“When in a garden or on a patio, you want to feel that you’re in an intimate space — in a room not exposed as if you’re in the middle of the driveway or street,” says Risa Edelstein, president of the Ecological Landscaping Association.
That’s not so easy when your back yard looks out on your neighbor’s hot tub, your tranquility is constantly interrupted by road noise or your house sits in a new development with scant tree canopy. Here are some strategies for creating more privacy:
Fences. Privacy settings for fences range from private (solid tongue-and-groove or board) to semi-private (slat, picket, spindle or lattice) to rather public (rail). A topper made of lattice or circle cut-outs makes a solid fence feel less oppressive.
When considering materials, keep in mind the maintenance involved. Wood typically needs to be resealed, stained or painted every few years. Low maintenance options include powder-coated aluminum, vinyl and composite, all available in neutral shades of white, brown, black and green. Check local zoning regulations to ensure you have proper permits and do not exceed height restrictions, which are often lower for parts of the yard visible from the street.
US Aluminum Services offers fences in an array of styles in the following materials: Vinyl, Aluminum or Wood.
Evergreen Hedges. Living fences made of densely planted evergreens, especially columnar and upright conifers, offer privacy and tranquility by screening out busy street noises, reducing glare from headlights and acting as a wind break. While suitable for formal gardens, manicured privet hedges require frequent clipping. For a more natural looking barrier that’s low-maintenance, use shrubs planted close together as more of a screen than a hedge.