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If we’ve come to learn anything throughout this quarantine, it’s that homeowners are starting to prioritize investing in their outdoor spaces. Whether you’re installing a pool, building a deck or even just tying up a rope swing, there’s one thing that makes all of these upgrades that much better, privacy. Providing your outdoor living spaces with additional privacy allows you to bring the same comfort from the inside of your house to the outside making it all the more appealing to enjoy the outdoors. One of the most effective and non-intrusive ways to do so is through landscaping; however, not all of us know how to design our own landscape architecture. For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of experts from Miami to Sacramento to provide you with a few tips for optimizing your landscaping to maximize privacy.

Moving into a new home can be very exciting, and accessorizing that new home can be exciting and challenging, including the landscape. Step outside and look around, are your neighbors looking back? Developing an outdoor living area with adequate privacy for you and your family to enjoy is essential and developing that right privacy screen will help enhance your outdoor environment, perhaps some shrubbery or ornamental trees are in order or how about a patio with decorative walls and a fireplace to help buffer the view, every project is different and every solution is unique, we can help design your ultimate outdoor experience! – Ideal Landscapes

Divide, distract and disappear

I have several methods I employ when trying to create privacy for a customer:

Divide: Create a visual barrier and space between your home or outdoor living area and the offending view. This could be accomplished with strategic placement of large evergreens or a tall fence or structure placement. Recently, a small garage placement I was designing for a customer was placed in an area to screen an unsightly area of a neighbor’s back yard. Then evergreens were added along the rest of the property line to fully screen it.

Distract: Correct Placement of landscape elements in design can distract the viewer from an offending view. For example; placing a new patio away from the offending view or turning a walkway to lead in a direction away from the offending view. A new structure can be placed to turn it away from the view. Landscaping then can assist in screening and distracting from the view.

Disappear: Landscaping and camouflage can help make the view disappear. If the object to screen happens to be on your site, such as an AC unit, it can be painted a color to be less visible to the eye. Then landscaping can be placed to draw your eye away from the object and make it disappear, instead of making it the central focal point. Also using several layers of evergreens in size and texture can make the offensive view disappear, depending on how much room you have. – Hawkins Landscape Architecture

Plant dense foliage that will grow together

Plant hedges or trees that will fill in between one another such as Arborvitae, Boxwoods and Holly Trees. The dense green foliage on these plants will provide great privacy screens. If you live in an area like Pennsylvania which has lots of deer, I recommend planting Green Giant Arborvitae as they are the most deer resistant. – Bolton Lawn Care

Homeowners have a lot of great options when it comes to plants that provide privacy,” said Jennah Holland, Business Unit Leader at KC Landscapes. “My personal favorites are green giant arborvitaes, emerald green arborvitae, junipers like guy rocket and bamboo. But if you use bamboo, it’s important you contain it in some type of planter box because it’s very invasive. Taller shrubs like burning bush can also be used as screening plants and its color is just gorgeous in the Fall. – KC Landscapes

If you are looking for fast privacy for your backyard, arborvitae can’t be beaten. Its dense foliage provides maximum privacy and these cold-hardy evergreens hold their color exceptionally well throughout winter. Arborvitae is low maintenance, tolerates a variety of soil conditions, and can be easily pruned to create hedges and privacy screens. – Garden Goods Direct

Focus on exterior and interior privacy

Privacy in the landscape is most effective when it’s both an exterior and interior experience.  From the street, an ornamental fence shines with the home architecture.  From inside, planted screens offer maximum privacy while essentially fading away to feature the landscape within, where life takes place. – John Montgomery Landscape Architects

Water is an elegant way to block noise from nearby roads and noisy nuisances that can cut into alone time in your yard. Water features can range from small bubblers to large focal points.  However, water can be loud if overbuilt for a space.  A landscape professional can help you plan the perfect water feature for your space. – Greenhaven Landscapes

Use native trees and shrubs to provide refuge for pollinators

PLAN it WILD’s mission is to convert backyards, which are traditionally and mostly lawn, into native habitats and gardens to attract bees and other pollinators.  Native trees and shrubs have provided privacy for homes for centuries. The use of native trees and shrubs have the added benefit of providing flowers for pollinators along with shelter and food for native mammals and birds.  We firmly believe that a cluster of native plants is more beneficial and beautiful than an artificial barrier. It ultimately contributes to the health of one’s garden, cuts down on water consumption, impedes soil erosion,  and lays the foundation for a perennial backyard haven. – PLAN it WILD

Think about including a water feature

The sound of falling water can create a soothing, isolating experience.  You have the ability to cover up annoyances such as traffic noise, A/C equipment and loud neighbors with a splashy water feature or floating fountain in your pond. Add to the beauty of your yard and be the envy of the neighborhood – all while relaxing near a babbling brook water feature or majestic fountain. – MidWest Ponds

Keep it simple

Back yard privacy is a need we see a lot of. We usually meet this need with a new wooden fence, or living fences such as bamboo, trees and shrubs or a combination of all. – Holley Home and Landscaping