Depend on a Tall Fence
Decorative and useful hardscape pieces and plantings soften the lines of a towering fence.
- Simple detailing, including a wide cap piece, breaks up an otherwise overwhelming facade on an extra-tall fence
- Hung on the fence, a decorative latticework sculpture serves as an outdoor-ready, artistic element.
- A low stone bench, with river rock collected on top and at the base, offers an additional seating spot.
- Near the base of the fence, lights provide a safety element and ambience for nighttime gatherings.
- Groundcover and a midheight tree soften the geometric lines of the paved seating area.
Open Up for Privacy
A stripped-down fence and airy plants offer subtle screening.
- Two oversize urns planted with rhododendrons mark the transition from public face to private space.
- The open latticework fence offers a discrete but unmistakable barrier; bright green paint and wood framing gives it distinctive character.
- Double doors are a steadfast signal of a secluded area; the latticework details and wood inserts neatly complement the contrasting fence pieces.
- Lacy, branching trees gracefully arch up and over the fence for a soft, protective canopy.
- A wispy groundcover of sweet woodruff softens the space between gravel pathway and fence.
Use Lattice as a Screen
A fence and carefully chosen plants insulate a side yard.
- A clamoring vine -- here, Boston ivy -- softens hardscape edges and adds another layer of privacy.
- A door is a distinctive, uninterrupted signal of a private space; fitted with a small section of latticework, it includes a decorative element that repeats the design in the fence.
- While the fence's woodwork signals a secluded landscape, the lattice's open weave filters both sunlight and views.
- Low-growing shrubs, such as a dwarf globe blue spruce, provide a way to maintain a year-round, softscape barrier.
- A carefully chosen selection of plants and materials -- river rock, patterned pavers, variegated hostas, black-eyed Susans -- offers low-maintenance beauty.
Plants and fence work in tandem to shield a front yard from view.
- A pergola can be a decorative piece and a privacy element; here, it's integrated into a fence.
- A few shrubs and plants, including coleus, soften the narrow stretch of space between pathway and house.
- Wisteria works in tandem with the more substantial privacy elements, including the stucco fence, to offer a second layer of screening.
- Balanced on top of the pergola, a wide, shallow container contains trailing plants.
- Two materials in the fence -- stucco and wrought iron -- break up what could be a static facade.
An Artful Fence
Distinctive features play up the elegance of a private patio.
- Most every fence needs edges and cap pieces; here an edge shaped into a curve and a cap piece in the form of a pyramid offer visual accents.
- Several sizes of similarly styled containers, planted with sunny zinnias, can be moved into different positions within a secluded nook to offer another layer of privacy.
- A trimmed boxwood shrub supports the style of the fence and closes the gap between public and private spaces.
- Trees, including a Japanese maple, planted close to house and fence enclose the area overhead.
- Richly stained wood doors break up a large expanse of stucco on the fence.
Ready for Roses
A fence offers seclusion and a space for a pretty plant's blooms.
- Architectural details on hardscape elements can add visual interest to privacy elements. Here, a gentle curve keeps the eye moving along the top of the fence.
- Rambling plants, such as this climbing rose, offer a pretty way to soften fences.
- The tight weave of the open latticework fence screens the view while allowing for good air movement and filtering light to the semiprivate yard.
- Grass that runs right next to a fence can prove difficult to mow; this backyard includes a wide berth, covered in gravel, to separate lawn and fence edge.
- Tall trees and an elevated urn mark the end of the fence and continue the separation between public and private.
Create a Restful Nook
Use plants to cocoon a garden spot.
- Trees often are used as a canopy over a quiet nook. Here a pergola serves the same purpose.
- In place of the heavy-duty look of wood, a delicate metal screen shields two chairs and a table.
- Plants can complement each other and hardscape elements. In this nook, a burgundy Japanese maple pops against the yellow stucco and picks up the colors in the chair fabric.
- Lower growing plants, including a climbing hydrangea, envelop the seating area, giving the setting softscape "sides."
- Pretty blooms, including astilbe, get a boost by being planted in an elevated container.
Dress up a privacy barrier with accents.
- In a mostly hardscape section of the garden, mixing materials heightens visual interest. Here, pavers combine with river rocks and shredded wood for a distinctive edge.
- Garden ornaments, including an imaginative birdhouse planter and a series of bright purple paintings, adorn the fence.
- A pair of metalwork obelisks provides a spot for vines to clamor up.
- Staggered landscape elements, such as a raised bed, offer delightful garden details.
- A tall wood fence gets a pick-me-up with a simple latticework top.
A few plants and accents create a pretty, private nook.
- Instead of continuing a paved section of the garden all the way to a privacy fence, a small planted nook offers a focal point and a softer edge.
- A cluster of hydrangeas, distinctive in both foliage and big blooms, takes the focus off the functional but monotone fence.
- Set on a stone pedestal, a showy urn moves the eye from the corner of the fence out toward the garden.
- Repeating patterns make the difference in even the simplest of landscapes. Here, the angles of the pavers are replicated in the angles of the corner bed.
- Tucked against the backdrop of the fence, two hanging baskets pick up the color of the blooms in the containers and in the ground.
Plants in Place of a Fence
Clusters of midheight to tall growers offer an appealing alternative to hardscape elements.
- Most homeowners rely on hardscape elements for privacy, but in this secluded nook, oversize ornamental grasses backed by larger shrubs and trees stand in for a fence.
- When the grasses are cut back in the spring, evergreen magnolia and Alaskan cedar maintain structural interest.
- Located in a large container, a water fountain helps filter out noise from neighbors, making the yard feel more private.
- While taller plants offer a natural "back" to the seating area, intermittent placement of midsize growers, including supplies a lower screen.
- An array of plants in oranges, light greens, and purples, such as coralbells, creates an attractive color palette.
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