Do you feel like you’re on stage performing for the neighbours every time you fire up the BBQ or spend time kicking a soccer ball around with the kids? When someone has a clear view into your back yard or you’re involuntarily eavesdropping on other people’s conversations, it might seem like there is not much you can do about it. But there are some creative ways to add privacy to your backyard that will help you increase the enjoyment of your outdoor living space.
Solid fencing Options
When thinking of ways to add privacy to your backyard, the obvious choice is to build a fence. Popular solid board or panel fencing options include wood, bamboo, corrugated metal, and aluminum. In a side yard where space is tight, a fence has a smaller footprint than privacy property line plantings.
Building a fence is an ideal opportunity to add personality to your property much in the same way your siding and gutters add character to the exterior of your home. Be sure to check local building codes and municipal bylaws regarding fence heights and other restrictions applicable to building a fence.
Screen Fencing Options
If you want privacy but don’t want to completely obstruct your property’s view, a type of screen fencing, slat fencing, or open-board fence would be a good choice. Lattice panels are a perfect example of a type of screen fencing, while a picket fence is a kind of open-board fence. There are a variety of materials available, including wood, vinyl, PVC, and aluminum. Screen fencing panels or slat fencing creates a visual barrier without blocking out natural light. Slat fencing (top) combined with a solid fence (bottom) creates a stylish look that gives you the best of both worlds.
Portable Privacy Screens
Use a portable partition or privacy screen on a deck or patio or in your backyard to create an oasis away from prying eyes and intrusive gazing. Outdoor use room dividers are easy to move around. They also can be used in a variety of different ways such as creating a seating area for adults around the fire pit, a place for kids to play, or a place to eat.
Privacy Property Line Plantings
Fences in many municipal communities are restricted by local bylaws limiting height. Privacy property line plantings can provide a year-round solution. While flowering shrubs and trees add colour and texture to your landscaping, they can also screen out noise pollution and the possibility of being noticed by neighbours. When space is tight in a side yard, evergreens like Italian cypress, northern white cedar, and eastern red cedar can help block sightlines by separating adjoining yards. Privet hedges – evergreen, semi-evergreen, or deciduous – offer another simple way to provide privacy along a property line.
Outdoor Living Walls
Outdoor living walls are vertical gardens typically created by growing plants or soil-less plants on a frame that is then suspended on an exterior wall or fence. Living walls have been trending the past several years because they create a sense of privacy while adding eye-catching style and design to a backyard. Types of plants for an outdoor living wall include mosses, vines, and perennials.
Target Specific Areas
Another option for creating privacy in your backyard is to target specific areas. For example, when landscaping and fencing aren’t good choices for your property, blocking off a section of your patio or deck with outdoor curtains, an awning, or outdoor fabric panels could be a better solution.
Use container gardens on a deck to create privacy. Combine native grasses with tall annuals to shield the deck from unwanted attention.
Planting shrubs and trees on a berm will shelter your property from unwanted intrusions. A landscaping feature designed to add visual interest to an otherwise flat are, a berm is a small hill or mound of earth.
Like adding a berm to your backyard, situating raised beds along the property line can also create privacy. However, a raised bed is typically rectangular in shape and has a flat surface.