Privacy often feels like a luxury. Even on your own property. From small suburbs to big cities, home and business owners often find it difficult to find space to themselves. Whether it’s nosy neighbors or an unsightly building next door, there are plenty of reasons to want more privacy on your property. Luckily, the right landscaping solutions can help. The following expert tips and tricks can help transform your outdoor space into a private, secluded getaway. They can also add aesthetic value, enhance landscaping sustainability, and even prevent premise liability accidents on your property which can result in serious legal consequences, even wrongful death lawsuits.
Read on to learn how to add more yard privacy with attractive landscaping.
Whether it is to deter trespassers, get a since of safety, or keep the nosey neighbors from trying to get a glimpse into your life, here are a few landscaping ideas to create privacy for you and your property.
Privacy hedges are a great way to add a physical and visual barrier to your yard. The technique utilizes rows of tall, tightly branched plants that act as a fence around a property. Hedges are a popular landscape method as they provide natural beauty while simultaneously blocking peeping eyes and outside noise. A longtime favorite of landscape architects and design-oriented homeowners, they have also become common outside of businesses looking to prevent issues such as car accidents and slips and falls. Dense privacy hedges provide solid, year-round protection. Popular options include upright evergreens like laurels and arborvitaes or deciduous plants such as the colorful European beech. With regular maintenance and proper care, most varieties of privacy hedges grow tall and strong and can reach up to 20 feet tall.
Not only are trees great for the planet — they’re great for privacy, too. They can be used to form boundaries, create outdoor ‘rooms,’ and provide shelter from the sun and wind. Most of the best trees for privacy are also fast-growing and easy to maintain.
Popular privacy trees include the:
Landscapers can arrange trees in a variety of ways to create a sense of seclusion from neighbors and street traffic. Common methods of arranging trees for privacy include staggered rows, cluster planting, and mix-plant rows. Trees placed near a home or businesses’ windows can also provide additional privacy coverage while reducing summer cooling and winter heating costs.
For those who aren’t ready to (literally) put down roots, potted plants are a perfect solution. They’re great for renters, yards without good soil, and other situations where planting isn’t possible. Potted plants can be moved and re-arranged as needed, allowing for creative, adaptable privacy solutions. Almost any plant can be grown in a pot with the right container and care. Choosing the best potted plants for privacy depends on your needs and the limitations of your space. Potted upright, coniferous trees can make great visual privacy screens while also shielding out noise, wind, snow, and other elements. Evergreen shrubs and vines often thrive in pots and can provide a decorative feel. Some of the best privacy plants, such as certain variations of bamboo, are invasive to North America and best grown in pots to prevent their disruption of natural ecosystems.
Bamboo has become a go-to front yard and backyard privacy idea for good reason. The woody-stemmed, evergreen grasses are extremely sturdy and some of the fastest-growing plants in the world. Bamboo can serve as a privacy screen while still letting in natural light, creating a forest-like sense of outdoor living right in your own backyard. There are many different types of bamboo plants, each with distinct sizes and growth habits. It’s important that you choose the right variety to avoid any overspreading or overcrowding. Golden bamboo is a popular variety for privacy screens between properties because of its low maintenance and tall height. However, golden bamboo is classified as a running bamboo, meaning it spreads quickly and can be hard to contain. Check with your local extension service to see if it is invasive to your area before planting. Noninvasive alternatives include ornamental grasses such as the Northwind switchgrass or feather reed grass.
Lattice is a simple, inexpensive solution for adding privacy and foliage to your yard. The woven strips of wood come in a variety of patterns and sizes. You can purchase pre-made latticework privacy screens at many lawn and garden centers or build your own using simple tools and an electric drill. Latticework designed for privacy has 1-1/2 inch openings while garden-specific latticework has 3-inch openings for flowers, vines, shrubs, and other plants to hang and grow. While both can be effective, garden-space latticework provides less privacy until the plants flourish.
Some of the best plants for lattice include:
Plant-covered latticework sometimes referred to as living fences or a living wall, is a great way to display greenery while also creating privacy. Latticework can be positioned to form its own privacy screen or as an addition to wood fencing and other structures. The material is also a common addition to many patios, porches, and gardens.
Sometimes creating privacy inside your yard requires thinking outside of the box. While putting up a fence or waiting for plants to grow in might seem like your best option, there are plenty of other aesthetic solutions. Consider how focal points such as fountains, fire pits, art, and decorative walls can block outside sounds and prying eyes. Defined areas like small decks or patios are often usually easier to screen off than the entire yard, and you can use simple curtains or drop clothes to create a sense of out-of-sight seclusion.
For a truly secluded space in your own yard, you can create a natural nook by combining multiple landscape privacy elements. There are no rules or necessities – though shade, plants, and privacy should be a given – meaning you get to decide how you want your nook to look. This can be your space to read and think or just a place to get away from everything and everyone. Creating a nook is pretty straightforward. Find a space in your yard, add the features you enjoy, and bring in some plants. Maybe you position a coffee table among potted bamboo and an ivy-laden lattice. Maybe it’s a corner of the yard sectioned off by evergreen trees and potted shrubs. Whether it’s fully planned and executed, or just a place you put together quickly, a nook should feel like a space of your own. Just make sure it’s comfortable.
Privacy landscaping offers many benefits, from property security to trespasser deterrence, limiting outside visibility of your valuable p, and even protecting you from potential lawsuits. If you own property that confines with others, consider these landscaping ideas to create privacy or find other solutions to create more privacy for you, your family, and your domain.
26, August. “Latticework Privacy Screens.” Better Homes & Gardens, 26 Aug. 2015, www.bhg.com/home-improvement/outdoor/pergola-arbor-trellis/latticework-privacy-screens/.
Deb Wiley June 09, and Deb Wiley. “Bamboo Plants in the Garden.” Better Homes & Gardens, 9 June 2015, www.bhg.com/gardening/trees-shrubs-vines/shrubs/bamboo-plants-for-the-garden/.
Educator, Emelie Swackhamer Extension, and Jim Sellmer. “Using Trees and Shrubs for Privacy and Wind Screening.” Penn State Extension, 9 Mar. 2021, extension.psu.edu/using-trees-and-shrubs-for-privacy-and-wind-screening.
“Home Guides: SF Gate.” Home Guides | SF Gate, homeguides.sfgate.com/gardening/.
Houzz. “10 New Ideas For A Secret Garden Nook Designed Just For You.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 26 Apr. 2017, www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2017/04/25/10-new-ideas-for-a-secret-garden-nook-designed-just-for-you/?sh=5dec70ddd97c.
How to Plant a Privacy Hedge, www.arborday.org/trees/privacyhedge/.
Iannotti, Marie. “Discover 10 Excellent Evergreens Hedges to Increase Your Privacy.” The Spruce, www.thespruce.com/top-evergreens-for-privacy-hedges-1403336.
Kelly Roberson Updated August 05, et al. “Privacy Landscaping Ideas to Try In Your Yard.” Better Homes & Gardens, www.bhg.com/gardening/landscaping-projects/landscape-basics/landscaping-ideas-for-privacy/.
Landscaping Network. “Sustainable Landscaping Practices & Principles.” Landscaping Ideas, Landscaping Network, 16 Apr. 2019, www.landscapingnetwork.com/landscape-design/sustainable/principles.html.
Taylor, Lisa Hallett. “13 Landscaping Ideas for Creating Privacy in Your Yard.” The Spruce, www.thespruce.com/privacy-in-yard-4135143.
“Trees, Shrubs & Vines.” Better Homes & Gardens, www.bhg.com/gardening/trees-shrubs-vines/.
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