architectural review board typically have acceptable plant lists for natural privacy fencesYou own a beautiful home and want to spend time outdoors. No offense to your neighbors, but you don’t really want them watching as you enjoy time in your yard.

Of course you can install a traditional fence, but there may be some restrictions. Most homeowners associations in the Panama City Beach, Sandestin and Destin areas won’t allow you to install tall cedar wood fences.

Instead, they’ll approve four foot high powder-coated aluminum fences. At four feet high, that’s not much privacy, and it may not be the look you want.

What type of fence can you install to give you some personal space? That would be a natural privacy fence made of vegetation.

Worth Your Consideration — Before Installing A Natural Privacy Fence

oleander is a popular plant choice for natural privacy fences

Here are seven cost considerations to keep in mind if you’re thinking about installing a natural privacy fence.

Seek Approval

It may require approval from the architectural review board. Some boards have acceptable plant lists and may ask your landscape architect to provide a drawing to show placement of these plants.

A professional landscaping company like GreenEarth has landscape architects on staff to lead customers through this process.

Think Long Term

Envision your fence in three to five years. Most plants installed for a natural privacy fence are four to six feet tall when installed. The larger the plant, the more it costs. But keep in mind that these plants grow, so don’t fret if you don’t get the height you want initially.

Think long term unless your budget is robust enough to allow you to have a lush, full green fence at installation.  

Patience Is A Virtue

Don’t worry if there are gaps between the plants at first. Again, think long term. If plants are spaced too closely together at installation, they’ll crowd each other out and may choke out plants in the middle.

Planting them three to five feet apart, you’ll get a dense, lush fence within a few years, but it takes time to get there.

Water Needs

Ensure you have the proper irrigation systems for your natural privacy fence. The water needs to get to the property line so the plants can continue to establish themselves and thrive.

Choosing Plants

Costs for a natural privacy fence vary based on the type of plant, how mature the plants are at installation and the length of the fence. It goes without saying, but a fence that’s 50 feet long will cost much less than one that’s 100 feet long.

Consider supplementing your natural privacy fence plantings by adding some grasses or a planting bed leading up to the privacy wall, to give it a softer edge.

Matching Maintenance Needs

The look of the fence (i.e. plant type) also depends on the neighborhood. Do you live in a community that’s more formal in appearance, or a beach town along County Highway 38, which is more informal? The more formal your community, regular trimming/pruning may be more of a necessity.

Best Plants For A Natural Privacy Fence

for a softer edge, supplement your natural privacy fence plantings with a planting bed

The plant recommendations depend on the look you want. Many of our clients use bushes or shrubs for a privacy fence. Here are some of the popular privacy bushes:

  • Podocarpus
  • Japanese Yew
  • Vibernum
  • Wax Myrtle
  • Ligustrum
  • Yaopon Holly
  • Oleander

Some homeowners with two story houses prefer to plant trees along the property line to provide privacy from those looking out from the second floor of the neighbor’s house. Some popular trees to consider for this purpose are:

  • Magnolia
  • Oak
  • Pine trees
  • Olive trees
  • Sky Pencil Holly

GreenEarth Can Help You Install The Best Natural Privacy Fence

At GreenEarth, we know it’s important to enjoy your yard without feeling that the whole world (or at least the neighbors) are intruding. We can talk with you about your privacy concerns and recommend the right solution for your landscaping. We’ll talk with you about aesthetic and cost consideration as well as maintenance.

If you’d like a consultation or want to know what we can do to help you, give us a call at our Panama City Beach office at (850) 236-1959, or call our Santa Rosa Beach office at (850) 267-0010 to set up an appointment. You can also fill out the online form on our website to schedule a consultation.

free landscape planning guide from GreenEarth

Image: Oleander