Landscape Ideas for Creating Privacy

Backyard Privacy

According to a study by Virginia Tech, landscaping increases the aesthetic and appeal and increases the real estate value by a whopping 15%. And with privacy trees, it increases the value to 20%.

Did you know that you are entitled to privacy in your garden? Pergolas and fences do provide some measure of privacy but not that coziness, style, and greenery. But by landscaping for privacy, not only do you block the neighbors’ view but also soften the landscape, the overwhelming wall, and the rustic fence.

Here are a few landscaping ideas for creating a private and sequestered backyard.

Landscape Ideas for Creating Backyard Privacy

Warm temperatures and blooming leaves make for an ideal outdoor party scene but not your nosey neighbors, not so much. You should be able to enjoy your backyard without having to worry about privacy. Here are a few landscaping ideas to help you set up a privacy barrier in your yard:

  • Wooden Privacy FenceA trusty wood fence; With a wide variety of woods and styles to choose from, a wooden fence remains the best option.
  • Turn your backyard into a tropical retreat with a pergola and bamboo to hide the gaps and give privacy. Add a seating area and a water feature for
  • A pergola with a little something extra; Fill in the gaps in the walls and ceiling with plants and vines for a romantic effect.
  • Create a privacy wall with a hedge.
  • A multi-purpose wall with slats, lots of cedarwood, and little pockets to hold potted plants
  • A vertical vegetable garden; You can also add herbs or even flowering plants. It serves a multipurpose by giving you a spot of greenery and also offer you privacy.
  • A trellis not just hides you from prying eyes but also softens the look of your backyard since it provides support for a lot of plants and vines to climb on.
  • Grow a bamboo screen.
  • Create a whimsical fence with climbing vines.
  • Hedges made of juniper plants and boxwoods can create privacy all on their own.
  • Design a private corner with a seating area. It creates a difference even in the simplest of landscapes.

Cheap Backyard Privacy Ideas

Your backyard paradise need not cost you an arm and a leg. Ditch the expensive landscaping for these inexpensive solutions for a touch of privacy from the prying eyes of neighbors: You can DIY most of these yourself at home.

  • Add supersized planters along the fence.
  • Make a lattice-work panel or privacy fence. You can make it yourself with a few wooden panels, boards, or posts.
  • Attach a few pot holders to your lattice screen. Use large bushy greenery to secure your backyard from prying eyes.
  • Grow trees along the lines of your property wherever you need a barrier. While it may not work instantly, you will have towering trees along your yard, making the entire area private.
  • Build a privacy screen with old doors and upcycled wooden panels. Add flowering planters for a touch of green.
  • A woven willow branch fence made from natural willow branches gives more of a rustic charm to your yard.

Block Out the Neighbor’s View: Planting a Privacy Screen

Backyard Privacy - Natural Privacy Screen Made of Trees and ShrubsThe privacy screen is nothing but a backyard privacy idea that uses a dense row of trees or shrubs to hide your yard from a curious neighbor effectively. They are planted inside your property line or just by your privacy fence; in short, they should grow on your land. Any tree that grows tall and narrow works well as a screen. However, they may box-in your house, which may be a good thing for privacy but a downside if your land is small.

You may also want to consider the below before planting a screen:

  • The trees take years to grow and provide any privacy at all.
  • Over the years, the closely planted trees will face trouble with root competition and damage adjacent structures or utilities.
  • If you have a fence, they may put pressure causing it to weaken.
  • Once they grow, you would have to regularly trim or shear to direct the growth. And that increases the maintenance costs.
  • They take away the usable area from your landscape.
  • You can always consult an expert for landscaping ideas. It’s better to be cautious rather than regretting it in the future.

Landscape Plants that Make for Best Privacy Screen

Your privacy screen or fence need not be as austere; Certain plants can provide more privacy to your yard when grown instead of a fence that converts your yard to a secluded retreat.

  • Emerald Green Arborvitae-It grows 12-15 feet tall, and being an evergreen provides privacy all year long.
  • Bamboo – It is one of the fastest-growing plants and can act as a privacy screen in a couple of years. However, they are an invasive species and hence should be grown in tall planters. Or you can choose a slow-spreading, clumping variety.
  • Cherry Laurel – Native to the southeastern United States, it grows 15 to 36 ft tall with clusters of white flowers in spring.
  • Boxwood – It grows as tall as 20 feet and tolerates heavy pruning. It can be grown as a decorative hedge and clipped into various shapes.
  • Privet– It needs heavy pruning in the early years to tame the growth. It can add 2-3 feet to its height every year.
  • Holly– Available as both dense shrubs and tall trees, holly grows 6-10 feet. Few varieties have sharp, spiny leaves.
  • Hicks Yew– It is a low-maintenance shrub with soft needles and winter berries, making it a favorite among backyard wildlife.
  • Red Twig Dogwood– Being a deciduous plant, it loses its leaves in fall, losing its screening value. But, bright red branches more than makeup for it. It is fast-growing, tolerates temperatures, and soggy soil, reaching up to 8 feet tall and 10 feet in width.
  • Buckthorn– It is a deciduous shrub that grows 5 to 7 feet tall.
  • Euonymus– It is a tall and sturdy shrub that tolerates all weather conditions and comes in many colors, including green and gold. It grows 15 ft tall and more if grown as a vine.

Natural Privacy Screens

Using plants to create privacy is an easy way to block out prying neighbors while also enhancing the look of your garden. However, it is not as quick as that; You may need to consider a few points before planting your screen:

  • Look at the soil type. Not all plants and shrubs grow in clay or sandy soil.
  • Settle on the height first and then choose plants that will not grow taller than the allocated space.
  • The ideal height for a shrub is 1m and a tree, 1.8m.
  • Create windbreaks if the area is too exposed to protect the young specimens.
  • Consider the maintenance costs. As the plants grow, so does the cost to maintain them.
  • The roots may damage structures, drains, buildings, and as such.
  • From the design perspective, tall privacy screens should have large leaves and vice versa.

Height of a Privacy Screen

Even though a privacy screen is built/grows in your yard, it should comply with the building codes. The local regulations dictate the height of your privacy screen or privacy fence.

For example, in California, a screen in the front yard can be 3.5 ft tall. Meanwhile, in the rear yard, it can be as tall as 6 ft. The same applies to fences between properties. Do not infringe on the rights of the neighbors.

Anything taller than that requires a permit.

Budget-Friendly Privacy Screen Ideas

Privacy doesn’t come at a price. One way of achieving that is by planting trees and shrubs strategically. Here are some inexpensive, budget-friendly landscape design ideas that offer privacy to your yard:

  • Budget-Friendly Backyard Privacy IdeasTall plants in planters have a more contemporary feel and also provide privacy. For a moist climate, plant Horsetail reeds and cacti for hot and dry climates. You can also go for native grasses or bamboo.
  • For instant privacy, you can use false snake plants or cacti. Alternatively, false vines such as ivy draped over your trellis or fence can easily block neighbors’ views and add privacy.
  • Plants such as Arborvitae grow as tall as 15 ft enough to shield you from nosey neighbors.
  • A hanging privacy screen with trailing succulents works well for your patio or balcony.
  • Shrubs with dense foliage like green and white hostas work well as a screen for your front yard.
  • Create a flower wall or tree wall by preaching or tying the branches. Bougainvillea tree with its stunning pink flowers is a living work of art.

DIY Privacy Screen Ideas

Are you more of a DIY person? You can create a privacy screen, be it for your yard, deck, porch, or balcony. Here are a few simple DIY privacy solutions:

  • Bamboo fencing for your deck. All you need to do is stain the wood and let it dry, frame the bamboo, add hooks and hang it.
  • Balustrade screen for your deck; Though it’s a simple structure with wood only someone with experience can handle it.
  • A rustic setup with wooden privacy panels stacked one above the other; You can integrate a simple potted garden if you desire.
  • Turn your closer door into a screen for a private reading nook. You will need more than one door and link them together.
  • Hang curtains or heavy drapes around your pergola for some measure of privacy.
  • Staggered-fence-panels with shrubs in front is a one-of-a-kind backyard privacy fence.

Screen Your Yard in Style with Privacy Plants

Whether it is to create a private garden space or hide your neighbor’s junkyard, you can do it in style. They do not just add to your backyard privacy but also beauty and shade. Here is a list of plants that act as a privacy fence elegantly and with flair:

  • Fargesia Bamboo – While bamboo may be invasive, Fargesia is not; While they are hardy and evergreen, they are also a slow-growing variety.
  • Boxwood – They can take any amount of pruning and can be shaped into any shape for a bold statement or an English-style garden.
  • Italian Buckthorn – It grows relatively fast but taller than it is wide, so it is better used in conjunction with a wall or a fence rather than stand on its own.
  • Photinia – An evergreen shrub with glossy leaves that adds a rich appearance to your yard.
  • Dodonaea – Otherwise called purple-leafed hop-bush, is an evergreen shrub that changes colors by nightfall. The hardy plant blooms during spring and are quite decorative.
  • Cypress Tree – It grows tall and narrow and perfect for creating a screen.
  • Vines – Clematis and Confederate Jasmine are two good options. The former grows fast and needs dedicated pruning. At the same time, the latter is a slow grower. Nevertheless, both plants bloom in spring.

Rather than the view, if you are looking to block out the noise, a water fountain can help mask it.

Best Container Plants For Creating Backyard Privacy

Container plants are usually placed in a deck, patio, or balcony to create privacy and block neighbors’ view. You may want to watch for the width since mature plants can overcrowd the space; You may also want to choose flowering plants and colorful foliage for a beautiful year-round look.

  • Butterfly Bush – Attracts quite a few varieties of butterflies and requires pruning in early spring.
  • Lavender – Blooms in spring and summer and requires regular trimming.
  • Elderberry – A versatile shrub with different foliage colors, namely green, gold, and black.
  • Hydrangea – A garden variety shrub with large clusters of flowers

Privacy Fence Landscaping Ideas

Wood fences are great at providing privacy, but they are not great to look at. The dull wood, though rustic, adds quite a little visual interest to your landscape. One way is to hide the fence behind plants so that it blends with the rest of your yard and does not stand out.

Here are a few landscaping ideas to spruce up your fence and improve the ambiance.

  • Vines such as bougainvillea and trumpet vine covers much of the fence links when they grow, and their blooms are nothing short of stunning.
  • Growing tall ornamental grasses such as cape thatching reed, horsetail reed, San Diego sedge, and muhly grass close to each other can cover the appearance of the fence, adding color and texture.
  • For a more decorative look, grow flowering perennials such as in front of the ornamental grasses.
  • Place large planters or containers in front of the fence if you cannot plant or grow in front of the fence. Flowering plants add color to the otherwise dull spot.

Fence-Friendly Vines

Cover your backyard privacy fences with these flowering vines for a fragrant and colorful fence.

  • Fence-Friendly Vines - Flowering Vines on Rustic FenceWisteria
  • Carolina Jessamine
  • Honeysuckle
  • Bougainvillea
  • Purple Hyacinth Bean
  • Mandevilla
  • Passionflower
  • Trumpet Creeper
  • Boston Ivy
  • Virginia Creeper
  • Calico Dutchman’s Pipe
  • Clematis
  • Morning Glory
  • Hops
  • Chocolate
  • Moonflower
  • Crossvine
  • Black-eyed Susan

How to Grow a Living Wall

A living wall or vertical garden is usually mounted in the walls, fence panels, or trellis-like structures. They can offer a refreshing green space and also act as privacy screens. They occupy limited space and hence famous in residential homes and office spaces.

  • Your wall should be in direct sunlight. If not, you should make alternate lighting arrangements.
  • The display or the mounting options change depending on the structure and the placement. You can also go for a readymade structure with an inbuilt watering system. Otherwise, you can also use hanging pots or angled plant trays.
  • As long as you have enough light, you have access to many varieties of plants, from herbs to flowering plants. For low light conditions, you can grow aglaonemas, pothos, peace lily, etc.
  • For medium light Song of India, English ivy, rabbit foot, and maidenhair work the best.
  • The challenge is to choose plants with similar working conditions.

Plant a Privacy Hedge

One of the ways to shield your yard is via a privacy hedge. They act as a fence to provide privacy from neighbors and traffic. Moreover, tall hedges also serve to reduce traffic noise. However, they may also mask your view.

Here’s how you plant a privacy hedge:

  • Choose one that suits your needs.
  • What is the available space, height, and width?
  • Space them out at least 12″ to 24″ apart to prevent root crowding.
  • Train them young to be a hedge.

Fast-Growing Privacy Hedge

Hedges usually grow fast, more than 1 foot per year, while a few can grow 4 feet per year. Here is a selection of hedges that grow quickly, both evergreen and deciduous.

  • Leylandii
  • Flame Amur Maple
  • English Laurel
  • Cherry Laurel
  • Portuguese Laurel
  • Emerald Green Arborvitae
  • Western Red Cedar
  • American Arborvitae
  • Privet
  • Bamboo

The fastest-growing hedge is Leylandii, approximately 75-90cm per year.


Contact Santa Rita Landscaping for Your Backyard Privacy FencePrivacy is very important, both inside your home and outside in your yard. Block the view with a tall hedge or privacy fence. A private yard makes for a gorgeous getaway retreat. Not just that, a privacy fence also adds to the aesthetic appeal and value of your home.

By adding more plants, you create a diverse ecology that improves the air quality around you. The greenery also provides cooler temperatures inside your home.

Santa Rita Landscaping has been in the landscaping and landscape design business in Tucson and Southern Arizona since 1985. If you are interested in improving the aesthetic appeal and value of your home by adding a privacy fence or natural privacy screen, contact Santa Rita Landscaping for your FREE quote today!

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