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DIY- How to Create Better Backyard Privacy

Updated on May 23, 2011

Tall trees can provide more privacy and add beauty to the area

Add color and interest to your backyard while adding privacy by planting trees.These are Newport  Plums
Add color and interest to your backyard while adding privacy by planting trees.These are Newport Plums | Source

Make your surroundings more private and more beautiful

When you go outside to your backyard do you feel like you in full view of the street, or neighborhood?

You can create better privacy in your backyard and even your front yard without feeling too closed in. And best of all , you can do it yourself, and save lots of money!

Let's use a patio area as an example. When you sit on your patio are you exposed to the neighborhood?

Of course you can install fencing, and you may already have it, and you still feel like your backyard is wide open. Especially if your property is on a slope downhill from your neighbors or on a corner lot close to a highway.

Typically a privacy fence is 6 feet tall. Chain link fencing is usually 4 feet tall and it is still see thru. Fences make good neighbors, because they provide a real barrier for property lines, when mowing. And dogs don't go into other peoples yards, and kids play within their boundaries, plus they do provide privacy and security.

But what if a fence is not enough? You have other ways to make your property more private.

If you notice the photo above. look closely and you can see the top of a privacy fence. The trees in the photo are much taller than the fence is now. They were planted 4 years ago. Newport plums are only one of many varieties of trees that are in this yard that provide layers of color and privacy.

When I moved to the property all of the large trees in the backyard had been removed. The entire backyard was surrounded in fencing. But there was not enough privacy. And the view was great on both sides but terrible beyond the back fence line.

So something had to be done to improve the view toward the back fence and add more privacy from that angle.

Create layers of privacy and interest

Contrasting colors and textures add interest and privacy
Contrasting colors and textures add interest and privacy | Source

This is how to get the privacy you want

A series of pine trees were planted about 10 feet from the back fence line.They provide year round screening, but they don't grow that fast.

Closer to the fence line a row of hybrid poplar trees were planted. They grow fast, and they are inexpensive too.

So the rows of trees provide a double layer during warmer months when being outside is more inviting. This design is very helpful in achieving the privacy wanted fast while the pine trees are getting larger.

The 2 newport plum trees are planted on an angle in another area of the yard. They offer a nice contrast in color and added interest as well. There are 2 river birch trees planted more towad the middle of the yard that are smaller. But they are growing fast too.

At the patio are there is a red japanese maple tree and 2 verigated weigelas. When seated at the table on the patio from spring until fall you see layers of color and foliage. There are other plants and flowers mixed in to make lots of flower gardens and create colorful gardens.

All of the trees, except the pine trees, lose their leaves for the winter, which gives several months of a more open feeling to the space. During cold months privacy is not as much of an issue because most people are indoors more anyway.

Climbing Roses on a Wrought Iron Arbor and Trellises

Privacy from the street is provide by placing this arbor at the walkway.
Privacy from the street is provide by placing this arbor at the walkway. | Source

Create the layers in stages

To get a look that is both nice to view and not overcrowded, plant the trees in stages, and not necessarily in straight rows. If you have space, staggger the rows to provide interest.

Plant some trees one year and more the next until you get the look you want and the privacy you need. Start new trees from cuttings to save money.

I have started a few new poplars this way, to add to the collection.

You can get a temporary privacy screen by planting annual flowers that vine such as hyacinth been vine or morning glory.

There are perennial vines that grow fast and come back yeach year that also provide additional privacy.

For a more permanent screen, build structures such as pergolas and surround them with climbing flowers and vines such as wisteria.

And you can grow these vines over wrought iron arbors or a trellis to add support needed. Climbing roses are great for this too. See the photo on the right.

This is the view from my walk looking out into the street. The arbor is completely covered with climbing roses that add color, the roses are blaze climbers with reddish - pink blooms, that bloom from may until frost.

They have grown to this size with many trims over the last 4 years. I let them cover the entire structure because I love the look and the privacy that is provided.

Plus the arbor is not something that you see in every yard, so it is easy as an noticeable identifying item when giving directions to the house for someone that has not been there before.

A lot of the flowering vines can be started from seed and that goes along way toward saving money in your garden.

Plus there is just something special about growing something from seed.

Create better backyard privacy and extend it all the way around the house to maximize your level of privacy desired.

Watch the videobelow form ideas on building privacy screens as another option for better backyard privacy.

Post comments below.

Building Privacy Screens


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    • RentedMule profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Lexington Kentucky

      Elightspot, That is very true, good lighting is essential for added safty at night.

      Thanks Freda

    • eLightSpot profile image


      7 years ago from Enid

      Great tips! Make sure you have enough lighting to make your private backyard safe as well!

    • RentedMule profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Lexington Kentucky

      Thanks Mike, I really appreciate your votes, And your comments. I am really enjoying writing for Hubpages, and sharing ideas.

      Thanks so much for your input.


    • Teddletonmr profile image

      Mike Teddleton 

      7 years ago from Midwest USA

      Great hub full of useful ideas. Voted up, useful, and bookmarked. Looking forward to reding your next hub, thanks for all the great ideas. Mike

    • RentedMule profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Lexington Kentucky

      Thanks so much for your comments, I really appreciate the vote too!


    • apStumbo profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice, this is awesome!

    • RTalloni profile image


      7 years ago from the short journey

      These are great ideas! Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful.


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