Landscaping for Privacy

Landscaping for Privacy

It’s difficult to enjoy your garden with the neighbours watching you. Here are our tips on improving privacy without making your garden feel like a prison yard.

How to improve privacy in your garden

  • Use hedges and fences to obscure the view from street level 
  • A pergola can hide you from anyone looking down into the garden
  • Make full use of corners where you can be out of sight
  • If you have room – create a sunken garden for the ultimate in private space
  • Plant some trees
  • Design some private areas and use beautiful landscaping materials for screening
  • Alter YOUR view – if you are not looking at neighbouring properties you won’t feel as though they are looking at you.

landscaping for privacy has created an intimate space at the bottom of this overlooked garden

At the very bottom of this garden is a very private space, completely hidden from neighbouring properties and barely visible from the patio

Deciding where to use screening

The first stage in landscaping for privacy is to determine what it is about your garden that makes you feel exposed.

Do the neighbours’ upstairs windows look onto your space?

Are you disturbed by noise from the road or from nearby households?

What about boundary fences? Are people forever peeping over them?

Having narrowed down the problem, it’s time to find solutions.  Building a bigger wall or a higher fence can be like cutting your nose off to spite your face. You may inadvertently block sunlight as well as prying eyes. So is there another way? Usually there is.

Most gardens have little pockets that are naturally more private. Sometimes (but not always) that might be where two fences join, or it could be the furthest spot from your house.  Could you move things around and make that into your seating area?

If neighbours are looking down into your garden – trying to block their view completely could shut out the sun. But a pretty pergola will make it harder for them to see you – especially if it has a louvred roof that can be opened or closed as and when you want.

Changing your outlook

Sometimes, that all important feeling of privacy can be created by changing your view of the space.  If your current seating area is right beside your house so that your gaze is directed towards the houses over the fence – you will, understandably, feel exposed.

So why not create an area that sits you with your back to the neighbours – looking over your garden towards the house. If your not conscious of the windows overlooking your space, it’s easier to forget about them.

Some of our clients like to have more than one seating area. That way they can move around the garden with the sun and/or choose the best spot to sit depending on what’s going on outside their property.

private seating area in overlooked garden

This typical urban garden has a seating area at the end of the plot where the fence hides the space from neighbouring properties. Once the planting is established and the trees have matured, this will become a really lovely, intimate space where its occupants can completely forget about the world outside.

What sort of screen should you use?

Landscapers and garden designers have a million and one different tricks to help a space feel more private.

If noise is an issue – try planting a hedge or using banks to absorb the sound. Or, distract your ears with the sound of moving water. Even better, do what you can to encourage wild birds into your garden. You’ll find that you focus on the birdsong rather than the noises you hate.

The team at Holland Landscapes have installed lots of different privacy screens in our time. Some using hard landscaping materials, some using trees and plants.

Take a look at these examples and see if you feel inspired.

timber fence with lateral slats to form a screen

Beautiful timber fencing that allows light to filter through but makes it hard for anyone to watch you – also great for creating “rooms” within a garden


granite patio with seating area and colour coordinated plantingA simple sun shade, on a carefully positioned patio obscures the view from above


curved cor ten wall surrounding garden seating area

Designed by Karen Chamberlain, this Corten Steel feature hugs the seating area


outdoor cooking area

 A family friendly garden with an arbour for seating – and/or cooking


limestone patio 

A curved garden wall built using coloured glass – light can get through but you can’t see the wheelie bins sitting behind the screen


using trees for privacy Trees planted on the fence line – as they mature, the next door building will become less visible. Plus – these beauties will be festooned with blossom in spring and dripping with fruit in the autumn. A privacy screen with benefits!

a garden under construction with a landscaper creating a patio area in the part of the garden with most privacyAn urban back garden we’re building in Colchester. You can just about see a landscaper working where the seating area will be. By placing it against the fence, it’s out of the line of sight of neighbouring properties.


How to build a private garden that will stand the test of time

By having your garden professionally designed and built, you can be sure that it will remain a thing of beauty for many years to come. The money invested in garden design ensures that your garden will not only benefit from head-turning good looks, it will suit your lifestyle and personality too. Our sister company, Tapestry Design Studios has a strong reputation for designing gardens for privacy that truly enhance their owners lives.  When you combine that with the landscaping skills of Holland Landscapes, you can be sure of a well made garden that will add value to your property and quality to your lifestyle.

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Contact Holland Landscapes for an honest quote to landscape your garden

How to make your garden into a space fit for a millionaire

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