With suburban houses getting closer together, most of us these days get the feeling like we’re living on top of each other. And we are. If you’re in the city or even just a little bit out of it - chances are you can almost jump roof-to-roof down your street. Regardless of whether you’re a homeowner or renting, living in your neighbours’ pockets is no fun for anyone. Whist there was a time when you could kick back in the solitude of your own outdoor area, now most of us are fighting a battle of prying eyes and the invasion of personal space.
The good news is there are many options when it comes to backyard privacy ideas. From quick fixes that can be applied to a rental property to permanent long term solutions, creating a personal retreat that’s shielded from the rest of the world is at a premium. And it doesn’t need to look unattractive either! Here’s how to boost your outdoor entertaining space into an attractive, secluded oasis.
1. Grow in Layers
Creating layers in your garden with lush plants doesn’t just look fantastic, but it’s perfect for blocking views too. Use your favourite plants in raised beds to make a secluded effect in your backyard space and plant tall trees and shrubs near boundary lines to deter prying eyes. By layering the position of your plants – instead of just focusing around the outline of your outdoor area, you’ll be able to create an extra-secluded feel to your space.
Grow a layered effect by planting trees and greenery to form ‘pockets’ where you can’t see your house or other parts of the outdoor space. This way, your yard will allow for space to getaway, without actually leaving the country. Use a mix of different trees, shrubs and flowering plants at various height levels to create a layered effect with texture, colour and depth.
2. Controlled Privacy Fencing
Fencing is the most obvious way to establish privacy in your home, but it’s the choice of fencing that can really make all the difference. Whilst slat fencing tends to be the most popular fencing choice and looks appealing, it’s not the best option for privacy control. For full backyard privacy ideas, louvres fencing are ideal because it gives you complete privacy control whilst still maintain visual appeal.
Installing a fence is an extremely effective way to form a visual buffer between you and your neighbours and adds an all year round screening. For smaller outdoor spaces, fences can be better than planting layers as they have a smaller footprint. Just be sure though, to check all your local council regulations and building codes regarding fence heights and restrictions before putting shovel to dirt.
3. Bamboo Screening
As one of the fastest growing plants, bamboo is a fantastic way to screen out your neighbours. With its dense abundance and striking appeal, it’s a practical solution for homes next to high rise buildings or upper decks that lurk down on your outdoor space.
You can plant the natural bamboo shoots directly into the ground to create a bamboo screen, or purchase large pots to line the space. Whilst bamboo can be an expensive plant to purchase, opting for shorter shoots will definitely save on costs. And because it’s such a fast growing plant, it won’t take too much time before your outdoor space is looking luscious and private.
4. Repurposed Doors
When we think of privacy options, a door is an obvious solution that comes to mind, but what about using them outside in your backyard space too? Repurposed doors can be a great way to save money and offer a super quick solution to creating a little privacy in your yard.
Connect old doors with hinges and join them together, strategically placed of course, to create a privacy screen in your outdoor space. You can use them to block views from neighbours or passer-by’s, to separate the yard and create layered pockets for extra seclusion or to cover up unattractive walls. Old doors can be easily picked up from your local tip and a fresh coat of paint or keeping with the rustic theme look can make them look fantastic in your yard.
5. Twisted Vines
Vines are one of the most versatile plants for your garden because they can be used in so many different ways. To dress up a tired or dull looking wall, as a plant climber to cover a fence or travel wires together to create a screen in any desired direction.
As far as garden privacy goes, vines are the ultimate choice of plants. Because of their dense growth and lush appeal, they’re a practical attraction for any outdoor space. Use them too, for scrambling up the wall of pergolas and decks to create a privacy ‘wall’ around your entertaining space.
6. Create a Sound Barrier
If you really want to create a private backyard oasis, you need to consider more than just what you can ‘see’. Establishing a sense of privacy involves more than one sense and noise is definitely a priority too. Water features are a stunning way to add visual interest to your garden, whilst helping to create a sound barrier too. Ideal for blocking out background noise from a busy street or loud neighbours, fountains or a small pond with a water feature can make a world of difference to how you enjoy your space.
It doesn’t matter where you live or how close your home is to nearby neighbours, creating your own private sanctuary is possible. With a little bit of creativity and a few great ideas, your backyard living space can be turned into a private retreat – your own personal getaway oasis.
This article was written by Jayde Ferguson with assistance from Dave Ward, who owns and operates residential fencing company Awards Fencing based in Perth, Western Australia. You can catch Jayde on Google+ to discuss this piece.