Touches of greenery in the right places, provides privacy in the backyard.

Landscaping Ideas for Border Privacy in Backyards

by Shelley Frost

To a mother, a child running through the yard wearing nothing but his undies or screaming with glee is the norm, but if you want to shield your neighbors from the chaos, consider a privacy border. More importantly, such a border provides privacy for you and your family. It gives you a chance to unwind. And some borders muffle noise as well. With strategic landscaping, you can create an attractive and functional privacy border in the backyard.

Fence It Off

Wooden fencing, such as a redwood fence, is the classic option for having privacy and a way to keep children and pets inside the yard. If you have a chain-link fence, consider growing vines on the fence to provide a natural and beautiful privacy border, which will also buffer noise. Installing a fence, though, can be costly and labor-intensive. Alternatively, install a partial fence where you most want privacy.

Grow Privacy

If the budget for additional privacy doesn't allow for a fence, greenery is a more affordable option. Shrubbery can provide you with a living fence. Choose your shrubs carefully if you're planting them along a property line. Avoid planting bushes that quickly grow out of control, such as blackberries (Rubus spp.), which are hardy growing in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 8. For safety's sake, ensure the shrubs or bushes are not poisonous to children or pets. Another option is ornamental grass, such as pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) can leap to 10 feet in a single season in USDA zones 7 through 10. The grass has invasive habits in some locations. If you prefer a formal look, consider a hedge such as boxwood (Buxus spp.), which grows in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 9. Due to its density, boxwood muffles noise, and some varieties grow up to 20 feet tall.


Structures near the edge of your property add to the privacy of the backyard space. A lattice panel or free-standing arbor covered in vines creates a small border of privacy, but you can extend the privacy with a row of panels or arbors.

Layered Landscaping

In some backyards, one border privacy solution isn't enough. By layering the options, you create a greater degree of privacy to meet your needs. You can also focus your attention on the areas that need the most help. An example is adding a trellis panel to the top of an existing fence to get more height. Vines planted at the base of the fence grow up and over the panel. If you have existing trees along the properly line, consider filling gaps between the trees with shade-loving plants.

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.

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