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Good Fences Make Good Neighbors – and Give Good Backyard Privacy!

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors – and Give Good Backyard Privacy!

As much as you may (or may not) love your neighbors and all of their furry, four-legged family members, you probably didn’t buy your home and property to share with them. Of course, you enjoy the friendly conversations you share when you’re outside and you may even get together for a BBQ, but when it comes to dinner outside in the backyard with your family, you may not want to share that time with your neighbors. And, what about those uncomfortable situations where a neighbor’s pet may leave a little “gift” in your backyard or when neighbors may use your yard as a common walkway through the neighborhood?

What can you do to give yourself a little privacy in your backyard without being offensive like that “no trespassing” sign that you’ve seen at the hardware store? There are many attractive ways to add privacy to your backyard and they may even boost your property value at the same time.  

Here are five great ways to give yourself some privacy in your backyard without offending your neighbors:

1. Install a Fence: There may be no more clear-cut way to define your property line in a hurry than by installing a fence. If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowners association, you may be restricted on the types of fences you are allowed, but there likely is an acceptable option that will work for you. A fence may not give you total privacy, but it certainly will create some boundaries.

2. Plant Shrubbery: Whether you decide to go with the fence or not, adding hedges along your property line will create a natural border. They will either enhance your fence line or eventually eliminate the need for one. Mixing deciduous and evergreen trees with flowering shrubs and perennials is an attractive way to give your yard the privacy you’re seeking. But, if you buy young shrubs, don’t expect that privacy to come overnight. Some varieties take 20 years or more to mature.

3. Screen in Decks and Patios: You may have thought that adding a deck or patio would have given you a little extra place of your own, but taking another step and screening it in or adding a pergola or some lattice work may give you even more privacy. It may feel like another room in your home and it certainly will make the outdoor area more private. Outdoor curtains and privacy screens are other decorative ways to make your deck or patio more secluded. Plus, they can always be removed when you’re feeling more social.

4. Enhance with Potted Plants: If you’re not ready to dive in and invest in screening in your deck or patio, do it the natural way and let Mother Nature work her magic. Use potted vines or hang lightweight pots to create a natural screen around your deck or patio. Tall garden pots will make even young plants appear a little larger!

5. Add a Fountain: Maybe you’ve already got a little visual privacy from everyone in the neighborhood seeing what you and your family are up to in your backyard. But, maybe you’re still able to hear your neighbors’ conversations and they’re still able to hear yours. No, you’re not forced to eavesdrop on their conversations forever. Adding a fountain to your backyard décor will provide a peaceful alternative to any annoying conversations that may be going on around you.

It is only natural to want some privacy at home every once in a while, so don’t be afraid to take a few measures to ensure you and your family get a little alone time when you’re enjoying time together outside. You’re not being shady, but you just might enjoy the extra shade that some shrubs or screens may provide!