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How to Add Privacy to Your Backyard

Discover the three elements we use in our landscape designs

Your backyard is your refuge. The place you go when you want to spend a peaceful day relaxing, have fun with the kids or entertain your friends and family. But what if your yard has issues that make your space less than ideal — such as unwanted views or exposure to neighbouring properties?

At The Landmark Group, our designers work with you to incorporate a number of strategic landscaping elements that keep prying eyes from intruding into your space, hide the garbage cans, reduce noise and improve the safety and security of your property. If any of these issues are a concern for you, read on!

Create a beautiful barrier with plants

Certain garden plants, such as evergreen trees, shrubs and tall ornamental grasses, provide natural privacy while adding texture, colour and depth to your landscape.

When planted densely enough, these plants also act as natural sound barriers, creating a serene outdoor environment for both you and your neighbours.

In the Blue Mountains, Collingwood and communities along southern Georgian Bay, there are several plants that thrive in our climate and provide effective privacy protection. Here are some of our favourites:

  • Eastern white cedar — A member of the cyprus family, the eastern white cedar is an arborvitae that is native to our area and well-adapted to our climate. It’s a fast-growing evergreen with dense foliage and a tall, narrow growth habit, making it a popular choice for privacy hedges. Other varieties of arborvitae include emerald green and green giant, which also make excellent barriers.

  • Japanese Yew — With its dark green, needle-like foliage and bright red berries, Japanese yew is a beautiful and versatile plant that can be shaped into hedges or used as individual specimens for privacy.

  • Blue spruceBlue spruce are beautiful evergreen trees that feature a distinctive blue hue and dense branching, providing both privacy and visual interest. Although they’re relatively slow-growing trees, give them plenty of space — they’re able to reach heights of 80 feet or higher.

  • Privet shrubsPrivets are fast growing evergreen shrubs that are easy to grow. They’re resistant to pests, deer, disease, pollution, heat, and drought, making them excellent privacy hedges that are easy to care for and grow.

  • Tall ornamental grasses — Ornamental grasses, such as miscanthus, offer a different approach to privacy. Their tall, feathery plumes provide a natural screening effect while adding texture and movement to the landscape.

There is no shortage of plants that provide excellent privacy and screening. When selecting plants for your landscape, it's important to consider factors such as sunlight exposure, soil conditions and the desired height and growth rate. Consulting with a local nursery or the horticultural experts at Landmark can help you choose the best plants for your specific property and privacy needs.

Good fences make good neighbours

A good, sturdy fence provides immediate privacy, creating a physical barrier that shields your property from prying eyes and clearly defines the boundary between your space and the neighbours.

Fencing also limits access to your property, adding an extra layer of security that fosters a sense of peace and tranquillity. With a wide range of styles and materials available, you can choose a fence that’s in harmony with your home’s aesthetics and the natural surroundings.

Once your fence is in place, add plantings to soften the look and reduce noise pollution.

Include privacy screens for specific areas

If your yard is already fairly private, there still may be some areas in your yard you’d like to screen off, either to add privacy or camouflage unsightly areas in your landscape.

  • Place a privacy screen around your patio or deck area to shield it from neighbouring properties or public view, allowing you to relax, dine, or entertain guests without feeling exposed.

  • Installing a privacy screen around your pool area lets you swim or sunbathe without feeling like you’re being watched.

  • If you have an outdoor dining space, a privacy screen helps define the space and creates a cosy and intimate atmosphere.

  • Adding a privacy screen around your hot tub or spa provides a private oasis where you can unwind and enjoy a soothing soak without feeling exposed.

  • Screen off areas in your yard that are practical, but not beautiful, like your pool pump and garbage cans. 

Privacy screens can be made from living or non-living materials, including hedges and vines, lattice panels, pergolas and more. Where you place your privacy screen will depend on the layout of your property and your specific needs. Our design team can help you determine the best place to put your screen to maximize privacy and enhance your outdoor space.

Your backyard should be your sanctuary

At The Landmark Group, we understand the importance of creating private and secure outdoor spaces — no one likes to feel like they’re being watched when they’re trying to relax or spend some fun time with their families and friends.

Whether it's through plants, fences, or privacy screens, our designers work with you to help create a backyard that is private, inviting and enhances your outdoor experience. If you’d like more ideas or would like to explore your options with us, schedule a consultation.