Privacy Screen Features
For most people having some privacy in their garden or patio space is fairly important. Many neighborhoods have very little spacing between houses, and without privacy, you’re much less likely to spend time in your yard. However, it can sometimes be challenging to choose the right privacy features that complement the overall design of your outdoor living space.
Below are some of the landscape features that we recommend to achieve the right balance of style and privacy.
The first consideration with regard to achieving privacy is the initial placement of your patio. Simply designing your patio to be adjacent to an existing structure can be hugely beneficial. The walls of a garage shed, and/or house can block lines of sight as well as wind.
Trees, Shrubs, and Perennials Grasses
These are all natural landscape features that can block line of sight. If you already have mature trees and shrubs on your property, they can be an invaluable privacy asset. However if you need to plant new trees and shrubs, you should be aware of how long they will take to mature. Evergreens are especially great in the shoulder seasons and winter, as they do not lose their foliage. Deciduous trees such as Amur Maples, Paper Birch, and Mancana Ash can all provide great privacy, as well as ample shade and beautiful fall color. Spring-blooming Roseybloom Crabapple, or summer-flowering Ivory Silk Lilac add stunning beauty.
Larger deciduous shrubs such as Lilacs, False Spirea, Dogwoods, and Ninebarks all grow between 6 to 12 feet and can be hedged to create a natural privacy wall.
Prairie grasses can make a great shelter hedge, especially when planted en masse. An example would be the Karl Foerster, which grows up to 5 feet tall.
Fences are a practical way to add instant privacy along with your property lines. However, fences are typically restricted to a maximum height of 6 feet. If neighboring properties are 2 or more stories tall, then a 6’ fence may not cut it.
In this case, you may want to consider building a privacy screen. Privacy screens generally fall under the same bylaws as sheds, which should be located at least 2 feet inside the property line. This technically allows you to build a privacy screen higher than 6 feet.
A typical Studio b privacy screen is around 8-10 feet tall and strategically positioned to block lines of sight from neighboring windows and decks. They can be erected quickly and provide year-round coverage. Screens typically employ horizontal boards or grid lattice and can be decorated with features such as vines, shelving, and/or lighting. Trees can be used to soften the look, and adding an enclave to your screen can make it a more powerful focal point.
If your property has space, building berms and/or creating elevation changes are other easy ways to achieve privacy. Soil left over from patio excavation can be reused as berm material, and a retaining wall built into the side of a berm can be turned into bench seating.