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Turn Your Yard Into a Private Paradise

How to increase your privacy and hide the neighbour’s unsightly shed

Creating a wishlist of all the features you want to include in your new landscape is exciting — but what do you do if your yard has issues that make your space less than ideal, such as unsightly views or exposure to neighbouring properties? 

Backyard privacy is a big issue. New houses seem to spring up overnight and are often built far too close to neigbouring properties for comfort. But what can you do to hide the neighbours ugly shed or ensure you’ll feel comfortable sunbathing on the pool deck? 

Enlist the services of a landscape designer. 

In addition to helping you choose the features to include and materials to use in your new landscape, a professional designer will suggest a variety of design solutions to keep curious eyes from peeking into your yard and shield you from unsightly views. 

As an added bonus, including some type of barrier helps reduce noise and improves the safety and security of your property. If any of these issues are a concern for you, this is a post you’ll definitely want to read!

Create a living barrier with plants

Plants are essential in any landscape. In addition to providing texture, vibrant colours and depth, plants can shield your yard from prying eyes and act as a natural sound barrier, creating a private oasis in a friendly, unobtrusive way.

In B.C., there are several ways to use plants to increase your privacy and block out unwanted views.

  • Plant trees and shrubs — Trees and shrubs are extremely beneficial in a landscape. They provide shade, improve air quality, help control erosion and offer food and shelter to wildlife. They’re also beautiful and natural privacy screens that reduce noise and create a sense of seclusion. Most evergreens are a good choice, but you can always mix in some deciduous and flowering trees and shrubs for added interest. 
  • Plant a hedge — In certain circumstances, a hedge could help increase the privacy in your yard. But be careful when choosing the plants you’ll use — laurel and cedar grow quickly and can become too tall and intrusive in smaller spaces. 
  • Erect a trellis — Installing a lattice fence and covering it with vines is a good way to block your view while still allowing light to filter through. You can use a trellis to separate different sections of your landscape from each other too, creating a more intimate space for dining or soaking in the hot tub.

There are plenty of plants that provide excellent privacy and screening. When selecting plants for your landscape, it's important to consider factors such as sunlight exposure, soil conditions and the desired height and growth rate. Consulting with local growers or the horticultural experts at Vandenberg will ensure you get the best plants for your specific property and privacy needs.

Install a fence for instant privacy

It’s been said that “good fences make good neighbours”. But putting up a fence does more than provide privacy: 

  • Define your space — A fence defines the boundary between your property and your neighbour’s, making property disputes unlikely.
  • Limit access to your property — Having a fenced yard keeps intruders from entering your property, giving your home an extra layer of protection. And that includes curious wildlife. 
  • Wind and noise reduction — Fences act as windbreaks, reducing the impact of strong winds in your yard. Additionally, fences can help reduce noise from nearby roads or neighbours.
  • Provides a nice backdrop for your garden — A fences provides structure and support for your garden, helping define the edges and providing a stable background.
  • Keep children and pets safe — A fence creates a safe and enclosed area for children and pets to play, keeping them from wandering off or accessing potential hazards in neighbouring properties. 

Fences are very versatile. With a wide range of styles and materials available, you can choose a fence that complements your home’s aesthetics and the natural surroundings. 

Define your space with privacy screens 

If you’d like your yard to feel cozy and intimate, install a privacy screen of some kind to define specific spaces within your landscape design. Here are some areas where a screen could be beneficial.

  • Patio or deck — Having a privacy screen around your patio or deck lets you relax or entertain friends and family without worrying about prying eyes.
  • Pools and hot tubs — Installing a privacy screen around your pool or hot tub lets you enjoy a soak or a swim without feeling like you’re being watched.
  • Outdoor living space — An outdoor living space is an extension of your home. To make it feel more like a room, use a privacy screen to define the space and create a cozy and intimate atmosphere.
  • Screen off unsightly areas — We all have spaces in our yards that are practical, but not necessarily beautiful. A strategically-placed privacy screen helps hide the pool pump, garbage cans and other “messy” sites from view.

Privacy screens can be made from living or non-living materials, and where you place your privacy screen will depend on the layout of your property and your specific needs. Vandenberg’s landscape designer can help determine the best place to put your screen to maximize privacy and enhance your outdoor living space.

Your yard can be a private paradise

A well-placed barrier or privacy screen is the key to creating a sanctuary where you can unwind and enjoy your yard to the fullest. Whether you opt for lush greenery or a more structured approach, unsightly views or lack of privacy won’t keep you from enjoying your outdoors.

If lack of privacy or an unattractive view are issues for you, Vandenberg’s design team has the experience to transform your outdoor space into a private oasis. Simply schedule a free consultation to see how we can help.

Written by  Matt Vandenberg