Ideas for Privacy in the Backyard

Today's homes are often built on small lots with narrow strips of land between each house. Side and back yards are often left exposed to neighbors and roadsides. Creating privacy in these areas will turn your once open space into a private backyard retreat. Screening off a portion of the land with trees and shrubs or installing a vine-covered pergola results in a usable space that is now your private garden.


Plant a row of evergreen trees such as spruce or cedar to create a privacy wall in the backyard space. Evergreen trees, like cedar, can reach up to 40 feet in height and will fill out the backyard space while creating a private backyard area. Tree rows also create a windbreak, shielding your home from winter winds and cool nights. Plant the trees side by side at least 5 feet apart. This will ensure the trees eventually grow close together, but give them room to grow and air circulation. For extra privacy, line the side yard to create a dramatic L-shaped fence line of trees.


A pergola or arbor will create a private area to use for outdoor living and dining in your backyard space. Plant creeping vines at the base of the pergola structure to create a shaded and private area. Fast-growing vines like wisteria will shade the pergola with cascading blooms in pale purple. Situate the structure in the backyard between the house and garden space for extra privacy. Nestle colorful hydrangea bushes around the pergola entrance for an inviting touch to the space.


Planting tall trees and high-growing plants in large containers shields the backyard space and patio, while bringing in vibrancy and color. King palm and ficus trees placed side by side will provide a leafy screen. Rose trees, with their ball-like tops, also add privacy to a backyard and do well in containers. Flexible and easy to move around, containers are also ideal in small concrete spaces, where planting in the ground is not an option.

Keywords: shaded pergola, private backyard, evergreen trees

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer and photographer in North Carolina. Her work has appeared in Forbes and Automotive News magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.