There are many ways to create privacy in the landscape – fences, walls, hedges, and trees are but a few of the possibilities. All are good options, depending on what you need privacy from, and whether you want your privacy year-round or just during the growing season, which is about 6 – 7 months of the year in Colorado.
Outdoor Craftsmen are design (and building) experts when it comes to the structure, or hardscaping, conjured as part of any full landscape plan. For many homeowners it is important to first get the ‘bones’ of their outdoor environment set before moving on to the green growing materials.
We often recommend walls and fences be built of stone, rocks, or boulders. They provide a natural looking backdrop to the showier plants, shrubs, flowers, and trees that are added next. Walls built from the strong sturdy materials (to complement the home architecture and in keeping with the overall vision for the landscape), are easy to maintain as they don’t require pruning, trimming, feeding, or other maintenance like living privacy screens do.
When graced with climbing vines or accented with impressive plantings in front of them (think topiaries, flowering trees, or masses of plantings of bulbs or roses), the structure itself fades into the background.
The options for living/growing privacy screens are many, but in general we favor those that have either a natural look (like it has always belonged in the space), or go completely opposite and stand out (i.e. forged metal screens that do double duty to provide privacy and are pieces of gorgeous outdoor sculpture or art too).
Tall hedges lend a more traditional look and add elegance to any yard. They are typically a good pick near pools or along driveways or select fence lines. Outdoor structures like awnings or pergolas, especially with included curtaining, help to control the amount of sunlight (and prying eyes) that reach a space.
Climbing vines add screening while creating an old-fashioned English Cottage look. These are so pretty during the growing season but once the leaves drop in the fall, their privacy superpowers are diminished.
For those wanting year-round privacy through plant materials, we often recommend dwarf evergreen trees that reach only 12-15 feet tall. When lower growing plants are added in front of the trees, the effect is both beautiful and practical.
If a wooden privacy fence is the only viable option for your property, we recommend designing one that is stylish and built of wood that will more easily withstand the test of time without requiring too much work to maintain.