A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Arbs and Dogs

Here are the photos I promised yesterday. First, to refresh your memory, the before picture:


Same view from our family room, after:

Another view from ground level:

We spaced the Arborvitae (again, the “arbs” as they were called at the nursery) 30″ apart. They will eventually form a privacy hedge and will grow 8-10 feet.

The dogwoods (or “dogs” as I’m assuming those cool nursery dudes are calling them) are spaced about 4 feet apart. These will eventually form a thicket, but they’ll only grow about three feet. To the right of the “dogs” and in front of the garage (see middle photo) we’ll be planting an American Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), which is the native variety of elderberry. That has some nice-looking clusters of white flowers and should grow about 10-feet wide and 10-feet tall.

For the rest of the area, we’re thinking of something involving native grasses and maybe a small herb garden. We may start tearing up the sod in other parts of the yard as early as this weekend to start making way for the prairie, more shrubs for privacy screens and eventually a patio. The neighbors who live in our previous house may be getting rid of the flagstone patio that we spent a back-breaking week building many years ago, so we offered to take it off their hands. We’re hoping they decide to do it, although we’re not looking forward to moving it. It would be worth it though, so fingers crossed.


  1. Jenni on April 17, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    I really like the ‘arbs’.
    Our neighbors have planted some shrubs on the property line. I have been thinking about planting some of the arbs there. ( on our side a couple of feet of course) They will grow taller and crowd out the other shrubs.

  2. Sandy on April 17, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Looks SO nice!

  3. denise on April 18, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Thanks guys! Jenni—it’s a slippery slope, isn’t it? You don’t want to be a jerk, but you’d hope people would be a little more thoughtful and considerate. That’s why I think these arbs are a great solution for a natural privacy fence too. Good luck!

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