceeds 10 feet in width while reaching towering heights of up to 80 feet. Because of that height, watch for overhead obstructions when planning your location. Choose a sunny spot. After planting, water deeply and mulch as needed.

Boxwood: Although not a fast-growing option, boxwood creates a reliably dense border. Be aware the boxwood does not do well in direct sunlight so it is typically the most content on the north side of the property. Also, make sure that boxwood is not planted against the house. Most types of boxwood should be spaced 18 to 36 inches apart. Provide deep watering every 7 to 10 days and fertilize after the first season of growth.

Arborvitae: Plant arborvitae within a few days of purchase. They will grow in most regions with little maintenance. Make sure your hole is as deep as the container it came in and twice as wide to allow for fill dirt, food, fertilizer, and any other amendments. Water thoroughly and apply mulch, keeping it several inches away from the base of the tree. Pruning is not required unless you wish to change the look. Rinse the branches and water deeply during hot summer months to ward off spider mites.

Bamboo: Bamboo is easy to plant and grow, but it can quickly become an invasive plant. Roots travel underground and happily pop up on the neighbor’s side of the fence so bamboo must be contained with a thick ground cover if you don’t want it to spread. Knowing that though, it is one of the fastest growing privacy shields you can plant.

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