Berms are basically miniature hills in the landscape. They add height to plantings, which can be an effective way to create privacy. A berm is also good for highlighting smaller plants, as it can bring them to eye level.
Plant trees and shrubs on berms to form a useful physical and sound curtain between the street and yard. Include rocks and stones to give the mound stability.
Here's a hint: If you make a berm, a ratio of one foot of height to every four feet of width is usually suitable to keep mulch from running down the slope.
While a pergola probably won't block out your entire yard, it's a great solution for adding privacy to a smaller space.
A vine-covered pergola creates a private, shady nook underneath -- perfect for a secluded bench or patio. A pergola also adds year-round structure to the landscape.
You can create different levels of privacy with pergolas, too. A simple vine-covered pergola provides a little privacy; running lattice panels between the pergola columns will add even more. Hanging sheets of outdoor-friendly fabric to act as curtains will give you even more seclusion.
Continued on page 3: Lattice and Vines