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Landscaping Ideas for Creating Extra Privacy in Your Yard This Summer

By Ed Ball | Published on July 01, 2020 | 2 min read

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It’s officially summer, and all of us have been enjoying our yards more as the days are longer and the evenings are mild. No matter if you use your yard more in the daytime, or you head out at night, one thing everyone wants in their landscape is a little more privacy from nosey neighbors.

You knew there’d be neighbors when you moved in, but everyone wants to feel secluded when at home, and that desire extends into the yard. For each of us, the level of privacy we crave is different. Some want to block out the view to a deck or hot tub, while others want to circle the yard with a stockade fence. Yet, figuring out where you are on the privacy continuum is one of the first things you will need to figure out in order to settle upon the best solution.

When it comes to adding privacy, there are generally two obstructive paths: build it or plant it. Building includes fences, privacy walls, and screens that are erected to place a physical barrier between you and your neighbor. Plants, trees, and shrubs can be planted in strategic locations so they will also block your neighbor’s view into your yard. In most cases, planting privacy will require some planning – and patience – as plants can take some time before they are large enough to do their job.


Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

If local regulations and budget allow, adding a fence around your property not only keeps neighbors out but can also keep your family and pets in. Fences can be expensive, depending on height and style, but they typically add value to your home immediately and are effective just as quickly.

If a fence is not in your future, consider creating a wall of plants in the form of a living wall, privacy screen, or through the use of tall planters. Even in apartments and townhouses, you can use this approach since the solutions can be deemed “temporary.” Adding outdoor curtains are also a way to both decorate an outdoor space and keep the fun to yourself. Be sure to choose outdoor fabrics that resist fade and mildew so they will last into next season and beyond.


Show Them Your Green

Carefully placed shrubs and trees can effectively block sightlines between you and your neighbor. Choose a plant that will grow quickly, will survive, if not thrive, in this region, and has leaves during the season(s) in which privacy is desired. Consider the shape you want, growth habits, maintenance requirements, and how long it will be until it is “working.”

Another option is to construct a “secret garden” where you are surrounded by thoughtful plantings designed to protect this private hideout. You may decide the whole yard doesn’t need to be private, but that you need a section you can hide (or nap!).

While there are many ways privacy can be added to your yard in a weekend, consider enlisting a landscape design firm that can help you determine the exact sightlines and plan accordingly. In most cases, a designer will suggest a combination of fences, or privacy screens and live screens such as fast-growing shrubs. It’s helpful to see the big picture so that your privacy solution compliments the style of your landscape design – that’s where a designer comes in!