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Northeast Gardening: Creating a Garden Hideaway

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Longing for a secluded hideaway? Here are some ideas to help you make your Northeast garden a private oasis.

Tall grasses and lawn

By Jane Milliman

ancient yew hedge

Privacy is one of a garden’s most sought-after features, but it can be tricky to create without spending a fortune. If you don’t have a century-old yew hedge already in place, where do you start?

Some of the best places to look for inspiration are cities and villages, where privacy is at a premium. Fencing an outer corner is a good method of keeping mail carriers and neighborhood kids from cutting across and trampling your garden or lawn.

black wrought-iron fence

These city gardeners made clever use of two small sections of iron fencing to send the message: “Don’t walk here.” Clearly, this bit of fence doesn’t keep anyone out, but it does create a psychological barrier.

grasses used as a screen

Tall, fast-growing grasses can create a dense screen in just a season or two. This suburban gardener has layered various grasses in such a way that the house and inner garden — which are quite close by — can’t be seen from the street.

staggered evergreens

When I was a kid, I learned about baffling from my grandfather. Outside his chain-link pool yard fence, he planted three sections of yew hedge. The center stood a few feet in front of the left and right, and the edges overlapped a bit. From the approach it looked like one long row, but you could slip between the layers to reach the gate, if you knew it was there. Use a similar method to quickly create a dense look by staggering your shrub placement, such as the way these dwarf Alberta spruces line up.

curvy garden with golden yellow flowers

Another way to obstruct a view — and add a little intrigue — is to design a garden using curves. This city gardener has staged plants around a curvy path so you can’t quite see what’s around the corner.

fence with plants

If you want to keep people out with a privacy fence, there’s no reason why it has to be a large expanse of boring wood. Soften its look with plants. A side benefit: You get extra gardening space, as with this hanging herb garden, right.

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