How to Landscape for Privacy

Landscaping your garden can be an excellent way of boosting the value of your home for very little outlay. However, many people don’t like to use their garden due to the ‘fishbowl’ effect, where they feel everyone can see them, and that the garden lacks privacy. There are several methods you can use to increase the privacy of your garden.

Fences For Your Garden

Fences are a cheap, cost effective way to make your garden private. They can either be put up on the ground, or can sit on top of a wall to give additional height.

If you are starting the fence at a wall, you will need to use mounting brackets, which you will need to screw into the wall. Then, attach the first fence panel. Fence panels are usually made to a standard width of 1.8m (6ft), and usually have a height of 1.8m (6ft), though heights of 1.5m (5ft) and 1.2m (6ft) are common. The most difficult part of putting up a fence is putting up the fence posts, as these must have deep foundations, and should ideally be set in concrete to keep them firm should the soil around them wash away. You should push a post socket into the hole, filling around it with concrete if necessary. The socket should be knocked into the ground until the top is level with the ground. You can then put a post into the socket. This should be repeated the length of the fence.

If you put in a wooden post, you will need to use more brackets to secure the panels to the posts. You can also buy concrete posts, which are reinforced and do not rot. They usually also have two grooved sides which accommodate fence panels, making for easier installation, and easy removal of the panels. However, concrete posts are much heavier, and can be difficult to transport.

The fence panels themselves come in a variety of patterns and textures. Some will be pre-stained, while others may come in a more natural finish, allowing you to varnish or stain them if you wish.

Hedges and Bushes

The hedge is a popular method of ensuring privacy in your garden, as it is usually inexpensive, and can blend in with almost any garden scenery. Because of this, they aren’t seen as quite so intrusive. Hedges also attract wildlife, and so can encourage various animals into your garden.

There are many different types of hedge, and you should select an appropriate one to your needs. Do you want a thick edge which blocks out all light and prevents anyone seeing through? Or do you want a thinner hedge which gives additional privacy without completely removing vision and light. You may want to plant more than one type of hedge plant, to provide variation along a hedge row. It is also worth bearing in mind that some hedges will lose their foliage in winter (deciduous hedges) while some will retain their foliage year-round (evergreen hedges). You must decided which hedge you want, and whether you want the hedge to lose its leaves in the autumn. You should decide whether the foliage is important in winter, and if a green hedge would blend in with the rest of your garden during the winter months.

A disadvantage of a hedge is that it requires additional maintenance compared to a fence – it will need trimming to keep it looking tidy, and to allow it to grow thicker foliage, meaning a more frequent trim is wise.

How Trees Can Be Used To Create Privacy

Trees are another excellent way of ensuring privacy, particularly when you already have a fence or hedge in place, but wish to block out more light, or prevent the garden being viewed from higher up. Trees can be planted like hedges, in a row to block a sight, or to prevent being overlooked, or as a standalone tree which can block a specific object.

However, there a lot of things to take into account before planting trees. First of all, you must consider the size, and also the rooting size, as if the tree takes root very deeply then it can affect utilities or the foundations of your home. You may also want to consider the amount of shade the tree will produce, as it could affect other plants and flowers in your garden. You should also consider the shape; as this will affect the amount of light allowed into your garden as well as the privacy.

You should also consider your neighbours. If you put up a tall tree for privacy, consider how it may affect them. It would be inconsiderate if you bought a huge tree which was placed in such a location as to block out all light to their garden. Also, if you place a tree on a boundary, who is responsible for its upkeep and maintenance? Is it fair to expect them to look after any parts of the tree which encroach into their land?

You may be tempted to select Leylandii trees as an ideal tree, as it grows quickly and is a great shape for privacy. However, there have recently been a number of disputes between landowners and neighbours, as the tree grows so quickly it can ‘invade’ someone else’s property, blocking out light and requiring frequent maintenance. Neighbours often feel aggrieved at having to look after a tree which they didn’t plant, or even want; particularly when they were not consulted beforehand as to whether they want the tree encroaching upon their light and land.

If you would like to begin implementing these services to your house we can help, contact us today or check our our residential landscaping page.