Alternatives to privacy fences? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 04-07-2007, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
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We really want to get a privacy fence (re: Creepy Shed-Living Neighbor), but most of them look like unfriendly "forts" and I don't think we can afford it this year (one of our pups had expensive surgery and we might need a new roof).

Has anyone here tried alternatives?

I was thinking it might be nice to plant some bushes (the yard is very shady and has a few open woods in the back). I am also considering bamboo screens. We currently have a "Friendly Fence" (semi-invisible heavy deer fence) around the yard for the dogs.

Any input is most welcome and appreciated.

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#2 of 8 Old 04-08-2007, 01:25 AM
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Arborvitae make good privacy screens, I'm no expert though - what area of the country / hardiness zone do you live in? How wide could the plants be? I couldn't help you even if I knew, but I imagine that info might help someone else think of something!

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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#3 of 8 Old 04-08-2007, 01:35 PM
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I've got evergreen trees for privacy.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#4 of 8 Old 04-08-2007, 04:59 PM
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Would your existing fence support vines? Some of them, like ivy, are invasive. But others are not and could provide quick screening. You might check out the garden forums at for ideas.
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#5 of 8 Old 04-09-2007, 04:15 PM
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Not sure where you are but Boxwood or Laurel are other plant options. I have seen some nice non-invasive bamboos which probably grow in faster.

Lisa, mama to A (3/05) and R (11/07) and L (8/10)
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#6 of 8 Old 04-09-2007, 05:26 PM
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plants seem to take a long time to grow. I've heard bamboo is quick growing. we have lots of houses around us that have tiny shrubs along their property line. Maybe in several years it might provide privacy, but it's looking like 5+ yrs.

I kinda like a lot of privacy so I don't mind the fence/fort look.

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#7 of 8 Old 04-09-2007, 05:52 PM
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I saw in a book or magazine the idea of using old doors to build a fence. It looked great. But lead paint would be a concern with reusing old doors. My Craigslist recently had a guy giving away 50 doors and I was tempted to go claim a bunch!

There are all sorts of fences that give privacy without looking like a fort. Maybe you don't come across them in home stores but if you leaf through gardening magazines, there always seems to be pretty and functional fences.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#8 of 8 Old 04-10-2007, 03:00 PM
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What do you mean by the "fort" look? The wood and all?

We just installed a shadowbox privacy fence. Here are some pictures:

I planted lots of different vines on the fence - jasmine, pandora vine, mandevilla, thumbergia, even cucumbers and beans. We are in Central Florida, so I don't know what's best for you. But that Garden Web site is awesome!
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