Creating Privacy with Landscaping

Design of backyard with privacy shrubs creating a landscape privacy screen

Nothing can be more frustrating than feeling as though you can’t have privacy in your own backyard. The last thing that you want is your neighbors’ prying eyes on you every time you try and spend some time outside.

While a fence is certainly one way to create privacy, it’s not the only option. That’s good news as fences are not always allowed by HOAs—nor are they always desired by the homeowner.

If you’re looking for a more natural but effective solution, you might be looking at creating privacy with landscaping. There are actually a lot of great ways that you can use plant material to create a secluded backyard space.

Choosing Privacy Plants

Plant selection is really important when it comes to an effective privacy solution. It’s important to choose plants that will grow not only tall but also dense or even wide—depending upon the view that you’re attempting to screen out. It’s quite common for homeowners not to think about the horizontal space that they have to work with. Some plants not only grow upward but outward, too, which can be important in screening views.

  • Various species of arborvitae
  • Boxwood
  • Various ornamental grasses, which grow tall
  • Various climbing vine species, which can be used in conjunction with structures
Alley leading to a beautiful decorative gazebo with a green roof and a fence

Proper Placement

Plant placement is also important. Sometimes you can actually get more privacy by planting a tree or shrub closer to your pool, patio, or whatever other areas you’re looking to screen—than you would plant it right along the border of your neighbor’s property.

Homeowners often assume they have to install all of the plant material in a row—like a “plant fence” of sorts—but sometimes staggering the plants actually goes a longer way in screening out views and creating privacy. It also doesn’t look too appealing to have one long row of the same type of plant.

This is why layering is a much better solution. It’s both more appealing and better at screening out views. You might think about layering a few different varieties of plants and even include some perennials in front of all of that. The variations in size and depth are not only more attractive and natural-looking, but it can also screen better as there won’t be gaps in between.
Ultimately, the key is to create a space that is both aesthetically appealing while also being functional. With a smart landscape design, you can easily have both.

Structures for Screening

While plant material can go a long way in screening out unwanted views or protecting your privacy, the addition of structures on your property can also go a long way. Sometimes a combination of fencing with trees and shrubs will help create a well-screened yard.

Other structures can also go a long way in blocking views. If a pavilion or a pergola is part of the project, maybe a wall or even a roof might contribute to increased privacy. Some homeowners add climbing vines to their pergolas to create a denser structure that screens out views. Even a shed can block out views. It all depends on the angles and the layout.

If you’re adding any sort of structures to your property, talk to your landscape professional about their optimal placement in order to help contribute to creating a private backyard.

Optimal Enjoyment

Privacy is an important factor in being able to fully enjoy your outdoor space. After all, it can be hard to relax and unwind when you feel as though you have eyes on you every time you go outside. When houses are close to one another, it can be difficult to feel as though you’re ever able to find a secluded space—but it can be done. By working with an experienced landscape designer, the privacy you desire can be achieved with the proper landscape design.