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Planting for Privacy

When building a new home or planning a significant renovation, there is a good chance that the vegetation on your lot could be affected. One of the challenges we face as builders is the need to remove established plants in order to clear the lot for construction. Not only do the old plants play a major role in the aesthetic of a home, but they often act as a privacy screen between properties. No matter how much you love your neighbours, you probably don’t want to see them while having your morning coffee on the patio! When we design a Maison home, we make sure that restoring beautiful landscaping, and privacy, is a top priority in the design process. Here, we would like to share some ideas on which plants can be successfully used to create a privacy screen that will enhance your home.

A popular and elegant way to create privacy is to plant a cedar hedge along the property line. There are several native varieties that work well in Victoria and will require little maintenance over time. Native species, like Thuja Plicata, will live for 30 to 60 years if well cared for (much longer than many fences!). Emerald Cedar and Brandon Cedars are other varieties with their own gorgeous colouring. Though many of us do most of our planting in the spring, now can be a great time to plant your cedar hedge. Autumn is a good time to plant cedar as it gives the shrubs the opportunity to form strong roots during the first year.

Laurel is another tried and true shrub that can effectively create privacy on your lot. These plants can grow up to 30 feet tall but they are easy to prune and care for. Their low-maintenance characteristics make them an easy choice if you have a significant area to fill. Keep in mind that laurels prefer full sun to part shade so may not be ideal on a shaded lot. Bay Laurel is a great option that has beautiful foliage.

If you are willing to invest a bit more time and effort into designing your hedge, you may want to think about planting a mixed hedge row along your property. A mixed hedge is made up of a variety of evergreen and deciduous plants to create a dynamic and interesting privacy screen. Plants such as Vine Maple, Elderberry and Nootka Rose can be combined for a beautiful effect. Not only can a mixed hedge add visual interest, but using a careful variety of plants can help prevent disease and attract the right type of wildlife. Because deer are a common problem in Victoria back yards, try looking for deer-resistant plants that are more likely to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Not a green thumb? Not to worry, as Victoria has many amazing and resourceful garden centres that are more than happy to help. Demitasse for example, in the heart of Oak Bay, has incredible knowledge and a vast variety of plants to choose from. If you are up for a trip to the peninsula, Russell Nursery in Deep Cove is another treasure trove of native and non-native plants. Most nurseries provide design and landscaping services so you can just sit back and enjoy the view!

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