Planting for Privacy

Browse these makeovers and get ideas for creating a green screen in the yard.

Related To:

  1. Designing
  2. Planting

Too Much Information

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From inside this home, the only view is of the neighbor's backyard. The homeowners want to walk out of their house into a secluded garden retreat.

Green Scene

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Even though the planting is quite new, this mixture of trees, shrubs and perennials already has begun to provide screening. Because the site is a drainage area, wet-soil-tolerant plants were chosen.

Green Privacy

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The planting area of the backyard screen isn't simply a single line of trees or shrubs across the back end of the property but a wide buffer zone that forms a destination garden in itself.

At One With Traffic

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The homeowners want more than a fence-worth of separation from the noise of a busy street and a train station. They want a low-maintenance landscape that will provide a private getaway in this narrow lot.

The Plan

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The site plan includes a dry-set stone patio, a modern-style water feature, lush plants and trees — packing functionality and interest into the small space.

Soothing Sounds

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The ground-level water feature keeps the focus on the landscape itself, not on the street beyond, and helps mask traffic noise. Once the river birch has had a chance to fill in, the stop sign will be but a memory.

The Beauty of a Berm

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New berms against the walls raise the grade of the site and provide interest. Trees and lush understory plants will soon create a sense of enclosure. Plus, there's no more grass to mow.

Bare Bones

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This Mediterranean-style home received a makeover inside, and now the homeowners want landscaping that not only beautifies the bare front yard but gives them privacy on the porch for relaxing and entertaining.

Fast Privacy

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River birches will provide amply screening for the front porch. These fast-growing deciduous trees offer colorful bark and their branches move gracefully in the wind.

View From the Porch

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Once exposed, the front porch now provides views of an interesting garden sanctuary and courtyard.

Is There Anywhere to Hide?

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Because it's on a corner lot, this house has three doors that give undesirable access to passersby. Plus, there is virtually no privacy anywhere in the yard.

Decorative and Private

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The overexposed side of the house gets a coverup with a fence and an attractive mechanical gate leading to the garage. The bottom of the fence is solid for the sake of privacy; a lattice overlay gives it a garden feel.

Needs Enclosure

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This bare backyard badly needs enclosure. The only view is of the neighbor's house.

Lattice and Leylands

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A lattice fence and arborvitae provide an attractive low-cost solution. Shown here is the Eastern arborvitae (Thuija occidentalis), which will eventually grow to about 20 to 30 feet high and 10 to 12 feet wide.

Porch Privacy Tip

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Mount some shutters on a frame, add a coat of fresh paint and hang them from the ceiling of a porch.

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