Vital Tips: Using Plants for Privacy

Do you have tenants who enjoy eating their meals outdoors? Or maybe they just want to be able to take a few quiet minutes outside to themselves. Having a beautiful and well-maintained commercial space often makes it a space where people want to be. But if the property has no sense of privacy, it might be impossible to be outside without feeling like you’re on display. People in nearby buildings, those walking by, or even those driving on a nearby road might all have a clear view of your property—and the people on it.

Privacy is important to people. Sometimes it’s not just a matter of finding time alone (or not being on display) but a matter of screening out unappealing views. If your property backs up to a poorly maintained building or property, it can be an eyesore. Or, if there’s a nearby highway or major roadway, you might want to screen out the view and even stifle some of the sound.

This is where privacy plantings can make a world of difference.

Privacy plants can screen out views, create a sense of seclusion, and even play a role in deadening some of the sound outside of your property. Privacy plants act as a barrier—while also making an attractive addition. If you’re looking to create more privacy on your property using plant material, then we’ve rounded up some helpful tips that you should consider as you get started.

Privacy with Trees and Shrubs

Trees and shrubs are a great way to create a privacy screen, assuming you choose the right species. After all, a tree that is going to thin out or drop all of its leaves will only provide privacy at certain times of the year. Similarly, a tree or shrub that is too small for the space you’re incorporating it won’t do much good, either. Ideally, you want to choose plants that grow tall, dense, or wide so that they can really fill in space and screen-out views.

Some plants that do this well include Arborvitae, various types of Holly, and Cryptomeria.

Of course, the specific tree or shrub that will work best for your property will depend on your site conditions and should be a customized choice by a landscape designer who is well-versed in plant selection. You would think that most landscapers are, but we’ve found that being truly well-versed in plants is a special skill. It can be a bit more complicated than most people realize since it requires understanding which species will perform best in specific environments. It also means knowing the future growing habits of the tree or shrub.

Privacy Screening Designs

A lot of landscape companies might tell you that they offer “privacy screening” but you want to be sure that you choose a company that has a true eye for design. After all, the last thing that you want is to have a bunch of trees and shrubs added to your property that doesn’t really look like they belong together.

There’s something to be said for the landscape designer who can create a design that looks natural, instead of forced. Oftentimes when a landscaper says they’re creating a “privacy screen,” they’ll just line up all the trees in a row. While this might work in some circumstances (such as screening out a highway), it shouldn’t be your only option. There are also ways to create privacy areas that look much more natural. This would work nicely for a picnic area where people gather for outdoor lunches.

It’s also worth noting that placement is key. This is a point that cannot be emphasized enough. Your landscape designer may have chosen plants that are ideal for screening due to their growing habits, but if they’re not planted in the ideal location, they’re not going to help screen out a view. There must be serious thought given to exactly where the plant needs to be placed based on how it will grow and what views you’re trying to screen out.

Choosing the Best Company for the Job

When it comes to choosing a commercial landscape company that offers privacy screening, you want to be sure that you’re choosing wisely. This will give you the confidence that the finished product will actually meet your needs. The last thing that you want is to invest in the installation of a variety of trees and shrubs that don’t end up serving the dual purpose you desire of creating both beauty and privacy.

At Bluegrass, we understand the value that plants can offer to your commercial landscape. We also know that using the right plants and the right design to create privacy is an excellent way to enhance your space. Fortunately, we have the skill and experience necessary to create designs that will meet your needs. That should give you the confidence and the peace of mind that you’re in good hands.