5 Landscaping Tips You Need for Extra Privacy

Written by | Updated December 6, 2017

a picket fence with a garden

There’s nothing quite like sitting on your patio on a Saturday morning to drink coffee and read the news—in peace. With the joys of homeownership come a few things beyond our control. We’ve all been graced with noisy or nosy neighbors, and sometimes you need a little more seclusion.

It’s easy to say that you can install a stockade fence for privacy, but this can be expensive, and it may not add to the aesthetic appeal of your home.

Instead of installing an eyesore in your yard, look to landscaping to provide green beauty and freedom from disturbance. According to an article by LawnStarter, detailed landscaping can even attract fluttering wildlife, so you can create a peaceful oasis in your own yard. Using softscape and hardscape to create your sanctuary, follow our tips to create the privacy you crave.

1. Use Bamboo

a bamboo garden in front of a home

Bamboo can make for a graceful and effective screen while creating a tropical, zen ambiance. It grows incredibly fast. Once established, stalks can grow up to six inches a day and usually stay green year-round. The only downside is that bamboo spreads aggressively and needs regular pruning to keep it under control. One solution to keeping it contained would be to plant it in very large planters.

2. Plant Emerald Green Arborvitae

planting a cypress shrub in the yard

The Emerald Green Arborvitae is an evergreen in the Cypress family. The purists among us will argue that it is technically a shrub, even though we refer to it as a tree. The brilliant green foliage provides the privacy that we seek by reaching twelve to fifteen feet in height and three to four feet in width. One extra plus to adding this plant to your yard is that it usually retains that beautiful color year-round.

The Emerald Green Arborvitae does best in full sun, but is fine in partial shade as long as it’s in moist, acidic soil. It is not drought-tolerant.

3. Add Clematis to Your Fence or Trellis

clematis on a fence in bloom

Clematis is among the most popular and attractive of flowering vines. It is the “Queen of the Flowering Vines,” with 300 species from which you can choose different forms of elegant flowers and rich colors for a decorative and fragrant privacy screen. The vine gracefully grows along fences, climbs through shrubbery, or wraps itself around a trellis. Clematis prefers a sunny location (at least six hours of sun a day). A two-inch layer of mulch will keep the soil and roots cool and moist. The vine matures slowly, so you might want to purchase plants that are at least two years old.

4. Include Fan Palms

fan palms planted in the yard

European fan palms give your yard a dramatic tropical ambiance while providing a durable and vibrant screen. The trunks grow to fifteen feet in height and fan-like leaves spread to about three feet wide. Fan palm leaves add a stunning combination of greens, blues, grays and yellows to your landscape. Palms may be known as tropical plants, but a big bonus is that the European Fan Palm can withstand temperatures as cold as five degrees.

Prune the palms or allow them to “run free” as nature intended. Either way, the plant adds a dynamic sculptural element to your outdoor space.

5. Install a Water Fountain

a water fountain in the backyard

Adding a water fountain to your privacy strategy can help mask unwanted sounds with a lovely white noise. Think about sitting in your yard without noise from your neighbors, intrusive traffic sounds, or buzzing from HVAC unit compressors.

Fountains come in every price range, from plug-in units that sit on a table to elaborate custom designs. When choosing yours, remember that flowing water becomes louder the farther it falls and the more tiers it travels over. A fountain that is too loud can be just as disruptive as noisy neighbors on a bad day. All fountains have a recirculating pump. Get an adjustable one so you can find a sound level that works for you.

Privacy doesn’t always mean that your house should appear off the grid, adding volume to your landscape is sure to do the trick while adding gorgeous elements. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy your quiet weekend mornings without the interruptions!

Written by Katie Kuchta

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