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Old 03-01-2009, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,732 posts, read 31,775,842 times
Reputation: 6774

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What do you guys think of this. I know it might cut down on curb appeal but let me explain my reasoning for considering this. I have a small front yard that is on a slight slope. I live in a development with extremely NOSEY neighbors, to the point that they criticize everything from the blue and white planter on my front porch to the fact that I leave a light on for security reasons.

I have been thinking of taking out most of the grass putting a kind of palm tree that grows in a clump with three trunks out of it and backing it with these large plants I think are called Elephant ears. My goal of course being to get a little more privacy in the front of my house. I have even caught my neighbors walking by in front of my house staring IN my windows.

I have driven around my neighborhood and found many homes with plantings like I mention. I am also aware that for security reasons its not a good idea to block your front door from view of the road. However once I install the lighting and the movement sensor for the light over the front door, I think that will be enough.

The kind of plants I am talking about can easily be cut back should the time come that I want to sell the house. It would also allow filtered light into the front of the house.

Has anyone else done this at their house.

I noticed alot of people in the UK have LARGE hedges completely blocking the front of their house but it doesn't seem to be so common here in the states.
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:54 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,211 posts, read 12,552,742 times
Reputation: 3737
Not knowing exactly what your front yard looks like (possible to upload a photo?) nor how your neighborhood flows from house to house, I don't see a problem with your landscape idea. Actually, it sounds pretty nice to me and an enhancement. However, if you feel that you'd need to cut them all back when the time came to sell, then I think you're perhaps having second thoughts about the "look"?
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:28 AM
 
Location: NE Florida
17,835 posts, read 29,957,857 times
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Lindsey
By chance are you talking about the Roebelenii Pygmy Date Palm


There are many houses in our neighborhood that have these in front of their windows.

Here is a picture of a 2 stalk we put in my friends landscaping


here is the 4 stalk we put at the corner of his house one this size would give you plenty of coverage



The added bonus is the bottom of the fronds have these nasty thorns in case someone should want to get up close and personal.

These are not real fast growers so you could put a 3 or 4 trunk one that is 4 to 5 ft above the ground right in front of the window and it would block most of the view.
I am not sure how it would look with the elephant ears behind you might want to consider expanding the front of the bed and adding something like crown of thorns in front this would give you some color and it is another non friendly thorny plant.
I have some in front of my one window and they have been in the ground about 3 years and are 3 ft high
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:23 AM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,732 posts, read 31,775,842 times
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Well the flower beds I am thinking will be created not right in front of the windows but further away, in the front yard beyond the side walk.

I don't have a picture on my new computer so I am sure its hard to imagine. I am just not sure what people would think of it but since I am going to be living here for some time, I figure I should do what I want. If I decide to sell and the realtor thought it was a detraction, I could change it.

I just feel kind of exposed because the front of my house is full of windows AND I have nosey neighbors.
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,211 posts, read 12,552,742 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindsey_Mcfarren View Post
... I am just not sure what people would think of it but since I am going to be living here for some time, I figure I should do what I want. If I decide to sell and the realtor thought it was a detraction, I could change it.

I just feel kind of exposed because the front of my house is full of windows AND I have nosey neighbors.
By all means, if you like the look and it will stop the "nosies" from peeking, then go for it!
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:25 AM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 37,241,906 times
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Instead of doing a massive landscape overhaul.............. tint your windows. Then you can see out without any problems but it is MUCH harder for them to see in. There are reputable companies that do this and the products are VERY GOOD. We have it done on our windows and I LOVE IT!!! The other benefit to this is it helps protect your interior furnishings and floors from getting discolored by the sun. Then you can even leave window treatments open and be standing right smack in front or your windows as the nosy neighbors walk by and they won't see you staring at them and watching their every move.

I wouldn't do TOO MUCH to block the view of the front of your house from the street but you can do some plantings that kind of conceal it a bit. The palms mentioned by Karla with a K are a good bet and could tag team with the window tint. You could also put some window planters in and grow some 12"-18" flowers in them that conceal the bottom part of your windows but give it some color and "curb appeal". If you want to keep the neighbors from being able to walk up to the windows to peer in........... plant some shrubs with thorns on them like a row of Holly just in front of the windows (those prickly leaves HURT). Then the spots that don't have windows you can leave "open" with lower growing plants so it doesn't make it appear you have tried to make the front of your house like a fortress. At the front door it depends on how your front porch is set up............ if it is deep and/or large you could try screening it in and use a dark screen material.
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Floribama
14,949 posts, read 31,339,738 times
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Have you thought about planting a Southern Magnolia and leaving it branched to the ground in it's natural state? They provide lots of privacy as long as they're not limbed up like so many people do. There are old houses here that are completely hidden behind a wall of magnolias.

A Southern Red Cedar may also work, but again, resist the urge to limb it up. They make a nice outdoor Christmas tree too.
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Old 03-03-2009, 01:15 PM
 
5,065 posts, read 13,742,838 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindsey_Mcfarren View Post
What do you guys think of this. I know it might cut down on curb appeal but let me explain my reasoning for considering this. I have a small front yard that is on a slight slope. I live in a development with extremely NOSEY neighbors, to the point that they criticize everything from the blue and white planter on my front porch to the fact that I leave a light on for security reasons.

I have been thinking of taking out most of the grass putting a kind of palm tree that grows in a clump with three trunks out of it and backing it with these large plants I think are called Elephant ears. My goal of course being to get a little more privacy in the front of my house. I have even caught my neighbors walking by in front of my house staring IN my windows.

I have driven around my neighborhood and found many homes with plantings like I mention. I am also aware that for security reasons its not a good idea to block your front door from view of the road. However once I install the lighting and the movement sensor for the light over the front door, I think that will be enough.

The kind of plants I am talking about can easily be cut back should the time come that I want to sell the house. It would also allow filtered light into the front of the house.

Has anyone else done this at their house.

I noticed alot of people in the UK have LARGE hedges completely blocking the front of their house but it doesn't seem to be so common here in the states.
I don't see a problem with it at all. In fact, our new neighbors across the street from us cleared a strip of woods in front of their house soon after moving in. They live on the corner, and now we have lost our privacy and can see clear down the street in front of their house. They like to sit in front of their house and just look around, (facing us) and I miss the privacy we used to have. So I planted a few rhododendron bushes at the front corner of our lot specifically to shield us from those homes, I hope they grow 16' high! Most of the home in our neighborhood have thick stands of trees in between the homes, and also in front of some, to provide privacy, so trees and shrubs in front of homes are not uncommon here.

Btw, those pics are pretty!
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Old 03-03-2009, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Chattanooga TN
2,349 posts, read 9,672,313 times
Reputation: 1205
I don't see why not. I did the same thing with some pampas grass. It grows FAST and you can't see through it or get through it to peek This could be a fun project. I can see it now... You planting in the front yard, having fun, enjoying the weather and the neighbors walking by with "THAT LOOK" on their faces. They'll be disappointed and you can walk through the house naked. Win win for you. LOL
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:59 PM
 
Location: Oregon
835 posts, read 1,394,615 times
Reputation: 867
Quote:
Originally Posted by momof2dfw View Post
Instead of doing a massive landscape overhaul.............. tint your windows. Then you can see out without any problems but it is MUCH harder for them to see in. There are reputable companies that do this and the products are VERY GOOD. We have it done on our windows and I LOVE IT!!! The other benefit to this is it helps protect your interior furnishings and floors from getting discolored by the sun. Then you can even leave window treatments open and be standing right smack in front or your windows as the nosy neighbors walk by and they won't see you staring at them and watching their every move.

I wouldn't do TOO MUCH to block the view of the front of your house from the street but you can do some plantings that kind of conceal it a bit. The palms mentioned by Karla with a K are a good bet and could tag team with the window tint. You could also put some window planters in and grow some 12"-18" flowers in them that conceal the bottom part of your windows but give it some color and "curb appeal". If you want to keep the neighbors from being able to walk up to the windows to peer in........... plant some shrubs with thorns on them like a row of Holly just in front of the windows (those prickly leaves HURT). Then the spots that don't have windows you can leave "open" with lower growing plants so it doesn't make it appear you have tried to make the front of your house like a fortress. At the front door it depends on how your front porch is set up............ if it is deep and/or large you could try screening it in and use a dark screen material.
Barberry is a beautiful bush that has nasty thorns. good for under windows.
You could go to a nursery and see what they have for your climate , get some ideas. But, I live in a wet cool climate, can't tell you anything to plant really!
You may need to check your local zoning or landscape codes ordinance, to see if there is a rule about a setback, meaning, how far back do you have to go into your yard before you plant a hedge, and how high can it be. if it is in the setback, say the first 8 feet from the edge of the property, you might not be able to plant anything tall. But behind the setback, further into your yard, maybe you can plant a hedge or anything of any height. That is, if there are any codes about this stuff on the books.


Other than that, living here in the pacific NW, I find it odd that the yards in some states that are hot and dry, are so open. We have lots of bushes and trees around our houses, which serve any number of uses, from privacy to shade to... well, fruit.

Just remember, that you should plant in the right season, usually when the ground is NOT going to become hot and dry. Usually right at the start of the cool wet season is the best time to plant rooted things. And make sure they stay well enough watered.

the more bushes and trees you have growing around your house, and the bigger / taller they are, strategically located, of course the more shade you will have and thus less cooling costs.
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