How to Use Plants for Patio Privacy

Would you like to create a lush and colorful "living fence" for your paved patio area? Since it involves planting a tree and hedge, along with flowers, this will take more of an investment in time and money than many specialty gardens. The yew will eventually provide a 6-foot evergreen privacy hedge and the maple will provide dappled sunlight three seasons of the year. The flowers and plants complete this garden, providing a serene sitting area that will become a favorite family spot.


Step 1

Dig up the planting area near the paved patio. The size of the garden--and number of plants--will depend upon how much space is available. The maple tree requires a 3-foot by 3-foot area and should be 3 feet away from where the bench will be placed on the patio. There needs to be at least 2 feet between the patio and the hedge of anglojap yews.

Step 2

Dig in a 2-foot by 2-foot deep trench for the anglojap yews (these grow 10 to 20 feet). Plant the yews, spacing them 4 feet apart. Fill the trench with a mixture of 3 parts soil and 1 part compost.

Step 3

Dig a hole that is 3-feet by 3-feet for the maple tree, which grows to about 30 feet. The depth depends upon the size of the rootball; it needs to be deep enough to allow 2 inches of the trunk’s base to be above the patio. Plant the maple in this hole. Fill the hole partially. Plant lilyturf (grows to 12 inches) around the base of the tree and finish filling the hole. Depending upon the size of the sapling and how strong the winds are in your area, it might be necessary to stake the tree. Check with your local nursery to find if this is the case for you.

Step 4

Place the garden bench between the maple and the yew hedge. Plant the false cypress, which grows to 3 feet, at one end of the bench, digging a hole that is twice as wide as the rootball’s diameter. Turn the shrub so that its best side faces the patio.

Step 5

Plant the golden clarion lilies, which grow 3 to 6 feet, between the bench and the yew hedge, spacing the bulbs 1 foot apart. Fill the bed between the patio and hedge with hostas (which grow 2 to 4 feet), spacing them 1 foot apart. Water thoroughly to remove air pockets and settle the soil. Continue to water regularly.

Step 6

Keep the maple tree pruned so that the branches are above head level. Prune the yew hedge so that the base is wider than the top, which allows sunlight in the center. Remove the spent flower stems from the lilies and wait until the foliage has completely died down before cutting them to the ground.

Tips and Warnings

Other plants that can be used to create privacy for your patio are gardenia, weeping hemlock, blue holly, fraser photinia, blue oat grass, striped giant reed, anise magnolia tree and a shogetsu cherry tree.

Things You'll Need

Shovel , Compost , Trowel, Garden bench, Stake and ties (optional), Anglojap yew, Paperback maple tree, Lilyturf, False cyprus (Minima), Golden clarion hybrid lilies, Hostas, Mulch, Loping shears, Pruning shears

About this Author

After attending Hardin Simmons University, Kay Dean finished her formal education with the Institute of Children's Literature. Since 1995, Dean has written more than 2,000 articles for publications, including "PB&J," Disney’s "Family Fun," "ParentLife," "Living With Teenagers" and Thomas Nelson’s New York Times best-selling "Resolve." After 17 years of homeschooling her five children, Dean discovered that motherhood doesn’t stop with an empty nest.

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