I discovered an expansive view of the valley from my clients yard that must have been hidden for over 20 years!
I had a design epiphany in my client Ronda’s backyard that led to my discovering a gorgeous view from her yard that no one knew was there!
It came to me while I was conducting a routine site analysis of her backyard looking for problems that had to be resolved in the new landscape design.
Ronda had a stately, green Privet hedge running along the back of her yard that was a monument to privacy with its thick, dense foliage.
The hedge reached over 12 feet tall and screened a view of the neighbor’s house.
Ronda mentioned to me how much she liked her hedge and wanted to keep it in the future landscape.
I liked it too but there was something about it the hedge that bothered me!
Walking through the yard, there was a feeling of total enclosure, almost to a fault.
Towering green walls from the Privet restricted the view to within the confines of the property line.
Taking note of this, something else occurred to me which got me thinking…
Why Doesn’t This Yard Have a View?
Ronda’s house sits along a very steep street and yet there was no “hilltop view” from her yard!
Her neighbors enjoyed beautiful views of the San Fernando Valley.
Where was Ronda’s view?
Based on the location of the hedge on the property, I guessed that there was a “big sky” view directly behind it.
Armed with my pruners, I approached the hedge with the anticipation of unearthing hidden treasure, but I hesitated.
I didn’t want to cut into the foliage because if I disfigured the Privet and found nothing but the site of her neighbors side yard, Ronda would be upset.
I untangled some branches and reached in with the goal of spreading the branches apart with my hands so that I could see what was behind them.
A wayward branch smacked me on the forehead and gave me a nasty scratch.
Undeterred, I wedged my body deeper into the hedge to pry open the branches and met an army of ants and bugs that resented my intrusion.
At this point, I was hell-bent on finding a view!
The privet hedge was 6 feet deep and densely branched!
I finally saw a small beam of light.
My hands were cramping as I tried to keep a small view tunnel open, so I let go.
At this point, I was confident that there was a big sky view beyond the hedge.
My only option in confirming my hunch was to cut through the branches and open a port-hole.
Ronda wasn’t home so I couldn’t ask for permission.
“What the heck,” I thought, “Let her get angry, she’s gonna love her new view!”
I tore into the hedge with abandon.
A new lounge area I designed to take in the views
Eureka, before me was a the big sky view layered with smog.
Welcome to the Valley!
What a beautiful sight!
I couldn’t wait for Ronda to get home so that I could show off the big hole in her hedge that revealed a “million dollar view!”
The look on Ronda’s face when she saw the ravaged Privet was not an encouraging one.
She looked puzzled.
“You have a view behind your hedge Ronda, an extended view!” I emphasized.
I smiled enthusiastically, hoping my joy would spread to her face too.
Ronda poked her head through the porthole and emerged exclaiming, (although it sounded more like questioning.)
“I have a view? I have a view? Since when did I have a view?
“Since now,” I proudly replied.
I reached for my pruners and began to cut more branches without asking permission.
As each branch fell, the sky grew larger and so did the smile on Ronda’s face.
What’s not to smile about?
Her enjoyment of her yard now extends beyond the confines of the old Privet hedge!
Is there an overgrown hedge or tree in the way of your borrowed scenery?
Don’t be afraid to open up your yard.
You may trade-off a little privacy but you will gain the world!
Do you like my gardening and landscaping tips and suggestions?
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Thank you so much for visiting and for your compliment. Do you have a garden that you enjoy?
Shirley that was a really great discovery! her yard looks so much cleaner now and she has more usable space. Very nice job!-Pamela Williams
Thanks for your nice compliment. As designers, we sometimes have to go out on a limb to do the best job! Please visit again!
Congratulations! This is the best example of what good designers bring to a job I’ve ever heard.
THINKING OUT OF THE BOX… and in this case, literally!
Thanks Cindee. I like your mirror idea and it sounds like you have given your garden a lot of thought. I’ll go check out your blog now. Thanks for visiting.
That is awesome! I have a privet hedge in my yard too. I keep it well pruned and I enjoy the windbreak it makes! I hung a mirrored window frame in the hedge to reflect some light and it did add some interest. I also have an arch walk through to get to the other side. Hedges take a lot of work. If you just leave them grow they will take over the place. I like what you did with Rhondas landscape. (-:
Nice to see you! Thank you. Landscape and garden design are so exciting to me. I just can’t wait to get my hands on people’s yards!
What you did afterwards is amazing. She’s got a wonderful view and didn’t know it till you did inventory. Sorry you got scratched up but this is sure a fine piece for your portfolio. I took my privet out cause it just looked like a bunch of mess. Congrats on taking on the challenge and ending up with lots more than your client thougth possible.
Hi Lin and Robin. The best part of the discovery Lin, was that my client didn’t know it was there! She bought the house a few years ago and the hedge was put in by the original owners. Yes, views do increase the value of homes, as do well landscaped gardens and outdoor living areas.
It’s amazing what people sometimes stop seeing or get used to…often takes another set of trained eyes to discover the gold! Discovering that view added to her home’s re-sale value no wonder she was thrilled. You more than earned your salary on that job.
I wish I had her hedge to hide my view! LOL Stinking neighborhood playground
is my view, but I’m working to change that.
She is Nancy. Thanks for your comment. Maybe it will encourage others to go snooping around their hedges!
Brilliant! I’m sure your client was thrilled.