A fence is the obvious choice, but there are many other ways to design for privacy in the garden. We turned to members of the Remodelista + Gardenista Architect/Designer Directory for their outdoor privacy solutions:
Woven Steel Screen
An office building in Palo Alto needed moderate privacy for meetings and office gatherings in an outdoor courtyard. Landscape architect Scott Lewis designed a custom woven steel screen, painted chocolate brown, and planted native California rush in front. He applied a similar solution to the gate at right: “The woven steel screen and the flat-bar pedestrian gate use the same standard size of steel strap, but contrast in their spacing and pattern.”
Corten Steel Panel
In a Marin County, California home, Scott Lewis used Alaskan yellow cedar boards as privacy screens at several levels. “Screening was key, as the house is very close to the road and to a two-story wall of the neighbor’s garage that borders the entry garden,” he says.
Greenwich, Connecticut-based landscape architect Janice Parker used a tall hedgerow with a lower row of hydrangea in front to achieve privacy surrounding a pool. Says Parker, hydrangea hedges “are perfectly suited for planting along regulated fencing for pool areas. The bright green foliage fills in early in the spring while the beautiful blooms add interest and attract pollinators to your garden from midsummer through to the first frost.”
Translucent Acrylic Panels
Architect Kim Hoyt‘s client wanted absolute privacy for his rooftop terrace on Beekman Place in Manhattan, but Hoyt didn’t want to lose the natural light. She created a custom stainless steel frame filled with translucent acrylic sheets (weight was a concern on the rooftop and acrylic is far lighter than glass).
The Layered Look
On the side of a wood pergola, landscape architect Janice Parker installed a lattice trellis to help vines and climbers grow. “The combination [of pergola and trellis] provides the ideal support structure for growing perennials for additional privacy and shade,” she says.
For more privacy solutions, see Fence Fashion: 11 Ways to Add Curb Appeal with Horizontal Stripes and Before and After: A Grande Dame in LA’s Hancock Park.