Planting for Privacy

Browse these front and backyards and get ideas for creating a green screen for your outdoor living space.

Patio Container Garden

Perennial Screen

A collection of container plants on the deck can provide color plus a handy supply of fresh veggies and herbs, but it can also serve as a perfect screen. In the fall, when perennials die back, the needled evergreens in the back come to the fore. Posted by RMSer smp71lover

Backyard Lawn Before Makeover

Before: At One With the Traffic

A simple privacy fence was only the beginning of separation between RMSer Donna1943's backyard and a busy neighbor. Here, a couple of spruces and other trees are getting established.

Private Backyard Retreat

After: Lush Privacy

Today Donna1943's backyard is a beautiful and private retreat.

sitting area 2

Softening a Hardscape

A fence covered with ivy provides a low perimeter around this seating area. For shrubs that will provide a 3- to 5-foot foot evergreen hedge, consider Japanese holly 'Compacta', boxwood or 'Manhattan' euonymus.

Is There Anywhere to Hide?

Before: Because it's on a corner lot, this house has three doors that give undesirable access to passersby. Plus, there is virtually no privacy anywhere in the yard.

Decorative and Private

After: The overexposed side of the house gets a coverup with a fence and an attractive mechanical gate leading to the garage. The bottom of the fence is solid for the sake of privacy; a lattice overlay gives it a garden feel. An olive tree and colorful plants accent the new hardscaping.

Porch Privacy Tip

Another low-cost privacy solution: Mount some shutters on a frame, add a coat of fresh paint and hang them from the ceiling of a porch.

Too Much Information

Before: From inside this home, the only view is of the neighbor's backyard. The homeowners want to walk out of their house into a secluded garden retreat.

Green Scene

After: Even though the planting is quite new, this mixture of trees, shrubs and perennials already has begun to provide screening. Because the site is a drainage area, wet-soil-tolerant plants like bald cypress, inkberry holly, clethra, daylily, elephant ear and daylily were chosen.

Buffer Zone

After: The planting area of the backyard screen isn't simply a single line of trees or shrubs across the back end of the property but a wide buffer zone that forms a destination garden in itself.

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