Sitting in your backyard would be so pleasant if you didn't have to stare at your neighbors' garbage cans. With today's smaller lot sizes, many of us live closer to each other than we'd prefer. And while fences sometimes do the job when it comes to blocking views, they're not always practical. "Fences can feel confining, and they often grab your attention and draw your eye to what you're trying to hide instead of camouflaging it. Instead, consider these landscape ideas to create privacy in your yard.
1. Invest In Bigger Plants
Instead of buying those little shrubs and waiting years from them to grow, consider buying bigger and more mature plants. Buying larger plants also means buying few plants and the larger plants have an immediate impact for your privacy.
Avoid planting a single type of plant in a line. You could potentially lose the entire screen in one season if pests or disease attack. Besides, plants don't grow in orderly rows in nature. For a more natural effect, install groupings of plants to create a "thicket." Stagger a few deciduous shrubs, a couple of evergreens, and a cluster of perennial grasses along the property line. It's more attractive because it adds depth and dimension with different heights, colors and texture.
3. Go Verticle
If your space is limited, consider the use of raised beds or containers to provide height. Or use a climbing plant such as a rose, clematis, or creeping fig. A vertical trellis with vines or clinging plants can create privacy in small areas. There are lots of options on the market, but you also can DIY something from wood or metal. Plants that naturally grow in a columnar shape, such as yews, junipers or bamboo also work well in tight spaces.
4. Redirect Attention
Instead of trying to hide an unsightly view, draw the eye away from the area by creating a focal point elsewhere. A large ceramic pot overflowing with colorful annuals, a bubbling fountain surrounded by day lilies, or bright blue Adirondack chairs nestled under a tree serve as garden accents that capture your interest and keep your eyes away from the ugly stuff.
5. Know When to Get Help
If you just don't know where to start, consider hiring a designer to draw up a master plan for your yard. The designer can install the project in phases or explain how you can do it on your own over time. A landscape architect, landscape designer or horticulturalist can help plan all your immediate and future landscape needs. A master plan is like the front of a jigsaw puzzle box, which shows you how all the individual pieces will come together to complete the big picture.