Privacy is a topic of interest to many people when it comes to garden design. It is of course particularly important in city or town gardens. In urban gardens, it is common for the space to be overlooked from the windows of surrounding homes, and from the road, or from the gardens of neighbouring properties.
Creating privacy will mean that the space can become a sanctuary, where you can relax and feel truly at home. A private and enclosed space will also provide a calm and quiet space for wildlife. And they too can find themselves a safe haven from the outside world.
But when trying to create privacy in a garden, many people make the mistake of building higher and higher fences or walls. This can create an almost confining, prison-like feeling in a garden. It can feel as though you are kept in, rather than keeping the outside world out. Another problem, of course, is that such tall and complete man made structures keep wildlife out, rather than welcoming it in.
Shorter fences or walls can sometimes be useful, or required. But these should always be combined with diverse edge planting, hedgerows and trees for best results. Privacy is not just about what people outside the garden can see, but also what is heard etc.. A dense screen of greenery will reduce noise transmission from one garden to the next as well as obscuring the view from neighbouring properties.
Look at sight lines. A small tree or even shrub in the right place can make more difference than a dense evergreen screen. Keep planting as diverse as possible, combining evergreens and deciduous plants to get as much privacy as possible throughout the year.
If you are feeling exposed to prying eyes in your garden, and would like more privacy, a permaculture garden design can be perfect to give you the private space you crave. If you would like help improving privacy in your garden, please do get in touch.