What Are Strategies to Create Privacy in Open Landscape Areas?


    What Are Strategies to Create Privacy in Open Landscape Areas?

    Creating a private oasis in an open space is a craft mastered by landscape professionals. From the strategic use of vining plants to the incorporation of bamboo, we've gathered five insightful tips from Owners and Designers. They share their expertise on transforming open areas into secluded retreats, starting with designing garden rooms and ending with strategic bamboo and vertical elements.

    • Design Garden Rooms with Vining Plants
    • Combine Hedges and Climbing Vines
    • Use Dense Trees and Textured Walls
    • Layer Plants and Using Natural Screens
    • Strategize with Bamboo and Vertical Elements

    Design Garden Rooms with Vining Plants

    Even in the kitchen garden, designing with permanent structural elements like arches and obelisks for annual vining crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and pole beans to grow can create the feeling of a garden room, even in a small space or public space like a front lawn. Perennial fruit vines like grapes or kiwis, or espaliered fruit trees such as apples, can also create this permanent privacy screen. There is a feeling, once you enter the arch, apple fence, or grape pergola, that you can get lost in your own secret garden, like a portal. And it is especially delightful to pick fruit and vegetables as you do it!

    Carissa Kasper
    Carissa KasperOwner, Seed & Nourish

    Combine Hedges and Climbing Vines

    Creating privacy in an open area can be done by careful layout and the use of appropriate plants.

    You can use hedges to create isolated areas. Climbing vines on trellises or pergolas can also add greenery and privacy. Try also planting trees with large canopies, decorative fencing can set boundaries and create a sense of enclosure.

    Bamboo is commonly used for privacy due to its rapid growth and dense foliage.

    Ficus is very similar and also widely used.

    Sina Kamran
    Sina KamranPrincipal Designer, Design Scapes Inc

    Use Dense Trees and Textured Walls

    A sense of privacy is a highly coveted feature, particularly in an open outdoor area where one might feel exposed. This can be achieved through multiple methods.

    For instance, trees and shrubs with dense structures can be used to screen the area and create a sense of intimacy. The elegantly shaped Taxus baccata (Yew) is an excellent choice. Alternatively, the Privet is a wonderful hedging shrub, renowned for its enchanting fragrance, pretty, pale flowers, and inviting texture.

    Walls and fences offer a more traditional solution for creating privacy, yet they need not be bland. The careful selection of materials can ensure the style is full of character and blends seamlessly with the overall design. One impressive example from one of our designs includes quartz-stone walling, intriguing in its detailed and precise pattern and calming neutral tones.

    Fountains offer a fully immersive effect in their ability to screen an area and mask noise pollution with their aquatic melodies. My most memorable example was a bespoke water feature made using split-faced walling and design-clad with large-format tiles. The result was both striking and perfectly balanced against the natural aesthetic. The feature created a mesmerizing rushing sound as water cascaded from a horizontal split in the walling.

    The water feature was beautifully framed by two trees, providing intimacy with their lush canopies. The brick was purposefully selected for its earthy tone, and in front of the water feature, vibrant plants were chosen, including ornamental grasses and Nepeta 'Walker's Low' in gorgeous purple shades. The result was an inviting and intimate space that contributed to the tranquil feel and refreshing ambiance of the outdoor area.

    My most beloved plant for creating privacy is the Acer palmatum (Japanese maple), a deciduous shrub that stands about 10-25 feet high. It has the most elegant celestial-like foliage, with leaves reminiscent of falling stars. This plant is excellent for creating the additional privacy desired in the warmer months due to its seasonal transformation.

    Creating a sense of privacy is a natural desire, to establish a sense of sanctuary and peace. It can be achieved in an aesthetically pleasing way by using the methods described above. If you are considering privacy, I would highly encourage being adventurous while making careful selections based on what will complement the rest of your beloved outdoor space.

    Raine Clark-Wills
    Raine Clark-WillsGarden Designer, Raine Garden Design

    Layer Plants and Using Natural Screens

    Our projects often involve creating private, serene spaces, even in open areas, to provide our clients with their own peaceful retreats.

    One of the key challenges in landscape design is ensuring privacy without compromising the aesthetic appeal of the space. Our approach combines strategic planning, creative use of natural elements, and thoughtful plant selection to achieve this balance.

    We use a mix of tall, medium, and low plants to create natural barriers. This layering not only enhances privacy but also adds depth and visual interest to the landscape.

    Incorporating hedges, trees, and shrubs can also form effective natural screens. These elements provide year-round privacy and contribute to the garden’s lush, green ambiance.

    Adding elements like trellises, pergolas, and fences can also enhance privacy. These structures can be adorned with climbing plants to blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings.

    One plant we frequently use to create a sense of privacy is bamboo. It grows quickly, provides excellent coverage, and adds a touch of elegance to any landscape.

    Gavin Bent
    Gavin BentMarketing Executive, Ponds By Michael Wheat

    Strategize with Bamboo and Vertical Elements

    Creating a sense of privacy in an open area involves strategic planning and the thoughtful use of landscaping elements. One effective approach is to use a combination of natural and structural elements to form a cohesive and visually appealing barrier. This can include the use of hedges, trees, and shrubs alongside fences, trellises, or pergolas to create layers of privacy.

    One plant that I frequently recommend for privacy is bamboo. Bamboo grows quickly and densely, forming a natural screen that provides both visual and sound barriers. Its tall, slender canes and lush foliage create a serene, green backdrop that enhances the aesthetic appeal of the space while offering privacy. Just make sure that you choose a clumping variety of bamboo to avoid overspreading.

    Additionally, incorporating vertical elements like trellises with climbing plants can further enhance privacy. Plants such as ivy or climbing roses can be trained to cover these structures, adding both height and beauty to the landscape. This method not only provides privacy but also adds texture and color to the garden.

    By combining fast-growing plants like bamboo with vertical structures, you can create a multi-dimensional privacy screen that is both effective and attractive. This approach ensures that the space remains open and inviting while still offering the seclusion and tranquility that homeowners desire.

    Tyler Poole
    Tyler PooleOwner, White Oaks Construction