If you have ever lived in close quarters, you’re probably used to giving up privacy for the sake of convenience or affordability, to an extent. Now that you have your place, you likely want the days of curious neighbors to be over. While the curiosity of neighbors can be a challenge in an open landscape such as that, landscaping with consideration to privacy is possible. Consider these tips to keep your backyard–and your business–away from the prying eyes of neighbors.
- Add a green screen
Create a screen that will protect your privacy from lookers-on while also enhancing the aesthetic appearance of your home. Consider adding a row of plants, like hedges or oversized planters, to decorate the edges of your lawn and patio. Make sure you select plants that are native to desert landscapes, such as Tufted Evening Primrose and Desert Fairy Duster, and plant with seclusion in mind.
- Create a canopy
The Arizona sun can be scorching even on a mild day. You don’t necessarily want to block its intense rays on every day of the week, blocking out the sun can be helpful to protect your lawn from the sun as well as to shelter your backyard from your neighbors’ view. Consider planting climbing jasmine to create a natural screen with vines, or hang curtains to create a DIY backyard canopy. The canopy will give you a spot to stay cool during those backyard barbecues and also keep you out of the way of your neighbors.
- Use water to distract
Water features can enhance the appearance of your home and also block out some of the noise from your neighbors or surrounding streets. Add a fountain, pond, or pool to create a tranquil distraction from the outside world.
- Plant a vertical garden
Vertical gardens attract pollinators, increase your happiness and green spaces, and can help add privacy to an already verdant backyard. A vertical garden can take the place of some herbs growing up the lattice, some fast-growing birch trees, or even some strategically layered raised beds. Just because your fence is designed to serve one functional purpose, doesn’t mean it can’t suit others, too.
- Space things out
Think carefully about the purposes you want your backyard to serve. How do you want it to look? Tidying up your lawn and ultimately having a grand plan will make it easier to come up with privacy solutions. When you plant, space things out. When planting, consider how large each shrub, tree, or other feature will be, and how big it will be throughout each stage of its life. In some cases, you can plant established trees or shrubs so that they are already full-sized when you transplant them. However, these are costly and have a higher risk of dying.
- Layer your features
You don’t have to choose one option for creating privacy. Consider utilizing layered features that build upon each other to form a green privacy screen. Layering will create a natural, integrated privacy screen that will be not only visually appealing but also functional and adaptable to whatever life throws at it.
- Consider classic features
There’s nothing wrong with an erect wood fence, and in fact, these are the most common privacy features used around the country. With so many species and colors of wood to choose from, painting an existing fence is a great way to update an old, outdated privacy feature. You can even get creative and add a mural to your wall. This classic feature doesn’t have to be boring, and you need very little woodworking knowledge to build one.
- Construct a relaxing oasis
The whole point of your backyard, besides to serve functional purposes like growing vegetables or storing tools, should be to make you happy. Wide, open yards are comfortable, but wouldn’t it be nice to create a private place to relax outdoors, too? Consider turning a small corner into a quiet patio. Use an open-frame structure to shelter your outdoor space from lookers-on, while also preserving your comfort. Another option is to build a pergola, which, despite its lack of walls, provides plenty of obstruction from wandering eyes. —Gayle Dabrowski