Front Yard Privacy Plants
(Aurora, Co 80013)
Should front yard privacy plants be used here?
I bought a tract home in a subdivision in 1973 and after years of planting trees shrubs etc decided every choice I've made was wrong. What I really always wanted was PRIVACY!!! I still don't have any. The city of Aurora, Co. said only open fencing in the front yard and no higher than 3 feet.
I can't stand my life in this neighborhood anymore. There are peering eyes looking at me every time I step out my front door! Is there something that the city can't GET ME on that I have overlooked, because I've been so indoctrinated by the "no hedge no fence to exceed 3 feet DEGREE"? For example, is there some other structure that I can pay to have built along the sidewalk in the front of my house that will let me "take back my front yard" and the city of Aurora can't come along and cite me for.
This is now a lower middle class neighborhood. There is no Homeowners Association, there are no Covenants etc. However if a meddlesome neighbor knows the the building code and complains to the city they will make you take it down. I'll pay for any structure at this point, pergola--deck---trelliswork-- something that will give me enough of a screen in the front yard that these neighbors won't run to their window and be "peeking" at me through their curtains every time I need to water or mow the lawn (I use a push mower, so it takes longer) or when I need to rake the lawn in the fall.
I planted 2 silver leaf maple and 1 red oak trees, so there are tons of leaves. Please give me your insight into this horrible dilemma. ANSWER
If the ordinance specifically says
"no fence or hedge over 3' high", what about creating a group of tall shrubs, but not as a hedge, for front yard privacy plants? They could be staggered and done in a loose rather way so they could not be construed as a "hedge".
You could use shrubs that would get to be about 6 or 7 feet tall. They could be taller if windows of tall houses are an issue. However, I would start out with them at about 3 feet (or a bit more) so that you don't cause any issues when they are planted.
So between the plants being within the acceptable size when planted and the fact that they are not a hedge (they would be planted in a staggered, natural configuration), perhaps you would be fine.
This would be a mixed planting of various shrubs. You could also add perennial flowers to the front (on the house side for YOUR enjoyment)to add color and additional interest, but this would be optional. I don't know the width of your front yard, but if wide enough you could add three groups of differing shrubs, at lest three of each kind. If your yard is narrow, then use all one kind and perhaps add a different one at one or both ends.
Here is a link to my page on Privacy Plants
Evergreen shrubs will provide the most privacy, although you might consider deciduous shrubs since you may not care about the privacy in the winter. You will have a wider selection and they will grow faster. You should be Plant Zone 5A. Make sure the plants you choose are hardy in this zone and also take into consideration your sun/shade conditions.
I don't feel a structure would work. You need the privacy from the street in, not at your house.
"Susan, what a pleasure it was to work with you. You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly! Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant. You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes. Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"