The Q&A Archives: Creating Privacy in the Garden

Question: My neighbor's backyard (to the southeast) sits aproximately 4' above mine. Stones are set as a retaining wall, and I have a steel fence. I feel as though I'm living in a fishbowl in summer! I'm looking for the perfect hedge/bushes. What I require: Fast-growing! Non-poisonous to animals. Won't spread out too far (my yard is narrow). Top height of 12'-15'. Can plant myself. Thick enough to provide total privacy. Is there anything growing that fits this description? I've never planted anything like this before. Thanks! Sheilah Sackfield-Bivens Muscatine, IA

Answer: Consider building an overhead trellis. This would screen you from your neighbor and give you instant privacy. You can grow some beautiful flowering vines.....clematis hybrids, akebia, trumpet vine, climbing hydrangea, etc. the trellis would also allow you to have some beautiful hanging baskets full of impatiens or begonias.

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