Landscaping Property Lines
Property lines: they’re the subject of legal disputes, real estate deals, and neighborly relations. They can also be a positive aspect of your landscape! Here, we present 6 easy ideas for landscaping property lines.
The first thing you want to determine is “why.” Do you want privacy? Security? A windbreak? Or, just something that looks good as a landscape element? All are great reasons to landscape your property lines and they aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.
If you want privacy only, you have to choose between a hardscaped privacy fence and a more natural, plant-based boundary. Obviously, both can provide privacy, but hardscaped privacy fences offer more security. If you live in a windy area, a windbreak is a solution for you (and your utility bills).
The first thing you want to do is find out the exact location of your property lines. You may want to hire a surveyor if it’s not clear. Also, find out if there are any easements and fence permit requirements if that’s the option you choose. Now that you’ve got all that figured out, here are the 6 easy ideas for landscaping property lines
These typically well-trimmed plants are about as close to a living fence as you can get. They’re usually dense (thick) enough to provide both privacy and security. You will need to work to maintain them, though. Hedges need trimming to maintain those crisp, clean lines. We suggest doing this work with a cordless hedge trimmer or have your landscaper do it!
There are several choices if you elect to fence. Noise barriers not only keep out unwelcome sounds, but they give the added benefit of blocking unwanted staring. On a pure security basis, you can’t beat the traditional chain-link fence, though you won’t get much privacy from it. Wooden fences are good options for both security and privacy. However, you’ll need to stain or paint them now and again. PVC vinyl fences are a lower-maintenance alternative but may cost more.
Colorful Fast-Growing Shrubs
If you opt for the natural, plant-based option chances are that you don’t want to wait years for your privacy screen to grow. Fortunately, there are some good choices for you!
- Evergreen shrubs can be planted at a large size and they’re fast growers.
- Likewise, some flowering shrubs like mock orange.
- Ask your local garden center what’s popular in your area.
You can mix and match evergreens and flowering shrubs for maximum effect. There are even broad-leaved evergreens that actually flower quite a lot and very colorfully. You’ll get the privacy you want, plus a beautiful, colorful property line that will add to the enjoyment of your landscape.
Windbreaks & Pollution
Some landscapes easily support trees as well as ornamental grasses and shrubs for property lines. Trees, such as the Colorado blue spruce, are perfect for blocking the wind. When mature, trees also provide a great deal of privacy, too.
Trees need to be handled properly when used as property line landscaping. Street trees (those planted near roads as well as in any urban or suburban area) need to be pollution-tolerant. They’ll be getting exhaust fumes, road salt and all sorts of city-style pollution, unless you live in the country.
Another thing to bear in mind is the size of the tree when it’s full-grown. Some trees are HUGE when they’re mature and that can present issues for you and your neighbors. Branches overhanging your property line and dropping leaves on your neighbors’ lawns aren’t likely to make you any friends. Nor are large root systems that could disrupt your neighbors’ sidewalks. Worse still, large root systems can wreak havoc on septic tank drain fields. Not only is this expensive damage to repair, but it’s very unpleasant for everyone concerned.
The best bet for trees as property line landscape elements are dwarf trees. Bushes are another good choice. Smaller, less likely to cause damage (either to property or neighborly relationships), these choices bear some good consideration. Again, ask your local nursery which trees are not “root invasive”.
Some people may want to landscape their property line not for security, privacy, or a windbreak, but simply as an eye-catching hardscape element. It’s undeniable that a traditional stone wall adds beauty to certain landscapes. If your only goal is to beautify your landscape, while “marking your territory,” stone walls are a great option and there are many kinds from which you can choose.
Of course, you’re not limited to one or the other. Add a fence and border it with flowering shrubs! No matter the reason you want your property line landscaped these 6 easy ideas should help you get the job done.