Living With ExceptionalPrivacy: Landscaping for Privacy and Noise Reduction

Dated: August 31 2023

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Living with Exceptional Privacy: Landscaping for Privacy and Noise Reduction

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By Teri Silver

Landscaping for privacy and noise reduction enhances the intrinsic value of your property, especially when it’s time to put it up for sale. Practical and useful landscaping, like high hedges, trees, blooming shrubs, and native plants are natural privacy screens designed to keep nosy eyes out of your backyard and noise levels at a minimum.

Get Started

If you’re the Do-It-Yourself type, visualizing the project is the first step. Start with a pencil (and an eraser), gridded graph paper, measuring tape, and a 12-inch ruler.

Create a rough sketch of the backyard.  

Measure the area where you want to plant trees and shrubs. Reduce the measurements and transfer them to the paper to get an idea of what will work in your yard. Mapping out the plan helps you to keep track of what goes where. 

Landscaping Ideas for Privacy

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Leafy trees and shrubs give us shade and privacy and muffle excessive noise from outside sources. They grow in various sizes and their canopies spread in different directions. 

Planting various sizes of privacy trees and shrubs helps to protect each species from storm and wind breakage, damaging insects, and disease. Mixed plantings also strengthens natural habitats for squirrels, chipmunks, insects, birds, and butterflies.  

Here are some landscaping ideas for backyard privacy

Retaining walls with flowers and vines, tall shrubs, and small bushes thicken sloping areas in the yard. Stones, rocks, glass blocks, and other natural materials are functional and visually pleasing. 

Vertical gardens provide luscious greenery for the backyard. Vines spreading over trellises and lattices brighten up roses, honeysuckle, and other flowering plants.

Living walls thicken in the summer to provide a peek-proof shield of green. A few options? 

  • Arborvitae “Green Giant” has soft needles that rarely need pruning. It is deer-resistant and can reach up to 60 feet tall. “Emerald Green” is a smaller arborvitae variety suitable for backyards.

  • American holly is a leafy evergreen with sharp, pointy foliage that keeps deer away. Slow-growing and easy to maintain, holly is a great choice for shielding a swimming pool.  

  • Rocky Mountain Juniper (‘Wichita Blue’) adds a gray-blue color to your landscape. It reaches up to 15 feet tall and grows in its natural conical shape.

Forsythia sprouts yellow flowers in spring and grows thickly in various directions. Birds love this cozy nesting shrub. 

Fencing

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One way to really enhance your curb appeal is with a great-looking fence. While fencing comes in many sizes and materials, the type of fence you can erect on your property may depend on community fencing laws. In the heat of summer, bamboo and wooden slats won’t get as hot as steel or iron (and you can tack nails into them for climbing plants and ivy). Other material options include vinyl, steel, glass blocks, and wire, although not all of those offer the privacy you may want.

Pergolas and Privacy Screens 

Nothing is really 100% private when you’re outside, but pergolas, privacy screens, and trellises help to keep prying eyes out of your backyard business. Pergolas and gazebos support trailing plants, lightweight fabrics, hanging flower baskets, and sunshades. 

Privacy screens are portable, lightweight, and easy to move as the sun shifts. They cover up air conditioners, garbage cans, septic tanks, and anything else you don’t want the neighbors to see.   

DIY may save a few bucks, but it also takes a lot of time and muscle power. There’s a lot of trial and error, too, if your landscaping plans go awry. Hiring a professional landscaper gives you the peace of mind of knowing the job will be done right –– guaranteed.

Teri Silver is a journalist and outdoor enthusiast. She and her husband live on 5 acres with a vast lawn, three gardens, a farm, a pond, many trees, and a lot of yard work! The best parts of the year are summer and fall when home-grown veggies are on the dinner table.

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