Living Privacy Fence Ideas | Fast-Growing & Beautiful [Images]

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Homeowners plant trees and hedges for a variety of reasons—they provide oxygen, attract wildlife and add to a property’s aesthetics. But many plants also have a variety of practical applications, including “green screens” that can act as windbreaks and enhance privacy, whether it’s from neighbours or the hustle and bustle of street traffic.

Here are some inspirational living privacy fence ideas.

Living Privacy Fence Towering Hedge

What a wonderfully vibrant welcome to this elegant home. This dense, towering hedge creates the perfect screening backdrop from neighbouring properties. Boxwood or buxus hedges are one of the popular types of hedge plants and are ideal for this type of living privacy fence. They are a favourite in traditional gardens as they are evergreen and add a formal twist.

Featuring small glossy green leaves, they are relatively slow growing, but have the ability to withstand frequent clipping. As this garden illustrates, they can also be used to create elaborate topiary shapes that are a feature in their own right.

Living Privacy Fence Towering Hedge Sculpted Archway

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The sculptured archway design that has been fashioned in this living privacy fence has a traditional, old fashioned feel. It creates a solid yet non-obtrusive screen across this home’s entire entrance, and the smatterings of white blooms soften the effect. Mock orange (Murraya paniculata) would be an ideal choice for this fence, as it has dark green foliage and produces an abundance of orange-blossom-scented flowers in spring and summer. Lilly Pilly (Syzgium smithii) is another great option, as it will grow up to five metres tall, and produces white-cream flowers from October to March.

Living Privacy Fence Photinia Hedge

Photinia hedge. Image from Leafland

Part of the rose family, photinias embrace a large family of over 60 species of evergreen trees and shrubs. Its name owes its origins to the Greek word “photeinos” which means “shiny”, which is an apt description of its beautiful glossy leaves.

This plant has become an popular privacy fence option in Australian gardens due to its spectacular, bright red new growth foliage and highly effective hedging qualities. Photinias have a reputation for being hardy and easy-care and will tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. In mid to late spring they produce large numbers of small white flowers and white apple-shaped red fruit that birds adore.

Living Privacy Fence Tropical Lush Hedge

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This living wall privacy fence adds a tropical lushness and a definite wow factor to this home’s entranceway (Mr Beagle thinks so too). A myriad of colour, texture and shape combine to form what can only be described as a mini-jungle of “living art”. Here the owner has used a combination of ferns, coral bells, elephant ears, bromeliads and spider plants. Trailing, cascading vines have also been added — species to consider include Rosary Vines, Chain of Hearts and String of Pearls.

Another gardening tip for this type of screening is to add Tillandsias. Known as “air plants”, they don’t need soil to survive as they draw water and nutrients from their external environment. Easy.

Living Privacy Fence Thuja Trees

Hedge of Thuja trees

Exuding a refined formal quality, this screening hedge towers proudly along the edge of what we would imagine would be an equally impressive property. Thuja trees have been used to great effect here – their bright green horizontal branchlets create a compact pyramidal shape, and their undersides are typically grey and slightly scented. They respond well to pruning and will tolerate most soils. The Upright Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata “Fastigiata”) is worth considering as it is a relatively fast grower and also an ideal windbreak.

Living Privacy Fence Boxwood Hedge

Boxwood hedge

Another lovely example of a boxwood or bruxus hedge, this is a smaller variety that has the ability to withstand frequent clipping and shaping. Dense and vibrant, here it is used for screening, but also as a lush bright green border for the display of contrasting flowering colour. Some dwarf varieties to consider include Sprinter (Buxus microphylla), a Japanese boxwood that grows quickly and is very hardy in cold winters, Northstar (Buxus sempervirens), which grows in a more rounded way, and Wedding Ring (Buxus microphylla var. koreana) that has variegated foliage with a glossy texture.

Living Privacy Fence Bamboo Hedge

Bamboo hedge. Image from Pinterest

Bamboo is a great choice for a fast-growing privacy fence as it is very bushy and dense. However, it’s important when choosing bamboo for hedges that it is a non-invasive clumping variety. This will mean your screening won’t spread out underground, but rather grow in the same spot, so it won’t affect the rest of your yard … or your neighbours’ either!

In terms of non-invasive bamboo species, Gracilis is the most popular variety. It is versatile, easily trimmable and grows to a height of around eight metres. It is also quick-growing (fully grown in 18 to 24 months), and once established, is low maintenance and drought-tolerant.

Living Privacy Fence Juniper Hedge

Juniper hedge. Image from Hello Hello Plants

Blue Arrow (Juniperus scopulorum) is a hardy, evergreen, narrow-growing conifer. A stunning accent plant, it has striking silver-blue-grey foliage and a neat, natural pole shape. Because it also forms a very tight hedge, it is ideal for privacy fences that have a narrow design. It’s also easy-care, as minimal clipping is required to keep it in shape. Blue Arrow performs best in well drained, fertile soil, full sun and will tolerate dry periods and windy areas, including coastal conditions. Perfect if you are lucky enough to live near the beach!

Living Privacy Fence Burning Brush Hedge

Burning bush hedge. Image from PlantingTree

In terms of living privacy fence ideas, if you’re after a scene-stealer, then look no further than the Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus). One of the most colourful hedges out there, its brilliant fire-red blooms will add character to any garden. And the best bit? Their flowers last right through from early autumn, and in spring and summer, this plant exudes a beautiful shade of green.

Requiring little maintenance, it is a fast-growing, drought-tolerant, medium-sized shrub that reaches around three metres in height and can be easily pruned back when required.

Living Privacy Fence Burning Mock Orange Wall

Image from Pinterest

What a divine way to up the aesthetic ante on a retaining wall. This garden’s owner clearly loves to express themselves creatively with the lively criss-cross effect of the vegetation. Mock orange (Murraya paniculata) would be the ideal choice for this living privacy fence as it is fast-growing, reaches up to four metres high, and has dense glossy-green growth that responds well to trimming and pruning in visually beautiful ways. This plant loves sunny positions and produces an abundance of orange-blossom-scented white flowers in spring and summer. So … a visual and sensory addition to any garden!

Living Privacy Fence Flame Vine Hedge

Image from Pinterest

Also known as the Flame Vine, the Orange Trumpet Creeper (Pyrostegia venusta) grows vigorously and is an evergreen tendril climber, so is ideal for living privacy fences. It’s also ideal for hiding not-so-attractive fences and retaining walls as its foliage is dense and cascading. Its leaves are glossy green and its stems are streaked with purple. But its number one feature is unmissable. Masses of stunning, vibrant flowers appear mid to late winter, and as the habit of the vine is pendulous, it creates the impression of a tumbling flaming orange waterfall.

Living Privacy Fence Sunflowers

A house with a white picket fence is a lifelong dream for some, but why not up the whimsical factor with a burst of floral sunshine? Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are symbols of adoration, longevity and loyalty, and are renowned as being “happy” flowers. And who wouldn’t smile at this joyous privacy fence? Sunflowers can be grown in all climate zones across Australia, and there are a variety of species to choose from, including those that can grow up to two metres tall. However, their golden yellow faces are not only bursts of positivity for gardeners — birds and bees love them as well!


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