In search of lost privacy… with nosy neighbors

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Imagine this. You’re outside, you’re getting comfortable. A glass of wine within reach… You just started rereading your favorite book. And then, suddenly, you hear a high-pitched voice. You try not to listen. You’re focused on your book. But something seeps in. The high-pitched voice belongs to your neighbor’s son. And it seeps in because he’s talking about every move you make. Chatting. Like a kid would do in a zoo. “Look mum, the panda just sat down. What is she doing? Oh, she’s looking around. Oh look, she’s getting up! Where would she go? Oh cool, she’s playing with the other animals! Where is she going now? Oh… too bad, she went inside.”
Hints don’t work. Nasty looks don’t work. Now what?

You need a freaking screen!!!

Have you seen how expensive that is? There’s got to be something you can DIY.

Solution: a fence, made out of willow branches.

Where to get willow branches? Well of course! www! Local second hand sites are ideal. We’ve found someone about 20 minutes from our place (4euro)and negotiated for a bit, so we got the branches for 15 euro.
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We borrowed the car and the equipment (of course) (Free!) I think we did buy the owner a beer (1 euro). That means the total cost of the fence was 20 euro. It brought us loads of fun building it, and heaps of privacy.

Our dogs loved the holes we made to start off the fence (about 50 cm deep)…
TIP: make the fence as quickly as possible. Willows can start growing again! A real live fence!
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You simply take the sturdiest branches, strip the smaller twigs, and put them in the holes you made.
You can make the fence as large as you want. We just wanted to block certain windows so we needed a 5 meter one!
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Then you simply start weaving in the smaller branches.
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We didn’t want to weave for hours on end, so we just took it easy. Every time one of us had some time, we wove in a couple more branches.
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Finally! Dinner sans public! … F*ck. Not quite.

But we didn’t have any more room to keep weaving! Solution? I just jammed in a couple more thick branches  and kept going. Luckily, that didn’t cause any problems.
And low and behold, after a few days, the fence was born!
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We had some branches left, and the dogs kept ruining our shrubs, so I decided to make another fence:

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A couple of months later… both still standing! And you can even grow things on it…

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Yay!
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2 thoughts on “In search of lost privacy… with nosy neighbors”

    1. Thanks Meredith! Especially in Summer, this fence makes all the difference so I’m really glad we tried it. (And it even survived a heavy storm so it’s quite sturdy as well). I think you’re right about our neighbors- they’re really nice enough people, but I prefer to have some peace and quiet when I’m at home.

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