Adding a touch of privacy to your landscaping can make the difference between enjoying your backyard and feeling on public display. Outdoor living spaces are popular features for most homeowners, but rising real estate prices have made houses with large yards less affordable for some. As the demand for outdoor spaces grows and large houses occupy small lots, backyard privacy is at a premium.
There are myriad ways to add privacy in the landscape, from putting in perimeter plantings to building fences, stone walls, or garden structures.
Here are a few landscaping ideas for privacy
Fences & Walls
A 6-foot solid board fence is the quickest way to add year-round screening. It may also be the best solution in a side yard, since fences have a smaller footprint than plantings.
Planting easy-care shrubs along your fence can accomplish three things. Their shapes and textures can soften the visual impact of a solid fence for viewers on both sides. Shrubs also soften the reflected-light glare produced by long expanses of glossy vinyl or white-painted fence or brighten an extended run of dark or graying wood. If height limits for hedges are higher than for fences, you may be able to extend privacy with a screen of plantings.
Planting deciduous shade trees is a good way to obscure a neighbor’s view from a second-story window. Typically, they grow from 25-feet to 60-feet high, depending on the species. When planted near a property line, their large canopies provide privacy, as well as good shade in hot summer months. Deciduous plants usually lose their foliage in late fall and winter. During these months, the trees’ bare branches allow the sun to shine brightly into the house for added warmth. Evergreen plants will act as a buffer and barrier and provide maximum privacy for your backyard landscape design year-round.
Movable screens provide an easy, affordable solution for privacy around patios, decks, porches, outdoor kitchen areas and pavilions. Screens can be designed and built in a variety of materials, patterns and colors to enhance any type of backyard setting. Solid screens will provide maximum privacy, as well as protection from sun, rain, wind and noise. Open screens will provide light and ventilation for overcast and hot days.
Even if you’re not literally seeing eye to eye with the neighbors, you might still be close enough to hear their conversation. Or you may be bothered by intrusive traffic noise or buzzing AC compressors. In such cases, adding a fountain to your privacy plan can mask unwanted sounds with pleasant white noise.
A good landscaping plan will bring privacy to your backyard without making you feel fenced in and isolated from nature.