How do I create backyard privacy?

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We just moved to a house with not so much privacy. I would love to have a backyard area to relax in without everyone being able to see in the yard. Please help!

q i need some ideas for backyard privacy
q i need some ideas for backyard privacy
q i need some ideas for backyard privacy
  8 answers
  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Feb 06, 2019

    Hi Linda, I would start with an eight foot tall privacy fence around the entire back yard. From there you could consider hanging fabric "sails" to create overhead privacy or even large umbrellas. Good luck! Here are some photos of the sails I was thinking of, I know its possible to buy the fabric and make them yourself to save money.

  • Oliva Oliva on Feb 06, 2019

    You can purchase Green Giant Arborvitae trees measuring 6-8' or more. They grow 3' per year, and eventually reach heights of 20'. They fill in rapidly, and are best planted in a staggered fashion for more privacy.

    Evergreens will provide more year round privacy. Alternatively, you can erect a patio /pergola, etc. with supports for draperies, but you'll lose some yard space.

  • J J on Feb 06, 2019

    You could buy very very large pots and plant bamboo or butterfly bushes or any tall upright shrub in them. Place pots fairly close together. Bamboo will fill pots in no time plus being in pots they won’t run into other yards. You could also place pvc pipes before adding dirt so you can place poles to hold chimes or hanging baskets for interest while waiting for growth. Also you could put annuals around the bottom for instant color. Good luck!

    • Linda Linda on Feb 06, 2019

      Thanks! I love lots of plants!! My last house had the woods behind it, and i really miss that.

  • Shore grandmom Shore grandmom on Feb 06, 2019

    The wind sails and umbrellas are a great idea. Stay away from the Green Giant Arborvitae trees (they're very dirty). Be careful with the banboo, but it's a good idea, too. I love butterfly bushes and they do grow pretty big after a few years, but they'll only help in summer. The spring will have them growing and filling in with leaves. And fall and winter, they'll lose their leaves and go to bear limbs. There are evergreen shrubs that aren't evergreen, but everything takes time to grow and that won't shield you from the buildings that are higher than you are.

    • See 1 previous
    • Shore grandmom Shore grandmom on Feb 06, 2019

      I live at the Jersey Shore and we had them in a yard when we bought a house. I couldn't wait to get rid of them because they were so messy and made the yard look dirty. They dropped needles and branches all over the place. I was told that they were healthy, that that's just the way they are.

  • Jan Clark Jan Clark on Feb 06, 2019

    Depending on where you live, there may be permits you need for anything permanent that you might put up - like a privacy fence - so check that out if that is what you want to do.

    Since I can't actually determine the property lines from your photos, trees or shrubs might not be the best option for the entire yard.

    In any case, you can get some help - at least in some places - with privacy by what I call 'paneling' with lattice. Using sturdy buckets or pots (5 gallon ones will do) or dig holes in the ground to put in permanently, set 4'X4' posts (in the buckets or holes) with concrete. Use a level to make sure they're 'true'. If you're using buckets, do this where you want the bucket to stay, it'll be heavy. Next, fasten 4'X8' pieces of lattice vertically to the posts. If you think you might want to stagger or move the panels around, definitely only one panel for every pair of uprights in the buckets/pots. If the lattice doesn't provide enough privacy, you can attach sunshade material to them. This setup allows for something non-permanent that you can decorate with planters, lights, wind chimes, flags - whatever and provide character to your yard as well as privacy. Best of luck!

    • Linda Linda on Feb 06, 2019

      Thank you! I like the idea of being able to move them if needed!

  • Mindshift Mindshift on Feb 07, 2019

    There are two ways to create backyard privacy—the fast way and the slow way. The slow way is less expensive overall, but involves planting shrubs or trees that take time to grow enough to provide privacy. The fast way is with fencing, but fencing is immediately expensive and can require permits from the city. Furthermore, any fence that is already there may not be on your property, meaning it's not yours to change.

    You can, however, add to your existing fence usually without getting permits. Buy some 6' tall reed or bamboo roll fencing. The reed is much cheaper than the bamboo, but won't hold up as well to wind and snow as bamboo. Reed fencing comes in 16' rolls while bamboo rolls are more often 8' long. Attach the bamboo to the inside of the chain link using wire.

    In the photo below I show how part of your yard could look with this fencing. It's the quickest way to cover an eyesore.

  • Linda Linda on Feb 08, 2019

    Thank you! I’ve been looking at the reed and bamboo fencing , but have to get with my neighbor to see if she will allow me to attach it to her side of the fence. I really like it. I would love to plant lots of plants and trees! Thanks again!

  • Joanna - Gingham Gardens Joanna - Gingham Gardens on Feb 08, 2019

    These are all great ideas, we had this issue at our previous home and we just didn't want to shell out the $ privacy fence. We ended up making framed out, heavy-duty lattice panels and placing them an equal distance apart. In front of them were my flower gardens. While this didn't block out everything, it sure was prettier to look at.

    • Linda Linda on Feb 08, 2019

      Thank you!! I can’t wait to plant flowers here! I’m just not used to not having any privacy. I like your idea! Thanks again!