If you're anything like us, your backyard is your sanctuary, a quiet space away from the busy world where you can enjoy nature in peace. That is, of course, unless you've got nosey neighbours! It can be hard to avoid awkward eye contact with the folks next door when you're both outside enjoying the gorgeous summer weather, but it can be done in some super clever ways with a bit of planning and horticultural savvy. These are our top tips for using plants to hide you and your Ontario garden away from the world (or, at least, your neighbours!)
The Best Trees for Privacy in Ontario
Nothing beats a giant, stately tree to block your neighbours' prying eyes! Ontario is home to many beautiful tree species, but the ones we love for privacy include these fast growers and evergreens:
- Paper birch: A spectacular addition to any landscape, this privacy tree grows big fast, with a growth rate of up to 61 centimetres per year and a final height of up to 30 metres tall. The paper birch's delicate white bark also adds a magical quality to any backyard or landscape.
- Autumn Blaze Maple: This must-have maple grows around 61 centimetres a year, meaning it can create a lovely canopy of shade and privacy in no time. However, make sure you've got space in your backyard to accommodate it before planting, as its canopy can reach a final diameter of up to 12 metres!
- Arborvitae: One of the most popular plants for creating a living privacy fence, this dense evergreen is the perfect addition to any backyard or garden in need of a bit more seclusion.
- Yews: Although a little on the slower-growing side, yews are incredibly impressive privacy plants and are often used to create vast, trimmable hedges. They can also be grown tall and upright to block out unwanted gazes!
- Pines: Aside from their amazing smell, pines also make excellent privacy additions to Ontario landscapes due to their dense foliage and wide coverage. The eastern white pine is a particular favourite of ours due to its quick growth rate of up to one and a half metres per year!
Some of our other top privacy tree picks for Ontario yards include fir, hemlock, cedar, and spruce. Stop by the garden centre to learn more about these and the other great varieties we have in stock!
Tall Privacy Plants for Keswick Gardens
Trees aren't the only plants that will keep prying eyes out of your secret garden; many smaller native and non-native shrubs and perennials can stand alone or work alongside existing structural pieces to keep your peace and quiet private. Many shrubs make the perfect hedges that can be trimmed and shaped year after year, while tall perennials make the best warm weather barriers while you're out relaxing poolside or chilling with the family on a warm summer evening. Here are a few plants we recommend for a perfectly private landscape design:
- Lilac: Lilacs make excellent privacy plants, so long as you've got a sunny space for these fragrant beauty queens! Lilacs add a cozy cottage feel to any garden or backyard space, and their flowers attract a steady stream of helpful pollinators!
- Hydrangea: This summer favourite has excellent growth potential and adds a pop of classic colour when planted alongside evergreen trees and shrubs. Hydrangeas can reach as much as 8 feet in width and height, making them a top pick for lush summertime hedges.
- Ornamental grasses: Ornamental grasses are some of the more exotic-looking native plants, with their texture, height, and movement instilling a sense of fluidity throughout your landscape. Their height makes them ideal privacy plants, whether planted on their own, against a fence or other barrier, or alongside other tall perennial flowers—like foxgloves and lupines—for a wildflower meadow look. Our favourite ornamental grasses include Purple Fountain Grass, Blue Fescue, Shenandoah Switchgrass, and Little Bluestem.
- Clematis: We love how clematis climbs and weaves its way around anything it touches, including trellises, fencing, and the tall stalks of various fruits and veggies! This stunning vining plant features large blooms amidst dense foliage, making it another spectacular perennial for blocking out neighbours all summer.
- Boxwood: Boxwood is a classic hedge shrub that you can often find bordering property lines, dividing walkways, or in perfectly manicured English gardens. So long as you can put up with their regular trimmings, boxwoods are ideally dense, easy-to-maintain privacy plants.
We hope our plants for privacy recommendations gave you a few ideas, but if you're still looking for advice, look no further! Our expert team at Georgina Garden Centre has you covered, whether you're looking for more friendly advice, expert care tips, or just a bit of help unloading your shopping cart!