The Q&A Archives: privacy without a lot of work

Question: i want privacy in front of my house when i walk out the first thing i see is the house right in front of me i am looking for trees or shrubs that are not to hard to maintain iwas looking at lilac-common purple please give me some suggestions thank you

Answer: There are many shrubs you could use to help soften the view and that would be low maintenance. To some extent your choice depends on whether the spot is sunny or shady, extra window or sheltered, and wetter or drier than normal. It also depends on how much space there is for the shrub to grow and mature over time.

Lilac would be a possible choice for a sunny spot, however many lilacs will contract mildew each summer which, although it does not harm the plant, makes the foliage look ugly. So this might not be the best choice for something you see up close every day.

If you have a sunny spot and want a flowering shrub you might consider one of the Rosa rugosa cultivars. These are hardy and despite being roses, require only minimal care. For a partially sunny spot you might like one of the large shrubby hydrangeas such as H. paniculata or PeeGee trained as a small tree. If it is shady you might consider Clethra alnifolia. These are just a few suggestions, there are many plants you could use.

I would suggest you work with your county extension and/or nursery staff to analyze the growing conditions where you want to plant and develop a list of plants that would grow well there. Then select one or two you like from among those.

Enjoy your project!

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