The most obvious -- and fastest -- way of creating privacy is to put up a fence.
Fences help keep your neighbors from seeing into your yard. They also provide a sense of enclosure and safety, making them a perfect option if you have children: Fences keep kids in and strangers -- or animals, such as dogs -- out.
If you choose to build a fence to add privacy to your landscape, select a material and style that complements your home.
Here's a hint: If you want to create a private space in your yard, look around before you build a fence. You might be able to use existing structures to create privacy. For example, tuck a small patio or deck next to your garage or home. Screening just one or two sides may be all you need.
If a fence is too stark, grow a hedge. There are shrub varieties perfect for using as hedges for every region.
For a natural look, mix it up a little and combine a variety of shrubs. Don't be afraid to mix in a small tree or two for extra height, color, and texture. By planting species with different sizes, shapes, and colors, you can layer the plants into a beautiful mosaic.
For a more formal look, prune or shear shrubs regularly. Note: The best time to prune your hedge depends on what type of shrub you're growing.
Here's a hint: If you shear your shrubs, keep them looking good for years by ensuring the bottom of the shrub is wider than the top.
Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens), Zones 6-8
Columnar juniper (Juniperus scopulorum'Skyrocket'), Zones 4-7
Columnar white pine (Pinus strobus'Fastigiata'), Zones 3-9
English laurel (Prunus laurocerasus), Zones 6-9
Pittosporum tobira, Zones 9-10
Privet (Ligustrum vulgare), Zones 5-8
Yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria), Zones 8-10
Yew (Taxus x media), Zones 5-7
Continued on page 2: Add Privacy with Berms and Pergolas