Landscaping for Privacy – Smart Designs and Plant Choices

Craving more privacy in your outdoor living space? Whether you want to hide an ugly fence, block street noise, or cover the view of neighboring properties, a well planned landscape design can transform exposed spaces into secluded, peaceful sanctuaries without breaking the bank. Follow these expert tips when using landscaping itself to increase privacy through strategic designs leveraging screens, thoughtful plant selection, fences, height variation, and placement.

5 recommendations to enhance your privacy:

Living Screens

One of the fastest ways to establish privacy is installing a living screen of evergreen plants. Spaced correctly, evergreens like arborvitae, bamboo, boxwood, holly, juniper, lavender, privet and spruce quickly provide a dense, towering organic border that blocks views and filters noise. Most tolerate pruning well and can be shaped formally or allowed to grow naturally. Space plants 2-3 feet apart for faster fill in.

Berms and Fences

For instant privacy, build garden berms or retaining walls to elevate plantings above fence lines for screening views. Extra height hides unsightly infrastructure while preventing conversations from carrying. Berms lend dimension, contour and visual interest while also directing stormwater flows. Maximize planting space and privacy with staggered or terraced berm heights. Alternately, taller wooden or vinyl fence panels block neighbors in a more structured fashion. Just ensure local ordinances allow the height.

Plant in Layers

Layer taller evergreen background plants, medium shrubs, and low-growing grasses, perennials or groundcovers to prevent “see through” sparse spaces and dead zones. Vary heights, textures, flower color, and contrast broadleaf evergreens with fine, spiky, bold or variegated foliage. Packed beds prohibit curious eyes from peeking into your private sanctum.

Mind the Mature Size

Consider each plant’s ultimate height and spread at maturity when planning, allowing ample room to grow. Cramming oversized plants into small spaces threatens foundational structures, power lines and your hard-won privacy once they outgrow bounds. Space accordingly to prevent aggressive pruning or removal down the road.

Strategic Placement

Identify lines of sight, property boundaries, and potential problem areas, using structures, topography and existing vegetation to inform optimal landscape placement. Place dense privacy plantings to hide and frame the spaces needing seclusion from neighbors, streets and other exposures. This transforms spaces into discrete outdoor rooms.

By leveraging deliberate plant choices, layered heights, landscape contours and strategic placement, exposed areas morph into secluded, usable spaces that provide sanctuary right in your own yard. What designs worked best to increase your landscape’s privacy? Share your lessons learned and favorite plant picks with us below!

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