Three Natural-Looking Privacy Screen Ideas For Your Backyard

It's nice to have privacy in your backyard, but many modern privacy fences seem to overwhelm the design of your yard with their looming size and artificial appearance. If you want to avoid nosy neighbors and also preserve your yard's more rustic appearance, consider using one of these more natural-looking privacy screen ideas.

Install a Chain-Link Fence and Plant Vining Plants to Climb It

Chain-link fences are relatively inexpensive when compared to solid wooden or vinyl fences, making this a good choice if you're on a tight budget. While the chain link fence itself won't give you privacy, planting vining plants at its base will. As the plants grow up and become intertwined with the links of the fence, they'll create a solid green barrier that blocks your neighbors' view of the yard and looks far more natural than a plain metal fence.

If you decide to go with this idea, be sure to choose a very durable chain link fence. One coated with an anti-rust substance is a good idea, since the fence will be exposed to a lot of moisture once it becomes overgrown with plants.

There are several great plants that you can choose to plant near  the base of your fence. These include:

  • Dutchman's Pipe, a perennial plant that produces flowers shaped like pipes. This is a good choice for tall privacy fences, since it can reach up to 25 feet tall when mature and grows very quickly.
  • Trumpet Vines, which are known for their beautiful orange and red flowers. They can grow up to 40 feet in a single season and need to be kept under control with regular pruning.
  • Climbing Hydrangeas, which have dense green foliage and clusters of white flowers. They can reach up to 80 feet in height and will tolerate partial shade.

Install a Wooden Fence That's Solid Only in Essential Areas

You could certainly surround your entire yard in a solid wooden fence for a natural-looking privacy screen. However, this can get pretty expensive, since it requires so much wood. For a more affordable, yet still rustic-looking fence, consider placing solid wooden fencing made from flat panels in the areas where you need privacy, and a simple post-and-rail wooden fence along other sides of the yard. For instance, you can place a solid fence along the side of the yard that you share with a neighbor, and post-and-rail fencing along the side of the yard next to the open lot.

Whether or not this option works for you will depend on your yard's layout. If you have neighbors on all three sides, you may want to stick with another option that will fully enclose your yard.

If you do choose a partially solid wooden fence, make sure you choose the most durable wood possible. The last thing you're going to want to do with such a large fence is make repairs every spring. Western red cedar is a good choice because it's naturally insect-resistant, so you don't have to treat it with insecticides. This certainly is a benefit when you have a huge, 10 or 12-foot fence that you'd need to treat. Other hardy choices include white oak and black locust.

Plant Some Exceptionally Tall Hedges

No choice is more natural than green plants. Though most people think of hedges as short, waist-height barriers, it is possible to grow tall privacy hedges if you choose the right species of shrub and care for them properly. Some options to consider include:

  • The French Pussy Willow, a tall and hardy hedge that reaches about 13 - 25 feet in height. It develops white flowers in the spring and summer, and it will tolerate partial shade, though it needs moist soil to grow well.
  • The Siberian Peashrub, which reaches about 10 - 15 feet in height. It is known for its tolerance of cold, dry, and otherwise harsh conditions.

Keep in mind that both of these shrub types will take some time to reach a suitable height for a privacy fence. This is probably not the best choice if you're in a hurry to put up a barrier.

You don't have to sacrifice the natural look of your home in order to have some privacy. Use one of the ideas above to isolate your yard without detracting from its rustic beauty. For additional info, contact your fencing contractor.