Let's face it: Even though we love our neighbors, we all occasionally want to step outside without having to strike up a conversation. Although fences and brick walls can do the trick, adding an extra divider, screen or plant barrier can block your neighbor's two-story view for good.
To create your secret retreat, freestanding privacy screens, wood slat partitions and partially enclosed pergolas are effective (and nice to look at). Plants are also a great choice. Landscape
architect Bruce Clodfelter
often uses holly, evergreen and Ligustrum for a more natural partition, while garden designer Stephanie Bartron
frequently goes with a bamboo
or hedge barrier. For something a little more decorative, both architects recommend a trellis or arbor; Bartron frequently uses climbing vines
shrubs and grapevines for added cover, while Clodfelter added Confederate Jasmine, Baltic Ivy and kiwifruit to his own personal patio
Regardless of your materials, both Bartron and Clodfelter agree that placement is key. "Your first instinct is to put up a hard wall right on your property line, but sometimes that isn't the best space for it," Clodfelter says. "It's better to place those screening devices closer to your house; it's counterintuitive, but it makes your backyard look bigger."
As you consider how best to solve your own backyard privacy
dilemma, try using one (or many) of these creative solutions.