There to be a time you might kick ago in glorious solitude best in your own backyard. Climate the family members next door cleared part trees on their lot. And also on the various other side, the neighbors’ brand-new master suite has a second-story deck through nice views—into your yard. Suddenly, you feel like you’re life in a fishbowl.

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As larger houses occupy ever-smaller lots and the demand for out living locations grows, privacy is at a premium. And it’s no just around prying eyes invading your space—you might want to shield your own view of your sunbathing neighbors and block the end their chatter.

How deserve to I obtain Privacy in my Backyard without a Fence?

Fences are the usually the first solution that pertained to mind. But there space myriad means to produce privacy in your backyard there is no a fence too—from putting in perimeter plantings to rock walls, or garden structures.

10 ways to Block next-door neighbors View of your Backyard

To inspire you, here are our favorite backyard privacy ideas.

1. Staggered wooden Boards

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picture by Andrew Drake Staggered wood boards are stained in soft shades that black, yellow, green, and also red. They produce a one-of-a-kind privacy fence softened by shrubs in front and also a feathery tree canopy overhead.

2. Hedges for Privacy

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photograph by Nancy andrews This privacy landscaping idea can administer year-round screening and also are typically not minimal by municipal ordinances limiting your height. Where room is tight, together in a side yard, fast-growing columnar evergreens prefer Italian cypress and also arborvitae or a sheared privet hedge can administer a basic solution because that separating adjoining yards or blocking sight lines out a kitchen window.

To tree a new privet hedge, create a trench 2 feet broad and 2 feet deep, room individual shrubs around 12 inches apart, and bring soil approximately the branching trunk. Water deeply and frequently the an initial year, making use of drip irrigation. To thrive, these deciduous shrubs call for a temperate climate and also a homeowner willing to wield spicy shears as often as needed.

3. Layered Privacy Plantings

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photo by Nancy andrews In bigger yards, planting a mix that deciduous or evergreen trees, shrubs, and also perennials create a much more naturalistic look, particularly if you layer plants, group them in odd numbers. “Stagger evergreens in the background, and in the foreground step down the elevation with deciduous material to carry out texture, depth, and also color,” says Elliott Brundage, a landscape architect in Andover, Massachusetts.

Planting deciduous the shade trees—which generally flourish from 25 to 60 feet high, depending on the species—is a an excellent way to obscure a neighbor"s check out from a second-story home window or terrace. Positioned end a deck or patio, the canopy gives privacy and also shade in the summer. In the winter, the trees" ceiling branches allow the sun to shine into the house.

4. Container Gardens because that Deck Privacy

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photograph by Philip Harvey
Pro2Pro Tip: for a long-­lasting container display, integrate showy annuals v ornamental grasses, shrubs that readjust leaf shade in the fall, or dwarf evergreens. Go for a mix of colors, textures, and also foliage types.


Potted tree such together arborvitae or clumping bamboo deserve to be positioned to produce a green screen about a raised deck seating area. Ideally, pots have to be raised up top top casters or make of lightweight products so girlfriend can conveniently move them for parties or deck repairs.

5. Fences and also Walls

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photo by Courtesy of Walpole Woodworkers Newly set up pools, patios, and playgrounds might require a intuitive buffer in a hurry. A 6-foot solid board fence is the quickest way to produce privacy in your backyard year-round—just be certain to examine local building codes regarding fence heights (and any kind of other restrictions). The may also be the best solution in a next yard, where room is tight, due to the fact that fences have actually a smaller footprint than plantings.

Board fences come in various formats to complement the design of her home, and you can stain them to enhance the house. “But when a privacy fence could solve the problem, it"s not constantly the many aesthetically pleasing solution,” says Eric Sauer, a landscape architect in Dayton, Ohio. To rest up the massive of a plank fence, Sauer suggests including an open up lattice or baluster top, and planting flowering or evergreen shrubs in front come soften the solidity.

6. Stone Wall Topped v Fencing

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photograph by Courtesy that Walpole Woodworkers
Pro2Pro Tip: A an excellent wall begins with a stable base. In locations with many loam and poor drainage, you could have to excavate down 4-feet-deep, below the frost line, and install piping to drain water out of the footing.


Another choice is to mountain a shorter, 3- or 4-foot lattice or picket fence on peak of a 2- or 3-foot stone wall. The wall, indigenous a distance, is high sufficient to disrupt sight lines, if the openwork fence screens without feeling claustrophobic.

7. Stonework Walls through Ornamental Ironwork

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photo by Amy Gallo Similarly, a masonry wall of stone or stucco that rises 5- or 6-feet-high feels less oppressive when windows are reduced into it; often, ornamental ironwork deserve to ­dec­orate such openings.

Michael Glassman, a Sacramento, California, see designer, searches garage sales for the fencing he incorporates into his clients" yards. He could use a $50 cast–iron ar as a trellis because that vines, fitting it v brackets come secure it to the side of a house. "As protest to new ironwork, which deserve to look generic, salvage has actually an old look the gives much more permanence come the landscape," claims Glassman.

8. Panels and Pergolas

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Trellis structures Defined locations like tiny patios, outdoor kitchens, and decks room generally less complicated to display screen than a whole yard. By building an enclosure approximately them, you have the right to re-create the intimate emotion of eat or entertaining indoors, if still enjoy it beautiful weather.

Enclosures might take the form of a slatted-top wooden pergola spanned with climbing vines ~ above a patio or a pair of solved lattice panels along 2 sides the a elevated deck. Prefab stole gazebos deserve to be collection right ~ above the ground and also surrounded through potted vines and also hanging baskets come fill some of the gaps.

9. Lattice, hardwood Panels, and also Ornamental Ironwork

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picture by Michael Glassman & Associates displays made indigenous lattice, shutter favor louvered hardwood panels, or part of ornamental iron with anchoring posts can be set into the ground come enclose a cozy edge or make a U-shaped structure that preserves preferable views. Because that maximum flexibility, consider placing the write-up ends in lightweight planters through wheels; to anchor them, include concrete plugs come the feet or collection the write-ups in gravel. The way, they deserve to be moved about to create more open space when you"re entertaining.

Semitransparent structures may not administer complete privacy, but they add a lot of visual interest to a see and allow natural light and also breezes in. “They develop a comforting sense of containment and also a mental buffer,” states Stephanie Hubbard, a see architect in Boston and TOH TV regular.

10. Utilizing Fountains to Mask Noise

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photograph by Amy Gallo even if you"re no literally seeing eye come eye through the neighbors, you might still be close enough to hear your conversation. Or you may be bothered by intrusive website traffic noise or buzzing AC compressors. In together cases, adding a spring to her privacy setup can mask unwanted sounds with pleasant white noise. These range from off-the-shelf, plug-in units that sit top top a table or cave on the wall surface to custom designs that become a significant focal point.

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Keep in mind the flowing water i do not care louder the farther it falls and the more tiers it travels over. Michael Glassman, a landscape designer in Sacramento, California, cautions that it"s feasible for a fountain come be also loud, i beg your pardon is just as disruptive as the noise you"re trying come hide. “The sound the rushing water could be inviting once guests arrive, but you don"t desire to have to yell over the din at dinner,” states Glassman, who designed the wall surface and water feature shown here. All fountains have a recirculating pump, for this reason if you acquire an adjustable one, you"re certain to discover a sound level that"s soothing.