As of 2021, there were more than 14 million occupied private dwellings in Canada.
The majority of these properties have a backyard, and anyone that owns one knows that a yard can make a great addition to a home. One concern that people have with backyards is that they don’t always provide a lot of privacy. Fortunately, there are several ways you can increase your backyard privacy allowing you to relax and make better use of your outdoor space.
For some great ideas that you can use to add some privacy to your yard, keep reading.
Why You Should!
Many people consider their backyards to be a place of refuge, where they can relax by themselves, with family, or even with friends. You may enjoy your outdoor living space a bit less if you feel like your neighbours can easily see you from their windows. Adding more backyard privacy can help keep you shielded from view, so you don’t need to worry about anyone watching you.
The Benefits of Creating a Private Outdoor Space
Having an outdoor space can be great for any home. It provides somewhere you can relax, enjoy the sun, get some fresh air, and more. This can lead to a range of benefits such as:
- Keeping your eyes healthy
- Reducing stress levels
- Improved sleep
- Extended living space
- Getting more vitamin D
- Option to add additional features (e.g. swimming pool, outdoor kitchen, etc.)
One of the few issues that people have with backyards is that their neighbours may be able to see them. By adding privacy, you can remove this element, making it the perfect space to enjoy the benefits above in peace. But you might be wondering how to add privacy to your backyard – well there are several ways you can do this.
Planting Trees and Shrubs
Of all the landscaping ideas someone might have, this is one of the most obvious. Plants and trees are among the most common elements of backyards, and when used right, they can help create a more private space.
How to Pick the Right Plants
To maintain privacy, you want plants that are tall enough to block the view from neighbouring homes. Hedges are great for this, as they tend to grow strong and dense, and you can trim them to whatever size you find suitable. It’s worth noting that there are rarely any municipal ordinances that limit the height of hedges, which may be ideal.
Another popular choice is vines on a trellis. This is easy to set up, and vines grow quickly so you can get things into place without having to wait for a slow-growing plant to reach the size needed. Various trees can also be a good option, you just need to consider that these can be harder to trim and maintain.
Tips for Planting and Maintaining
For a typical hedge, you’ll need to dig a trench that’s 2 feet wide and 2 feet deep. Place shrubs at about 12-inch intervals and return the soil to the branching trunk. Use drip irrigation to water these thoroughly for the first year, and once they get large enough, keep them trimmed to a reasonable size.
If you go with vines, note that you’ll need to cut them back quite often. They grow quickly, so might get out of control if you don’t stay on top of them.
Using Fences and Screens
Another key element of backyard landscaping is the use of fences. While these are primarily to separate different properties, taller fences can also serve to add privacy to your yard.
Types of Fences & Screens
Board fences are very common, and there’s a huge range of options in terms of style. This is one of the easiest ways to get the specific look and feel that you’re after.
Stone walls can also be used, but require more work to install and are generally not as versatile. A focal point wall can serve as an interesting element in your yard, as well as a privacy screen.
How You Can Incorporate Them in Your Yard
It’s likely that your yard already has a fence, but you can alter it as you see fit, or install a new one if needed. You can easily paint it to give it a new look, and add some greenery so that it doesn’t look too bland.
It’s not uncommon to use a stone wall with a wooden fence on top, which may be a good choice if you prefer that style. With a focal point wall, you can add various elements like wall planters or fountains to give them more character.
Other Creative Backyard Privacy Solutions
While greenery and fences are the most common choices for adding backyard privacy, they’re not the only options. There are several other things you can add to help keep unwanted eyes away.
Using Trellises and Arbors
Trellises and arbours work well in any yard, and they present you with different options. While they can help provide privacy on their own, you can also add vines or other hanging plants to further block people’s views.
Incorporating Water Features
Water features might not be suitable for every backyard, but they add an element of luxury in many cases. They also provide a different kind of privacy, in that they can make noise. While many of these options will stop people from being able to see you, you can use water features to ensure people can’t hear you either.
Building a Pergola or Gazebo
A pergola or gazebo will give you a dedicated area that you can use in a range of ways. These typically obstruct people’s views similarly to trellises and arbours, and you can add other accessories to them to increase this further.
Using Curtains or Blinds
Another choice is curtains or blinds, which you can install more centrally in your yard. If you go with curtain screens, you can place them almost anywhere you want in your yard, so you can add privacy to just a specific section. This might be a good idea if you have a patio or outdoor kitchen, for example.
Backyard privacy is very desirable to many people, and there’s a range of ways you can go about it. This means that you can ensure you have privacy, while still having a backyard that looks good and functions well.
Jonathon Robert Landscapes is a professional landscape design company. We can design and build your dream backyard so that you can achieve the privacy you want. If you need help with landscaping in Ottawa, click here to contact us today.