Garden Design: Creating Privacy

Your garden should be a retreat for you and your family, not center stage for your neighbor's curiosity! Here, a little careful landscaping solves one garden's privacy problem.
From: DK Books - Design Your Garden
Open Backyard Patio

Open Backyard Patio

Photo by: DK - Design Your Garden © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Design Your Garden, 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

The backyard originally featured an exposed patio with few plantings and a tiled surface joined by a small grassy area. The homeowner wanted more privacy and a more intimate setting for entertaining and relaxation.

Urban life means living in close proximity to other properties, making privacy in the backyard a priority for many. We want to look out from our windows onto a leafy scene—not other people’s bricks and mortar— and relax outside in relative seclusion. 

The landscaping of this yard is typical of many newer urban housing developments, where angular concrete paving dominates. Although it contains some nice plants, the garden design just doesn’t work. The overall impression is not friendly or inviting, and the planting designed to help screen the garden from neighbors has not been used strategically.

Landscaping Illustration

Landscaping Illustration

Photo by: DK - Design Your Garden © 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Design Your Garden, 2011 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Here are a few landscaping ideas that would improve the feel and function of the garden:

  • To soften the look of the garden, a wooden deck replaces the original concrete paving 
  • The square pool stays, but is set into the deck to create a focal point.  
  • The lawn extends into the line of the old patio to create a more interesting shape, and the boundary planting is reworked to include taller trees that screen the yard from the buildings behind. There is now a better balance between the deck, lawn, and borders.
  • A large tree screens the patio from the neighbors’ windows.

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