<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=379808255917134&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Outdoor Living Design: 6 Modern Outdoor Elements to Set Your Next Project Apart

Read more


Privacy on your own property is important to you. For that reason, you might have recently added a fence (or have been considering adding one). A fence can be a game-changer when it comes to enjoying your Northern Virginia yard to the fullest.

That being said, knowing how to add landscaping along a fence line is important. A fence by itself can be pretty boring.

In this article, we’ll share some ideas for landscaping along a fence, including the best plants to consider as well as some general advice on how to make it look its best. A key goal of adding plants along a fence is to soften the look of this addition. But it also adds interest to an otherwise “blank wall.”

The right plants can also go a long way in contributing to your private oasis.

How Do You Landscape Around a Fence?

Landscaping along a fence can make a huge difference in adding beauty to your yard. The truth is, even an attractive fence is not as attractive as beautiful plant material.

landscape planting beds along a fence in a small backyard

Here in Northern Virginia, where many homeowners have small backyards that are right on top of each other, vinyl privacy fencing is a popular choice. But this is essentially a big blank wall.

For that reason, a lot of homeowners want to add color when landscaping along a fence line. This can go a long way in boosting the aesthetic appeal.

Of course, it’s not just color that can make a difference but also texture and overall interest. Using different plants can make a big impact.

As far as landscaping along fence ideas, we also recommend thinking about how your plant material is arranged. Just like we’d suggest in a plant bed in front of your home, landscaping in front of a fence can have a layered look. You don’t necessarily just want a single row of plants.

For an attractive and more natural look keep short plants in the front while layered medium-sized and tall plants or shrubs in the back. Think about using a lot of variety for the most possible appeal.

What Should I Plant Next to My Fence?

As far as what to plant, there are a lot of different plants that can work alongside and near a fence. Often, it boils down to your style preferences and overall objective.


To help you get some ideas, we’ve rounded up a list of our favorite plants to use alongside a fence. This list is just to keep you brainstorming. We may also come up with other ideas that are best suited to your property.

Deciduous Plants to Use Along a Fence

Here are some ideas of deciduous plants that we like using along a fence. These plants perform well in our planting zone.

  • Hydrangea: There are varieties of this beautifully blooming plant that can thrive in full sun as well as others that prefer partial shade. This gives you a lot of flexibility to use this plant along a fence, depending on what else is going on in your yard.
  • Knock Out Roses: Roses have gotten a reputation for being tough to grow, but that’s not the case for the Knock Out variety. This is the lowest maintenance option and it works great to add color along a fence.
  • Lilac: We frequently use either the Dwarf Korean variety option as well as some of the larger common varieties. This is a great plant to use as a border. In fact, even if you don’t have a fence and are looking for border plants to create a natural boundary, this plant makes a good pick.
  • Viburnum: There are many variety choices of Viburnum available in a range of sizes. Viburnum is sometimes called a “living fence” because it can create privacy screening thanks to being thick-growing.
  • Buddleia: These flowering shrubs produce colorful flowers in late summer and fall. A key consideration when thinking about landscaping along fence ideas is having something in bloom at different times of the year. Often there’s a lot in bloom in the early spring and summer. But you don’t want to forget about the season heading into the fall.
  • Spirea: These flowering shrubs are well-loved for their profuse blooms. They are also a low-maintenance choice.

Evergreen Shrubs to Use Along a Fence

Evergreen shrubs make a great choice for landscaping along a fence line. You can expect year-round color and appeal from these plant choices.

red flowering azalea closeup

Here are some ideas for what will work well in our planting zone.

  • Gardenia: This flowering shrub is generally drought tolerant and low maintenance. It also has an appealing fragrance.
  • Azaleas: This is a very popular plant choice and has varieties that work in both the full sun as well as in shade conditions. Just be careful that you prune at the right time. Pruning a flowering shrub like an azalea at the wrong time could mean you prevent it from blooming.
  • Abelia: This ornamental shrub is semi-evergreen but makes a great compact choice. It is both tough and beautiful.
  • Nandina: We like varieties like 'Obsession' and 'Sienna Sunrise' to add a pop of foliage color along a fence.
  • Cryptomeria: This evergreen makes a good privacy plant on its own. But it also works alongside a fence to help further screen out any unwanted views and add privacy to your yard. It does range in size depending on what you’re looking for.

Evergreen Plants to Create a Hedge

If there are areas of your property where you still need privacy screening either because you don’t have that area fenced-in, or perhaps you have a fence without solid panels (like an aluminum fence or a picket fence), then you might want to consider hedges.

landscape design paver patio retaining wall patio furniture border planting fence rood residence 2

Hedges create the look of a living wall and offer privacy screening in front of a fence or even by themselves.

Some evergreen hedges that we like include the following.

  • Arborvitae: Varieties like 'Emerald Green' or 'Green Giant' can be used for different applications and different property sizes.
  • Skip Laurel: This is a low-maintenance choice that is fast-growing and hardy.
  • 'Silver King' Euonymus: This versatile evergreen shrub will contribute beautiful fall color and works great for privacy screening. The Silver King variety features silvery white edges.
  • Burford Holly: This dense evergreen shrub works well as a privacy hedge because of its dense growth. It can grow in partial shade to full sun and is generally disease and drought resistant.
  • 'Emerald Colonnade' Holly: This versatile holly grows in a pyramid shape for great privacy screening. It has dense and bright green foliage.
  • Boxwood: The Boxwood is undoubtedly a Northern Virginia favorite. We like varieties like 'Dee Runk' and 'Wintergreen,' which offer different shape and sizing options.

More Landscaping Along Fence Ideas with the Right Landscape Design in Northern VA

As we said from the start, these are just some ideas to get you brainstorming about how to landscape around a fence.

Since every property and every homeowner is unique, you’ll want to work with a landscape professional who comes up with a custom plan for your home.

landscape designer and customer inspecting a backyard landscape

On a smaller property, sometimes homeowners use a combination of fencing and natural privacy screening solutions to achieve the optimal look. For instance, rather than having the entire yard fenced in, you might only have vinyl screening on one side and use privacy plants for the rest.

There are many combinations of ideas and solutions that can work best for you. There is not a one-size-fits all option.

The key is to work with a landscaper who will create the best landscape design. That means a landscaper who puts strategic thought and planning into their designs.

At Kingstowne Lawn & Landscape, we will help come up with the right ideas for your property. Whether it’s for landscaping along a fence line, creating a privacy hedge, or any other objective, we’re here to help.

With our guidance, you’ll be able to implement the best privacy backyard landscaping ideas for your property. Soon you can have the peace of mind that you’ll finally have the privacy you desire.

If you’d like some guidance when it comes to creating privacy in your backyard, request a consultation, get your customized plan, and relax while we transform your space into something you can fully (and privately) enjoy.

 

Request a Landscape Consultation

Krisjan Berzins - Owner, CEO

Since 1997, Krisjan has led the Kingstowne team with one simple philosophy, treat every customer like the “only” customer. His passionate pursuit of impeccable customer service has resulted in 24 successful years and a thriving company with over 85 employees, helping thousands of homeowners in the Alexandria, Arlington, and Springfield, VA area get what they want -- a worry-free property they can be proud of.