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Homeowner urged to reconsider after eyeing fast-growing plant for landscape privacy: 'It will be out of control the moment you take an eye off it'

"It will take up your whole garden."

"It will take up your whole garden."

Photo Credit: iStock

An old saying goes, "Good fences make good neighbors," meaning that a little privacy goes a long way when you are living next to someone. But instead of fences, many homeowners are taking a more natural approach and considering plants to add a more attractive barrier between neighboring homes. 

One Redditor posted a question to r/landscaping asking, "Need to plant something fast growing for privacy. Is English Laurel a mistake?"

The homeowner shared photos of plants growing between two homes and commented that they can always see directly into each other's kitchens.

Photo Credit: Reddit

"I don't really like arborvitae unless it's absolutely the only real option, just looks cheap to me," wrote the homeowner. "Is the English laurel any better? Is it going to be a ton of maintenance? I know they grow quick and tall. What would you recommend if not those?"

The homeowner lives in the Seattle area and said that many English laurels thrive in the neighborhood. 

Beyond just providing privacy, growing plants around your home can help you save money on costly fencing supplies, enable you to grow your own food, and reconnect with nature right outside your door. Choosing a natural lawn for landscaping, meanwhile, is an excellent way to conserve water, reduce maintenance time, and aid local pollinators.  

Fortunately, fellow Reddit users had many suggestions for the homeowner and shared various ideas in the comments. 

"Anything that will grow that fast won't stop when it gets to your preferred size," one Redditor wrote. "It will be out of control the moment you take an eye off it. It will end up butchered and ugly as you hack off its limbs to control it."

"It will take up your whole garden," another Redditor agreed. "How about sky holly? It would fit in the area without taking over the sidewalk."

Southern magnolia was also an idea to plant instead. Another suggestion was to put up a frame with fence posts and a galvanized espalier wire system. 

"You can grow sweet peas up it (annuals), thunbergia /black-eyed susan (annual), campsis, clematis, and jasmine polyanthum/jasmine trachleospurmum," the commenter explained. "They will give you a screen, which will do the job and not block out light to your house."

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