The secrets of suburban privacy are as arcane as they are numerous. Nobody wants to live in a yard that is under constant surveillance, even if the privacy-invader is the neighbor’s poodle. The good news is there are many ways your outdoor living spaces can be arranged so they don’t attract unnecessary attention from the neighbors, wherever they might be.
The first priority in planning your privacy upgrade in the back yard is to take stock of all the possible lines of sight in and around the perimeter. A great way to do this is to make use of your mobile phone camera. If you properly orchestrate and document your yard piece by piece, you will be able to create a sequential map of your entire property line complete with what plants are where and what fences are between them and your neighbor’s yard. You will also have an opportunity to document any damage to those fences and any places where you might need landscaping help in order to upgrade your flora, retaining structures and walls.
Any property owner looking for the world’s greatest way to create an impenetrable barrier while growing one of the world’s most versatile crops should look into the possibility of planting a stand of bamboo. This evergreen is one of the fastest growing and most resilient plants in the world, and it can rise to considerable height in a much shorter time than most people might imagine.
Because of its hardy nature, bamboo can be purchased already grown to heights of more than thirty feet. While it is true that few yards would need a three-story privacy screen, the cost of creating such a barrier with any other plant would be prohibitive in the best of circumstances. Bamboo will grow just about anywhere and doesn’t require any unusual care unlike some other plants that might be purchased and planted for the same purpose.
If you have set aside part of your yard for a patio, lounge or dining space, and you want to improve your privacy, you can always build what is known as a “container” around the area. Some of the most common kinds of containers are narrow planters that can be decorated with various kinds of flowers that extend behind and across the entire width the patio area. Very often, they will be built at a higher level than the patio itself, creating a kind of “recessed” area for socializing and relaxing. The patio itself is often best situated near the structure such that the back fence can provide an effective barrier for the other side of the yard.
3- Fences and Walls
Before building any kind of permanent structure, it is advisable to check with both your city and county governments to determine the restrictions on height, materials and colors. If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association, they should also be consulted. Make sure you get any and all opinions and legal citations in writing and run them by a real estate attorney before you build. Bureaucracies excel at producing obscure legal objections moments after cement is poured.
Wherever possible and legal, fences and walls should be equipped with decorations and ornaments that extend their height and effectiveness as barriers to people trying to see over them. This not only adds to the attractiveness of your home but helps improve your walls and fences’ effectiveness in enhancing privacy.
As lots shrink and neighborhoods become more crowded, privacy is had at a higher and higher premium. Taking some basic steps to improve your yard and grounds, however, can dramatically improve your privacy, the attractiveness of your property and possibly its value as well.