22 backyard privacy ideas to create a secluded yet stylish space with

Try these beautiful backyard privacy ideas to block your neighbors out

Backyard privacy ideas are so useful. Here are three of these - a distressed wooden pergola with purple flowers around one pillar with a white iron bistro set beneath it with a teapot and teacups on the table and light green trees and bushes around the scene, an outdoor dining space with a brown umbrella, a gray table with wine glasses and white plates and bowls, two rattan chairs underneath it, and a house with white windows and doors and brick framing around them, and a dark brown backyard area with a light brown sunlounger and chair with blue and pink throw pillows, a rattan storahe basket, a white stool with a black tea pot, and a pergola above it with green leaves
(Image credit: OKA US / Oxenwood / John Lewis)

Backyard privacy ideas will help you create a more secluded and cozy outdoor space. While adding fencing and screening are the most traditional and easiest ways to do this, they're not the only ones. 

Whether you already have a screen or fence or just want to try a more natural design scheme, we've asked pros what you can do. Think tall-growing plants, living walls, and clever garden furniture.

There are plenty of backyard ideas out there that will soften and enhance the look of your outdoor space without blocking off natural light, disrupting your planting or, offending the neighbors.

Backyard privacy ideas to try in your space

No matter if you're searching for big or small backyard ideas, bringing privacy into your space will make it feel more secluded.

Our experts have suggested buys throughout, which we have shopped to help you get the look wherever possible.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article. 

1. Work with your garden's boundaries

An outdoor dining area with a dark wooden dining table and six chairs, and bushes and shrubbery with red berries around it, and an open door within these

(Image credit: Ton Bouwer/ cocofeatures.com)

Working with your backyard's natural boundaries is one of the first things to consider when looking for more privacy in your space. 

Depending on your garden's size, soil conditions and light levels, you could plant deciduous trees with light airy foliage such as Betula, Amelanchier, Cornus, Malus, Prunus, Acer and Sorbus. 

This can provide gentle screening on a boundary area, yet still let some sunlight through. You can help these thrive with fertilizer such as Jobe's Fertilizer on Amazon.

At this stage if you already know you want or need to add a boundary wall, you can start getting that project underway.

2. Try oversized planters

An outdoor patio area with white planters with tall green plants and white umbrellas and seats behind these

(Image credit: Lechuza)

By using container gardening for small spaces, you can create privacy in your garden.

 “Using tall shrubs in large planters create a natural barrier between your backyard and neighbors, giving the yard a nice look while keeping it private,” says Dan Bailey, president of WikiLawn Austin Lawn Care. 

All you need to do is invest in oversized pots or planters (these The HC Companies Planters are Amazon's Choice) and plant up some tall-growing plant species.

3. Be clever with garden furniture

An outdoor dining space with a brown umbrella, a gray table with wine glasses and white plates and bowls, two rattan chairs underneath it, and a house with white windows and doors and brick framing around them

(Image credit: Oxenwood)

The best outdoor furniture will not only make your space more comfortable for outdoor dining ideas, but will also enhance your garden's privacy. 

As well as providing a practical space to sit and a central point for the eye to focus on, it can also provide patio privacy or partition to help you escape with. 

Make sure to position the furniture away from any houses and choose large pieces you can comfortably sink into.

4. Balance evergreens and deciduous options

An outdoor decking area with dark wood and a dark wooden dining area, with trees and bushes surrounding the square area

(Image credit: My Landscapes)

If you love the idea of full-on backyard privacy (and trees!), then choose a mix of deciduous trees with strategically placed evergreens. Learn how to care for ferns to add loads of greenery.

This will create a more balanced backyard privacy solution that will also give you gorgeous dappled light. 

5. Utilize a sloping garden

Patio garden at basement level showing slate steps, raised bed and powder-coated steel planter, with tree ferns, ferns, melianthus, phormiums, ornamental grass, banana and olive trees, bamboo and yucca.

(Image credit: Arcaid Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

If your yard is sloped, you can use this in your favor for backyard privacy ideas. A retaining wall may be enough in itself, but add more greenery to that first level for heaps more interest, height, and, therefore, privacy. 

You can also add tree ferns for additional screening, as they look wonderful in tiered and sunken backyards. For example, these Zqprca Cyathea Medullaris Plants from Walmart would add a tropical look.

This screening option is an effective sloping backyard idea that will work year-round.  

6. Layer containers

Wooden white garden decking timber with garden furniture and swing chair, koi pond, landscaped oriental Zen Japanese garden maples acers

(Image credit: mtreasure / Getty)

A collection of containers of different heights and sizes can be the perfect tool for more garden privacy. 

“Choose pots of different sizes and plants of varying maturity, as this will give you both height and density to play with,” says Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer and founder of Arsight.

We recommend Japanese maples (such as these Simpson Nurseries Japanese Red Maples from Walmart) for backyard screening, due their bushy canopies and how well they do in containers. 

7. Use a canopy or shade

A residential backyard with a yellow outdoor room, a white wooden deck, a glass dining table with rattan chairs, two red canopies above them, and tall leafy trees and shrubbery

(Image credit: Debra Yates)

For a little cover, choose deck shade ideas to create privacy and luxe shade while you wine and dine.

“Canopies and umbrellas will add layers of visual interest while maintaining seclusion,” suggests Nina Lichtenstein, principal designer and founder of Nina’s Home Design.

She recommends opting for materials that complement your outdoor aesthetic, whether it's sleek and modern or rustic and charming.

8. Add a privacy screen

A backyard decking area with an L-shaped light gay couch with white wooden legs, a light wooden table with bread, olives, and sunglasses on it, and a reddish brown patio screen and shrubbery behind it

(Image credit: Danetti)

Building privacy screen ideas is a great way to use up leftover wood or even old doors. 

These quirky yet functional partitions can be made solely out of old doors or wooden pallets. To brighten up a dull garden, give the screen a lick of bright paint.

If you don’t want to build your own, you can always snag a privacy screen instead (this Enclo Privacy Screen from Amazon is so mid-century chic).

9. Consider the position of outbuildings

A garden with a tall wooden conservatory with an open door, fruit trees in terracotta pots on a gray stone path, and light gray wooden decking

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whether you're learning  how to build a backyard room from scratch or looking to add another type of outbuilding to your backyard, think about its positioning.

This will help the flow of your space as a whole, as well as blocking out any spots you want to keep private. 

10. Choose low seating

An outdoor courtyard area with a brick wall around it, white and black throw pillows and blankets on the floor, a light wooden table with colorful jars on it, and a black barbecue to the right

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you need privacy from up above where you are in an enclosed space, such as a backyard patio, choosing low seating is not only cozy but also a simple way to feel more comfortable from onlookers. 

For example, you can throw down outdoor throw pillows as an inexpensive way to do this (we like this Mina Victory Pouf from Target).

11. Choose climbers

A garden with an arch of pink roses, with a gray stone path leading to a dining area surrounded by green bushes with gray silver chairs and a table with a white tablecloth and teacups on it

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

We're a bit over traditional hedging, which can look too solid and a bit severe. Instead, consider screening off areas within your backyard using shrubs or climbing plants as opposed to blocking your whole boundary. 

Perfect for areas where you’d like a more permanent privacy solution, climbers such as ivy, jasmine, clematis, and roses (these Guerney's Cecile Rose Climbers from Walmart are so pretty) offer maximum screening power without creating an overly boxed-in look.

12. Set up an outdoor cinema

Four people sat outside at nighttime on patterned throw pillows looking to a large outdoor screen with four people projected onto it and a large star light next to it

(Image credit: Getty Images)

One way to create backyard privacy and let the whole world melt away is by bringing an outdoor projector and screen (this Nisoo Projector from Amazon comes with a screen) in for a cinematic experience.

“This will encourage moments of solitude or socializing with loved ones away from prying eyes,” Nina adds. 

Hang your screen in a spot where you want to block sightlines out, grab throw pillows, and voila — you have the perfect setup that is only yours to enjoy. 

13. Plant fast-growing annuals

Two deck chairs - one red and one blue - on a stone patio area with red and yellow flower bushes behind them

(Image credit: Gay Bumgarner / Alamy Stock Photo)

Want an inexpensive backyard privacy solution quickly? There's an easy answer — fast-growing annual flowers. 

Consider easy-to-grow flowers such as zinnias, cosmos, and sunflowers (try these Back to the Roots Sunflower Seeds from Walmart) to plug in any gaps in your yard borders. 

By late June-early July, you will have a gorgeous display that will enhance privacy. 

14. Plant tall bi-annuals

A backyard with tall purple, blue, and pink flowers and large green leaves next to a light wooden fence with brick pillars with trees behind it

(Image credit: capdesign / Getty)

If you have a bit more patience and can wait a year, cottage garden plants such as foxgloves, hollyhocks, and lupins will grow over two meters tall — but they are bi-annuals and won't bloom in the first year. 

Foxgloves (these Everwilde Farms Foxglove Seeds from Walmart are budget-friendly) and other tall-growing flowers are especially useful for blocking out views out of corners. 

Consider planting them next to your garden fence for creating a more secluded effect. 

15. Greenify a garden trellis

A backyard with a black trellis with leaves and potted white plants below it, and two tables with black and white gingham tablecloths and white chairs

(Image credit: Getty Images)

On a budget or don't want the hassle of installing new structures? You could increase your garden's privacy substantially with trellis ideas.

Remember, your backyard privacy screening doesn't have to be solid, but just a distraction to onlooker eyes and enough to make you feel comfortable and secure in your surroundings. So, a trellis enhanced with climbers is ideal (this Qenwkxz Kyoffiie Trellis from Walmart would be a great starting point). 

Choose vigorous climbing species such as honeysuckle, jasmine, and clematis, and you could have a luscious green wall by next summer. The beautiful scent these plants will bring to your garden is a bonus.

16. Install a water feature

A brown circle water feature with a light brown stone path around it and tall green shrubbery on the borders

(Image credit: Karen Darlow)

To further increase privacy in your garden, consider installing a large backyard water feature.

Nina says, “Incorporate water features such as fountains, ponds, or cascading waterfalls into your backyard design to create a serene ambiance while masking unwanted noise and distractions from the surrounding environment.” 

These can be a little expensive, but if you're looking for a budget-friendly one, shoppers love this Melliful Solar Paneled Water Fountain from Walmart.

17. Add a pergola

A distressed wooden pergola with purple flowers around one pillar with a white iron bistro set beneath it with a teapot and teacups on the table and light green trees and bushes around the scene

(Image credit: OKA US)

A pergola will provide plenty of backyard privacy. Even better, if you enjoy DIY, you can build a pergola yourself. 

Add some hanging baskets (we like these Nutsaak Hanging Baskets that are Amazon's Choice) full of petunias, ivy, and lobelias to create even more seclusion.

18. Maximize bamboo

A large silver barbecue with a lid on gray wooden bedding, with a dark gray shed behind it and tall green bamboo plants behind it too

(Image credit: Eirasophie / Getty)

Bamboo is easily the best plant to grow if you want to enhance your backyard privacy. It's beautiful, most varieties are evergreen, and it grows tall very fast. 

“Strategically placed greenery not only adds visual interest and texture but also acts as a natural barrier, shielding your space from neighboring eyes,” says Nina.

Many varieties will grow up to 10 meters tall if you let them, and you can achieve this natural tall screen in a matter of a couple of years. The only thing bamboo needs to thrive is plenty of water, so don't forget to water it during periods of drought. 

19. Add curtains

A dark brown backyard area with a light brown sunlounger and chair with blue and pink throw pillows, a rattan storahe basket, a white stool with a black tea pot, and a pergola above it with green leaves

(Image credit: John Lewis)

For the perfect outdoor living area where you want backyard privacy from all angles, adding stylish curtains to a covered spot will not only look gorgeous and very chic but it will also mean that when you want more privacy. 

We love these hotel-style Breakwater Bay Exclusive Home Curtains from Wayfair. Just be sure to stash them away when the weather looks like it will take a turn for the worse.

20. Consider a potting shelter

A brick potting shelter with arched windows, a metal seat, and orange, red, and yellow pumpkins all around it, set in a garden with trees above it and bushes with green and purple leaves in front of it

(Image credit: Redwood Stone - Folly & Garden)

It's not quite a shed, and it's not quite a wall, but something between the two.

A potting shelter will provide you both with  backyard storage and a dedicated space for potting plants. 

“Strategically placed hardscaping elements can provide both visual interest and privacy, defining distinct areas within your outdoor space,” Nina explains.

We adore this shelter above — you could try building something similar yourself if you've worked with brick before.

21. Go overgrown

A backyard area with a brick patio with a wooden sunlounger with lime green cushions and different sized green bushes and trees around it with red, white, and yellow flowers

(Image credit: HannamariaH / Getty)

Sometimes the best strategy is to just let nature do its thing. Let your plants grow more naturally, resisting the urge to prune everything.

You will be rewarded with a luscious, secluded garden where you may not need any manmade screening at all.

22. Vary table heights

An oriental garden with a koi carp pond, featuring Japanese elements, granite lanterns, bamboo, ornamental grasses, bonsai and Japanese maples

(Image credit: mtreasure / Getty)

The most common problem gardeners have with natural screening as backyard privacy ideas is that it's uneven, with visible gaps at awkward heights. 

This is especially common if all your plants are around the same age, which will mean that you're lacking density in the middle of your natural screening scheme. 

If this is the case — plant stands and garden tables to the rescue! Use the best patio furniture to adjust the height and balance out the look of your living screen (for example, place some plants on this Costway Patio Round Table from Walmart). 


What are the best ways to add backyardprivacy on a budget?

Choosing simple ways to increase privacy outdoors like planting and DIY can make this job really budget-friendly and nonetheless effective. 

Always start by assessing where you really need privacy and consider both temporary and permanent options to suit your needs and backyard's orientation. This will make it a lot easier to find a happy medium.

How can I improve garden privacy in a shared garden?

Shared backyards are often overlooked from above as well as from the sides. If you have neighbors living above you, you may need to invest in a covering or awning in order to keep your portion of the shared outdoor space private.

Transforming your backyard into a private oasis is a rewarding endeavor that enhances both the beauty and functionality of your outdoor space. 

“By incorporating a combination of greenery, architectural accents, water features, and defined outdoor rooms, you can create a secluded retreat that offers respite from the outside world,” Nina finishes by saying.

Once you’ve finished adding privacy options, you can add stylish patio decor ideas to your space to tie the whole landscape together, and check out the backyard privacy mistakes to avoid. 

Anna is a professional writer with many years of experience. She has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. She covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design. 

With contributions from