About 15 years ago my wife and I bought a couple of acres out here in the country. It was a beautiful rural area with lots of trees. We built a small house on our property, and have tried to maintain as much natural vegetation as possible.
Over the years, the properties around us have logged off the majority of their trees and our privacy decreased with each development. Now they are building a 4280 sq/ft million dollar eyesore on the hillside just across the road from us. With over 5 acres to build on, they naturally had to choose a house site that is less than 100 feet from our own. To make matters worse we are on a hillside, so their two story mansion up on the hill feels like a giant watchtower looking down over our house and yard.
My wife and I built our home with our own two hands and have planned and invested a lot for our future here. We fully expect to live out our remaining days here. Moving is not an option. But, we also don't like the feeling of our neighbors staring down on everything we do.
My first thought was to build a fence, but because of the slope of the property a standard 6' tall fence would still be lower than the road, and far below the neighboring house. I haven't checked to see how high a fence would be needed to shield us from the new house, but a taller fence would need some kind of attractive design that doesn't look worse than the house we're trying to hide. I'd guess we would have to go 8-10 feet, at least, to be of any real value.
I'd prefer a natural border, but plants take a lot time to grow. Last summer I planted a row of Thuja Green Giant trees along the hillside, hoping to gain a little privacy from the road (and now the new house). They're "supposed" to grow 2-3 feet a year, but we live in a fairly shady area, so I'm not expecting anywhere near that kind of growth. Best case, it could still be 5-10 years before the trees are tall enough to provide any real privacy.
So I'm interested in any ideas others might have to regain our privacy. Links to tall fence designs would be appreciated.