By Susan Albert
Almost everyone wants some degree of privacy in their yards, and there are many options to help you obtain it. Whether you desire a privacy screen, divider hedge, or garden room separation, living plants can create a cozy, protected feeling — usually at a fraction of the cost of a brick or wood structure.
Here are some popular ways to feel more secluded in your backyard.
- Plant in layers. Start at the back with the tallest evergreens and trees, then add shrubs, grasses, and perennials as you move forward. See the example above.
- Create a border with tall ornamental grasses. Some to try are maidengrass, switchgrass, and big bluestem.
- Add garden “rooms” as you move through the yard. This not only increases privacy, it also adds structure and interest. In this photo, right, an inviting and aromatic climbing rose divides a garden room.
- Use a trellis or arbor as a simple divider or screen. Cover the structure with climbing roses, or annual or perennial vines. Pictured, right, is a fast-growing morning glory vine. Also, add vines or climbing roses to a wire or chain-link fence to provide security and privacy.
- Plant a row of evergreen trees as a natural buffer to separate your yard from a neighbor’s yard. Suggestions include loblolly pine, Arizona cypress, shortleaf pine, and Deodar cedar.
- Create a dense screen between your yard and a busy street with popular arborvitae cultivars such as ‘Green Giant’ and ‘Excelsa’.
As a bonus, the shrubs, hedges, and privacy screens create windbreaks and shade that reduce the energy costs in your home and help absorb noise in your yard.