A Guide to Using Plants for More Yard Privacy Featured Image


When it comes to your home and yard, privacy is important. Even if you and your neighbours are best friends, you’ll still want to enjoy the solitude of your own home once in a while. That being said, a giant privacy fence can be an eyesore. Instead of building a fence all the way around your yard, plants make a great alternative.

Large plants (or plants that will eventually grow large) are a great way to shelter your home from the curious looks of passersby while adding more green to your garden. Here’s how you can get started: 

Privacy Shrubs

Pay a visit to your local nursery and ask for an evergreen privacy shrub. Since it’s evergreen, you don’t have to worry about the leaves falling off and losing your privacy during the colder months. In addition, privacy shrubs tend to be fast-growing, so even if it isn’t quite at the height you would want, the shrub will grow several feet per month. 

Plant each shrub or tree a few feet apart based on its growth diameter. You want the leaves and branches to slightly overlap one another. This effect, called “pleaching,” results in light being allowed through underneath the leaves while blocking out views higher up. It provides privacy but keeps a feeling of openness. 

If you want a more exotic alternative, consider fargesia. This plant is a relative of bamboo that thrives in colder climates. Unlike its warm-weather bamboo, fargesia doesn’t spread more than four to six inches per year, cutting down on maintenance. If you’re unsure about planting, consider putting it in pots and placing them around the perimeter of your yard. 

A Guide to Using Plants for More Yard Privacy Living Wall Image

Create a Living Wall 

Living walls are both beautiful and popular! The goal is to create a wall of ivy and flowers that provide privacy but also looks great while doing so. To start, install a short, latticed fence, and then find vined plants you can weave throughout. As the plants start to grow, keep an eye on them to make sure they cling to the fence. You may have to train them to ensure a proper growth pattern. 

Another way to create a living wall is through garden netting. This mesh is made of one-inch squares and comes in a variety of different sizes. Hang it from the edge of your porch and use climbing plants to create the illusion of a wall of greenery. 

Go Old-School With a Hedgerow 

One of the oldest ways of ensuring privacy in your yard by planting a hedgerow. This essentially acts like a fence made of shrubs. If you’re looking for an inexpensive, easy to maintain privacy option, this is your best bet. 

A hedgerow will always be longer than it is wide. While some hedgerows are made up of multiple rows of plants (especially if those plants don’t grow thick enough to provide a lot of privacy) other types of hedges grow closer together. If your yard has limited space, you won’t want to devote more than one or two feet in width to the hedgerow. 

A Guide to Using Plants for More Yard Privacy Planting Image

Hide Specific Parts of Your Yard

If you aren’t looking to create a privacy wall around your entire yard, you can still use plants to block off certain areas. For example, if you have a hot tub or patio, you probably prefer to shield it from the neighbors. You can use potted bamboo or a smaller hedgerow to block off those individual sections of your yard. 

A small privacy fence around your hot tub or patio with climbing plants can incorporate more greenery into your landscaping without sacrificing privacy. Even small potted plants around the base of a privacy fence can create the same effect. 

You’re entitled to your privacy, but you don’t have to go the route of the old, tired wooden fence if you don’t want to. Creating a privacy fence out of plants is a great way to enjoy some solitude while still adding some beautiful greenery. Be sure to visit your local nursery and ask what options will work best for your beautiful home. 

For more great ideas for your yard, check out our previous posts on 

Picking the Perfect Accessories for Your Backyard” and “Create the Perfect Backyard Setting to Celebrate Summer“.

Photo credits: privacy shrubsliving wallplanting

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