Bryan and Casey use a variety of quick-growing vines, including Silver Lace vine, to create privacy around their city home.
Bryan and his wife Casey purchased a home in the heart of Burlington, Vermont, five years ago. At the corner of two streets, the home has close neighbors and frequent pedestrian traffic. But in their short time there, the creative couple has managed to build a small backyard retreat by planting privacy vines in all the right places. Bryan took me on a tour all around the home to point out the different areas where they've carefully placed vines to serve a purpose in their city garden.
Planting Privacy Vines: Masking The Parking Lot
The couple’s small yard, which is planted with our low maintenance No Mow Grass Mix, is adjacent to the parking lot for the multi-unit home. The area in between was planted with Cedar trees for privacy. But Bryan says the trees didn’t do much for privacy and were shading their entire yard, which made it hard to grow anything. “We ended up cutting them down and left the trunks at about 4’ tall,” Bryan explains. “I had some stainless steel cable to reuse and strung it along [the trunks], thinking it would make a neat fence and something for the vines to grow on.” Last season they planted a variety of Silver Lace Vines and Clematis Vines in this area.
Silver Lace Vine provides privacy between the tenant parking lot and Bryan and Casey's yard.
Bryan wasn’t happy with the growth last season so in early spring he added trellises to help the vines grow. “This year the vines went crazy,” says Bryan. “... two years in, it’s actually a dense planting that we can’t see through. Throughout the season we get flowers at different points, so the Silver Lace tend to be more towards the later season and Clematis is a little earlier. They overlapped at one point and it was really nice.”
The bees were constantly abuzz on the Silver Lace Vine blooms in early October.
Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators have had no problem finding the vines in the middle of the city. Dozens of bees buzzed to and from the Silver Lace Vine during my visit in early October.
Planting Privacy Vines: Separation From The Neighbors
The couple’s first attempt at creating privacy between their yard and the neighbors’ involved planting shrubs. They planted Forsythia and Elderberry Johns but Bryan says they became impatient with how long it would take for the shrubs to actually create a screen between the two yards. “I had noticed the one Silver Lace that we had planted there years ago needed more room to grow,” says Bryan. “My neighbor had put up a grass screen on his side of the property line, so the Silver Lace has happily gone crazy right across that. We also have Clematis that was planted two years ago on this property line.”
Silver Lace Vine and a young Elderberry Johns grow along a grass screen.
A mixture of vines, shrubs, and self-seeded wildflowers from plantings years ago line the edge of the lawn on the neighbor’s side. The vines are thriving along the grass screening, even in their second season.