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Whether you’re spending more time outdoors or simply don’t want to feel like you’re living in a fishbowl, it’s important to be able to enjoy some separation from neighbors and passerby. Try one of these 6 backyard privacy landscaping ideas to create your backyard oasis.

1. Layered plantings

In larger yards, planting a mix of deciduous or evergreen trees, shrubs, and perennials creates a more naturalistic look, especially if you layer plants, grouping them in odd numbers. Positioned over a deck or patio, the canopy provides privacy and shade in the summer. In the winter, the trees’ bare branches will allow the sun to shine into your house.

2. Hedges

Want privacy without a fence? Enjoy year-round screening along property lines with hedges. A well-planned hedge can reach virtually any desired height but it takes some real effort to get a long, high hedgerow. Plus, they need a good amount of maintenance.

3. Pergolas and panels

Defined areas like small patios, outdoor kitchens, and decks are generally easier to screen than a whole yard. Build an enclosure around them to re-create the intimate feeling of eating or entertaining indoors, while still enjoying nice weather. Enclosures can take the shape of a slatted-top wooden pergola covered with climbing vines on a patio or a pair of fixed lattice panels along two sides of a raised deck.

4. Bamboo

Turn your backyard into an exotic tropical retreat with the natural privacy of bamboo. Whether you plant it on its own or use it to fill in gaps around pergolas, it can grow tall enough to shield your property from view.

5. Fountains

Even if you’re not literally seeing eye to eye with the neighbors, they may be close enough to hear conversation. Or perhaps you’re bothered by intrusive traffic noise or buzzing AC compressors. Adding a fountain or water feature to your space can mask unwanted sounds with more pleasant white noise.

6. Vertical garden

Another way to get privacy without a fence, is to create a custom-made vertical garden. Fill it with vegetables and herbs or flowering plants ready to overflow. No matter your choice of greenery, hanging planters will both screen your yard from outside view and free up space to use for lounging, grilling, and other outdoor activities.

Whether you’re trying to block out the surrounding area or prevent the outside from seeing in, it’s common to need backyard privacy landscaping ideas. Work with your local landscaper to see which options work best in your outdoor space and you’ll gain some peace in no time.