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HOMEWISE Real Estate Tips and Advice Greening Your Way to Privacy Is your backyard an open space you feel that’s too exposed and offers no sense of privacy or seclusion. A fence isn’t the only solution. In many cases, planting tall grass or dense foliage can create an enclosed atmosphere while beautifying your property. Here are some suggestions from the home improvement website Houzz. If you’re only seeking summer screening, tall grasseses such as maiden grass can create a semi-transparent screen that achieves both privacy and allows sunlight. One expert recommends grasses like “Karl Foerster” or “Overdam” that hold their structure. Double planting can create an effective screening hedge. For a more wall-like screening, landscape professionals recommend pleached trees, which are trained to grow in a wall-like form and create extra height beyond a fence line for higher buildings. They © ADOBE STOCK REAL ESTATE 101 The Gated Home Are you interested in adding a gate as a “door” to your landscaped home? Gates create both privacy and a sense of mystery as a design feature. Before you begin, be sure to consult a licensed landscape contractor or fencing contractor for both ideas and permits. For more information on installing a gate on your property, visit bit.ly/3bMtVrd. have the advantage of also providing a pleasing solution for your neighbors while creating a formal feel. Experts recommend European hornbeam, European beech and, for an interwoven framework that provides seasonal variety, the deciduous species. For true evergreen screening, landscape pros turn to bamboo but caution this fast-growing plant can become invasive and travel horizontally. If you choose bamboo, seek a landscaper to plant in a strong metal trough above ground level and fertilize regularly to keep the plant from creeping. If you have bare fencing, many choose climbing plants to create screening and fill in blank spots. Wooden slatted structure are the most cost-effective fence for climbing, experts say, but slatted trellis panels are ideal and allow climbers to weave in and out without wiring. An inexpensive choice is a simple mesh fence that climbers can wind their way around. Evergreen is key if you need year-round cover. Looking for instant privacy, no growth period required? Landscapers turn to large pots with specimen shrubs or build troughs to plant an instant, mature hedge. These have the advantage of being able to position them around your patio to define private spaces. There are many other ways to create privacy screening through decorative fencing and greenery, including pergolas, trellises and to create living, breathing enclosed areas. Visit your local home improvement store or consult a local landscaping firm to describe your property for recommendations on the best solutions.