Yards are simply an outdoor extension of your home. The front yard is like your porch…everyone can see it and walk up to it. But only those invited in can see the inside of the house…just like your back yard. So how do you create privacy in a yard where you have neighbors, streets, or public walkways within view? Here’s a few ideas…
- A Fence! Duh! But maybe a tall fence would be ugly in your landscaping. What about a lattice fence with an evergreen vine twining though it? Climbing Hydrangea would work for this as well. Ivy is another that works, but it might not grow as quickly as you’d like. These solutions work for gazebos, around hot tubs or decks where you’re building a roof for shade. Here’s an example of a natural hedge being used instead of a fence, courtesy of donnamusica:
- Trellises and arbors, especially with vines, will help block unwanted views from the next door neighbor’s second story window. These are a very quick solution because you can build them, as opposed to waiting for something to grow. Then use different kinds of plants to fill in the view. A bench can face way from the neighbors so you can sit and enjoy the yard.
- Patios and decks can achieve a feeling of privacy and seclusion without a fortress-like wall surrounding them. This can be done with a low brick wall or fence to separate the space. It doesn’t have to completely enclose the area to mark and designate a special spot. Here’s an example of how a patio and arbor with a well placed tree, can make a yard that a neighbor could see into, feel as though you are in a private area. Thanks to Nordby Design Studio:
But wait…I love my neighbors! We’re friends and we talk all the time, but I still want my space. A great way to create a sense of privacy without seeming too rude is planting several quickly growing deciduous trees. These can even be fruit trees such as a fig tree. A Red Maple or many kinds of oaks are fast growers. Along with these faster growers, you can plant several evergreen shrubs. Even deciduous trees and shrubs provide some screening when they’re bare. In warmer climates, palm trees can create privacy and add an elegant and regional feel. And don’t worry about being rude! One of my neighbors planted some bushes last year against our see-through gate, and now it completely covers the area. I love it! I got privacy without doing any work!
If you don’t want to wait for your trees to grow and can spend more $$$, nurseries also sell trees of different heights and maturity. See if you can purchase an older one that’s taller, and check how tall your tree will grow before planting it to make sure you actually have the space.
Or…you can just put in a fence.