Erin Doman on June 13, 2016 0 Comments Your yard is an extension of your home, and should be as welcoming and enjoyable as the rest of your space. Too much sun, nosey neighbors or the intrusive sound of passing traffic can all keep you from appreciating your patio or porch. If you are looking for a little seclusion in your back yard, know that there are simple ways to create your own private patio space. The average homeowner has three main options: fencing, fauna and fountains. 1. Fencing: A Low Maintenance Option for Privacy Many people choose fencing because it guarantees additional privacy for many years. While installing a fence can be an expensive way to obtain privacy, it is the least complex and the lowest maintenance choice out of many options. There are some courtesies involved with installing fencing. If you choose to install on a shared property line, consult your neighbor before beginning work. Should they want a more expensive fencing option, they may be willing to share the cost with you. If you are a member of a homeowner’s association or live on an historic property, there may be regulations regarding what type of fence you install. Towns, cities and counties can also have ordinances regulating fencing. The space between slats, the height of the fence, the style of the fence and the materials used can all be dictated by various organizations, so do your research before making an investment. A major drawback to many kinds of fencing is that it can be monotonous and unsightly. If you are only interested in creating a private patio, consider fencing off only a portion of your yard. Privacy walls are an excellent way to do this. It can be done with lattice, which is readily available in many home or garden stores, but there are other options as well. Privacy walls are an opportunity for creativity, and can be made by repurposing materials for a rustic and eclectic look. Outdoor drapery panels are a pretty way to separate a patio from the rest of a yard without traditional fencing. The fabric will provide shade and can also help to dampen sound for an extra layer of privacy. Use extra-wide panels or incorporate twice as many panels as you typically would for a voluminous and soft look whether the curtains are closed or drawn back. 2. Fauna: Create a Private Patio with Plant and Tree Walls Using plants as a privacy barrier is an excellent way to create a lush retreat in your yard, even though they can take some time to cultivate. Opt for tall, dense plants like bamboo, cypress and evergreen trees. Many plants and trees can also be trimmed into hedges for privacy walls. Should there already be fencing in place, use tall plants to disguise it. Your local grower will know what species thrive in your climate, which plants have longer lives for lasting privacy and how much maintenance each plant requires. Window boxes can be used in many creative ways to add flair to a fence or to create a natural privacy wall. Attached staggered containers to a traditional fence for visual interest. Suspend tiers of boxes from pergola jousts for a breezy green option. These container guardians can also be a convenient way to grow herbs and vegetables for your kitchen. If planting in the ground is not an option, consider potted planting. The height of the pot you choose should be approximately half the mature height of the plant that goes in it. For example, a grass that grows to four feet high can be planted in a two-foot-tall pot, providing an impressive six-foot-tall wall. Very large pots that will be placed in locations with direct sunlight can be filled with tall and hearty grasses for a polished look. If your patio has a shorter wall and receives little sunlight, consider smaller pots planted with ferns. The ferns will add height to your short wall while also draping down the sides of the pots for a lush look. Hanging planters can be a way to create privacy from the top of your patio to the floor, especially if there is limited floor space or no dirt available for planting. Opt for moss-covered planters, which add natural color and have the illusion of bulk without the associated weight. If you are only using a few planters to block sight lines by filling a bare corner, select an odd number of attractive baskets in different sizes, and hang them at staggered heights. Choose hearty plants in colors that complement your decor. If you are looking for more coverage, create a tired wall of rows of hanging pots. Fill these pots with lush vines that drape from one row to the next, creating flowing layers of greenery. 3. Fountains: Blocking Intrusive Noises White noise will help reduce other’s ability to hear your conversation while drowning out the sounds of neighbors and traffic. If your patio is close to the road or another home, a water feature will help keep your conversation from reaching the neighbors. A wide variety of fountains are available, in regards to both style and cost. Because fountains are a mechanical option for privacy, keep in mind the maintenance required to keep them running properly for a long time. Patio Privacy Final Touches When thinking about how to create a private patio, don’t forget to consider overhead coverage. Neighbors who live in close proximity or who have second floor windows facing your yard may have a direct view of your patio. A pergola is an efficient way to add shade to your patio while shielding your space from prying eyes. Besides being highly practical, pergolas can also be decorated with twinkling lights or creeping, blooming vines for a touch of romance in your private space. Approaching how to create a private patio as a creative task can lead to both a fun project and a rewarding and relaxing space. From clever repurposing to artistic plant design, there are a variety of options to create privacy for your space. Following any combination of the above advice can help transform your yard into a private retreat.