Asked on Apr 14, 2013

More privacy in backyard?

KateJackJessica C


We have a pool in our backyard but the neighbors can see everything from their back deck, any suggestions on what to do for privacy? We cant really put in tall bushes because the grass you see is all my 2 dogs have to use. thanks!
11 answers
  • Douglas Hunt
    on Apr 14, 2013

    I can't believe I'm going to suggest this, Bonnie, but I think this is one place where bamboo might be the right plant. You could buy large, colorful containers and plant one of the hardy clumping bamboos in them and place them where you have the white chairs now. Some of the Fargesias, like Fargesia murieliae and Fargesia nitida, are hardy to 20 below. That should get them through the worst New York winter.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Apr 14, 2013

    a tall cedar fence between the drive and the pool would work as well.

  • Empress of Dirt - Melissa
    on Apr 14, 2013

    Another idea is to add a tall structure like this one in the photo (link below) right in front of your fence, with some lattice across the back, filling in the area above the fence. Grow vines on it and/or hang big baskets of flowers.

  • Gail Salminen
    on Apr 14, 2013

    @Bonnie I think that @Empress of Dirt - Melissa post on screening ideas is the best idea. The first pic in her post that @Barb Rosen posted would work well as an addition to the existing wood fence. Another alternative is to get some canvas screening - see this search for ideas -,or.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=c75ea38d1859b04d&biw=1310&bih=589 Not sure of the cost of this idea though. From you pic I am not sure how tall you would need it - my guess is at least 10'. It also appears the the easiest area to do this is by the wood fence - no gates and open ground to sink poles and plant vines to climb the structure. For vines you could do clematis - very pretty most of the summer with blooms and fairly hardy in out climate, also low maintenance. Or you could do Creeping Virginia - red leaves in the fall, berries to attract birds through the winter and spring, fast growing and low maintenance. I use this on our back frost fencing to sheild our pool area from the busy park behind us. Do let us know what you come up with with pics - love to see what people do. Thanks for posting.

  • If you build anything, it's very important that you do NOT encroach into your neighbors yard (I don't know if that is your fence or your neighbors along the driveway). If you have the room, you could build two or three individual trellis', and, since it seems there isn't much depth to work with, plant a climbing vine or rose bush between (instead of in front of) each trellis. The trellis designs on this website may give you some inspiration if you decide to to go that route - Check with your local building department (they are usually very helpful) to see how tall you can build the trellis (sometimes they will allow a trellis to be taller than a screen fence, for example, 7'), and also, whether you'll need a building permit for it.

  • I would construct a deck around the pool and add a higher railing around the deck if all your looking to do is have privacy around the pool itself. Putting in fences and everything other than the bamboo would be still too low and the neighbors would still be able to see into the yard when on the deck.

  • Gail Salminen
    on Apr 14, 2013

    @Bonnie @Woodbridge Environmental has a very good point. This would allow you to put an elevated lattice from the deck surface - we did this on our deck by the bbq to provide us and the neighbours who back onto that side with privacy. Not sure that the surface that is there already will allow for installing a deck. Another thing to keep in mind, especially if you have teens or preteens at home, is safety. Many a kid has dived into a pool from an unsafe location, I am guessing that the end of the pool depicted in the pic is the shallow end so would be doubly dangerous and leaves the home owner at a liability risk. You may want to inquire about the pool safety standards and deck standards. @Matthew Weber provided a post on deck standards here - He may be able to answer some questions for you.

  • Jessica C
    on Apr 29, 2013

    I would add some big pots with cedar trees or tall topiaries in them as a screen. You can move them around as you see fit, it would be an easy fix.

  • Jack
    on Mar 19, 2016

    I'd use tall grasses or bamboo in planter boxes along the chain link fence to create some privacy and soften the "hard" scape..... u could even create planter box/seating combinations .....

  • Kate
    on Aug 21, 2016

    Depending on how much extra privacy you want or need, just filling in that wire fence might help a lot, and it could be done cheaply and easily with some fabric, either stretched across the whole fence, or woven through the links in strips. It could be as subtle or as bright as you like, and you could change it out easily. It should shield the people actually in the water, if not those on the side we can't see in the picture, and would be a quick fix while you decide on a bigger/more expensive solution.

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