Outdoor Spaces / plants/gardening

Sunny Privacy Garden with Southern Living Plants

In this post, I share my plans and dreams for our sunny backyard. We wanted to create a private oasis without a large privacy fence and let the lack of shade work in our favor.

One of the reasons we decided to build our downsized home instead of renovating a smaller, existing home was the opportunity to build on this lot. It’s not big, but the view of the ridge and the lake below made it feel like it was a worthy move. If we were going to have a small yard, we wanted to make the most of it. Adding a border garden on each side of the yard seemed like the perfect solution. We never tire of the amazing sunsets that happen here year-round and wanted to keep that fully open.

Once construction was complete, we opted for an iron fence, instead of a large, wooden privacy fence. I think the iron fence is incredibly beautiful and charming, but the addition of a privacy hedge and layered shrubs was definitely needed to create the sanctuary we desired for years to come.

I had the opportunity to partner with the Southern Living Plants again to make this dream come to life. We previously have planned a hillside garden, a shaded garden, and a lovely front yard landscape with Southern Living Plant Collection. Each of those gardens, with plans are linked.

This post is sponsored by Southern Living Plants. All thoughts, opinions and images are my own.

Combing through their vast selection of quality plants online, I was able to find the perfect evergreen plants that will thrive in our sunny backyard.

The main goal in planning was focused on the area along the fence and the window of the main bedroom.

Drawing up a Plan

I used an app called CamToPlan to generate the measurements and then took a screen shot. It’s free, but to export an image there is a fee.

Creating Privacy Along the Fence

The first layer, closest to the fence will be the largest shrub, the Coppertop™ Sweet Viburnum. They grow from 8-10 feet tall and 5-6 feet wide and of course thrive in full sun. They are an easy-going plant, with fragrant leaves and small, clustering white flowers in the spring.

Planting shrubs with enough room to grow to their full size is very important.

While it can be tempting to plant shrubs closer together for the size they are now, think of proper spacing as an investment in time. If creating layers of hedge plantings, offset each plant so that they have plenty of room to reach their full potential.

The second layer, the Snow October Magic® Camellias, will bloom in the fall and will also grow to be quite large, with dark evergreen leaves in this sunny location. Between 5-6 feet tall and 5-6 feet wide.

The fragrant blooms will feature a unique, double-frilled white flower with pink tips. I can’t wait to see them bloom!

I always aspire to create an undulating garden with soft curves. I just love the softness it brings to a hard property line.

To fill out the curve on this side, I added one of my absolute favorite blooming, workhorse of a shrub, the Emerald Snow Semi-Dwarf Loropetalum.

The blooms in the spring are so profuse, they look like they are covered in snow. They also bloom again in the fall. The softness of the green leaves and the slightly droopy branch structure contrasts the upright nature of the camellias and the viburnum.

Image from the Southern Living Plant Collection.

Blooming along the Window

The window plantings along the house are shaded until the sun comes over in the later afternoon. I thought it would be the perfect place to bring in some White Wedding® Hydrangeas.

This dramatic hydrangea will blossom with large, lacy white blooms, perfect for cutting and adorning your home inside too.

I planted this variety in my previous shade garden with great results too!

While the hydrangeas will die back in the winter, more of the Emerald Snow Loropetalums were added here will keep this area looking green and lovely.

Flanking the side of the patio and the walkway to the fence, I added an upright variety of gardenias. The Diamond Spire™ Gardenia features the sensational fragrance gardenias that are appreciated for in gardens in a taller, more cylinder shape. I love the adorable shape of the flower too.

I look forward to the summer breezes that send my favorite floral scent to the seating area of the porch.

Privacy Fencing

On the opposite side of the yard, we repeated a few of the same plantings. The main hedge will be created with the Coppertop Viburnum. And just as before the curve of the garden is filled in with the Snow Dwarf Lorropedlum.

While I am completely ecstatic with the way this sunny privacy garden is shaping up, do you want to know what my favorite part is?

Opening my bedroom curtains every morning to the prolific blooms of the White Wedding hydrangeas. They thrived from the moment they were planted. While I know they will fade when the cold weather finally hits here in Alabama, I will watch in eager anticipation for them to burst back to life every spring!

Planting this garden in the early fall has been the ideal season. While they required twice-daily watering until the heat passed after the first two weeks, they have adjusted very well to their new home.

Check out the to find the local nurseries in your area that feature their varieties. You won’t be disappointed!

This post was sponsored by Southern Living Plants. All thoughts, images and advice is my own.

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