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Blog / How to make a garden more private with our 10 budget-friendly solutions

Exterior privacy fundamentals: 10 overlooked garden solutions


Have you ever wondered how to make a garden more private, without sacrificing the views, blocking out the light or hemming yourself in? You’re not alone; us Brits love a bit of privacy and, equally so, a space to kick out in the sun, drinking in those UV rays with a beer in hand.

Whether you need fence inspiration, planting ideas for screening or something less obtrusive so the neighbours can’t complain, we’re sharing it all.

Why make all this fuss over a private garden?

Before we get into exactly how to make a garden more private, it’s essential to understand the benefits of privacy in your outdoor spaces. Privacy isn’t just about keeping prying eyes out; it’s about creating a personal haven where you can relax, entertain, and connect with nature without feeling exposed. A private garden offers a sense of security and seclusion, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space to the fullest.

The benefits of privacy in your outdoor spaces

Privacy in your garden offers numerous benefits, including enhanced relaxation, increased property value, and a greater sense of security. A secluded outdoor space allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and unwind in peace.

It also provides a perfect setting for entertaining friends and family, creating cherished memories without worrying about nosy neighbours or passersby. Additionally, a private garden can boost your property’s value by creating an attractive, versatile and desirable outdoor living area.

How to create privacy: 10 overlooked garden solutions

a beautifully landscaped garden with a fence and shrubs

1)      Get your fence height right

Your fence plays a crucial role in creating privacy in your garden. Choosing the right fence height is essential to ensure maximum seclusion. Opt for tall fencing panels (within the 2m height limit, of course!), such as the contemporary slatted privacy panel from Fall Timber, to block out unwanted views and create a sense of enclosure. With so many garden fence types available, it’s easy to find the perfect solution for your outdoor space.

trellis planting to make a garden more private

2)      Give screen planting a go

Screen planting is an excellent way to add privacy to your garden while introducing greenery and natural beauty. Consider planting tall, dense grasses or trees along the perimeter of your garden to create a living barrier that blocks out prying eyes.

Bamboo, laurel, and holly are popular choices for creating effective privacy screens that require minimal maintenance and provide maximum style.

using clever garden shed placement to improve privacy

3)      Be creative with your outbuilding placement

Strategic placement of outbuildings such as sheds, gazebos, or pergolas can help enhance privacy in your garden. Position these structures strategically to create secluded nooks and crannies where you can relax and unwind without feeling exposed. Experiment with different layouts and configurations to find the perfect arrangement for your outdoor space.

creating privacy in an overlooked garden with climbing plants and trellises

4)      Let climbers and shrubbery take root

Climbing plants and shrubs can quickly transform a bare fence or wall into a lush green screen. Plant climbing roses, ivy, or clematis along trellises or garden arches to add vertical interest and create a sense of privacy. Pair them with shrubs and bushes to create a multi-layered barrier that obscures views and muffles sound.

an overlooked garden made more private with shrubbery

5)      Maximise the potential of natural boundaries

If your garden is bordered by natural boundaries such as hedges, trees, or bushes, why not make the most of them to enhance privacy? Prune overhanging branches, trim unruly hedges, and remove any dead or diseased plants to create a neat and tidy boundary that provides maximum seclusion.

a garden bench under a green alcove

6)      Create a shady garden alcove with greenery

Shady garden alcoves offer the perfect retreat from the heat of the sun and can be created with strategic planting. Plant tall trees or shrubs to create dappled shade to encourage along a trellis, arch or pergola, and add comfortable seating and soft furnishings underneath to create a cosy nook where you can sit reading in privacy.

a sunken seating area surrounded by decking and raised beds

7)      Try a sunken seating arrangement

Sunken seating arrangements offer a clever way to create privacy in your garden while maximising space – all you have to do is add a couple of retaining walls, which you can beautify with railway sleepers.

By sinking seating areas below ground level, you can create a sense of enclosure and seclusion without the need for tall fences or walls. Add soft lighting and lush greenery to enhance the ambience and create a nested retreat.

garden beanbags under a shady canopy

8)      Introduce a canopy

If you have unwieldy structures in place in your garden – be it a timber deck or a raised seating area – and are completely stuck on how to make a garden more private, don’t worry! You can transform these with ease by introducing a canopy above.

Canopies and awnings provide ample shade and space for withdrawal in your garden while adding a touch of elegance and sophistication. Install a retractable canopy over your patio or deck to create a private outdoor living area where you can dine, entertain, and relax in comfort.

a zoned garden with a private seating area

9)      Partition the garden with canny garden furniture

Strategically placed garden furniture, including picnic tables and decorative screens, can help divide your outdoor space into distinct areas, creating a sense of structure and intimacy. Use benches, screens, or planters to create barriers and define separate zones for dining, lounging, and entertaining.

a garden water feature in among greenery

10)    Mask unwanted noise with water features

Maybe not your first thought when considering how to make a garden more private, right? But it works! Water features such as fountains, ponds, or waterfalls can help mask unwanted noise and create a peaceful vibe in your garden.

The sound of flowing water can drown out traffic noise, neighbours’ conversations, and other disturbances, allowing you to forget that there’s a whole world buzzing around you.

Garden privacy FAQs

How to get privacy in the garden on a budget

To achieve privacy in an overlooked garden look to these cost-effective solutions. From simple drapes and canopies to a single wall cloaked with climbing plants or an off-the-shelf screen, there are plenty of options that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. What’s more, privacy screens can be DIYed, using leftover palettes or reclaimed timber and furniture.

How to get privacy in an overlooked garden

If your garden feels overlooked, there are several strategies you can use to enhance privacy. Plant tall shrubs or trees along the perimeter to create a natural barrier, install trellises or screens to block out views, and consider adding awnings or canopies to create shaded retreats.

Which plants are best for privacy screens?

When it comes to selecting the best plants for privacy screens, a variety of options can suit different preferences and garden conditions. Some notable choices include the Magnolia Grandiflora, featuring goblet-shaped, citrusy flowers, which thrives in sheltered plots and adds an elegant touch to decking and patios with its shiny leaves and fragrant blooms.

Alternatively, Feather Reed Grass (“Karl Foerster”) offers a perfect solution for winter gardens, with its airy screen creation and golden feathery plumes that last well into winter. For smaller spaces, Sorbus vilmorinii (“Rowan Tree”) provides privacy without shading the garden excessively, with its striking shades of purple and red foliage in autumn.

When selecting screening plants, consider factors such as height, soil type, direction, and moisture levels to ensure they thrive and meet your privacy needs effectively.

What about fence-free privacy solutions?

If you prefer not to install fences or walls, there are plenty of fence-free privacy solutions to explore. Consider the beauty and effectiveness of plantings paired with a privacy screen or parasol. Together they’ll work wonders to shield you from prying eyes.

Fast-growing options such as poplar trees (if space permits) or arborvitae can create stunning visual barriers. These plants not only provide privacy but also add aesthetic appeal to your garden.

However, if you need privacy quickly, bamboo can be a viable option due to its rapid growth rate. Keep in mind, though, it’s essential to check your local ordinances to ensure there are no restrictions on planting bamboo, as it can sometimes be considered invasive.

The garden is your oyster

Creating privacy in your garden doesn’t have to break the bank. With a bit of creativity and strategic planning, you can transform your outdoor space into a secluded sanctuary without spending a fortune. From optimising your fence height to incorporating natural elements like climbers and shrubbery, there are plenty of budget-friendly solutions to explore.

Remember, the benefits of a private garden extend beyond mere seclusion. It’s about cultivating a space where you can unwind, entertain, and connect with nature without feeling exposed to the outside world.

By implementing some of the overlooked garden solutions we’ve discussed, you can tailor the space to your needs without feeling hemmed in.

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