If privacy is the goal of a fence you plan to create, begin by assessing your screening needs, your climate, your desires, your budget and your level of interest in ongoing maintenance. Measure the length, height and width of a fence you can accommodate. Draw a sketch of the area would you like to have made more private. Then consider some creative options.

Wooden fence
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Condo Garden Wall

One of the common pitfalls of condominium living is that neighbors can be closer than you like. Combine that with restrictive condo covenants and you can have intrusions on your privacy and rules that dictate against building privacy fences. One potential solution is to build a garden wall inside your own patio space. Review covenants and restrictions thoroughly before building to determine what you can erect within a specific space. In some instances, you can build a sloping and perhaps curved wall high enough to limit neighbors’ view into your yard. You may sacrifice a few feet of territory on your outside perimeter while you create an attractive backdrop for garden plantings. Best of all, you may remove your outdoor living area from your neighbors’ line of sight.

Mixed Materials Fence

A privacy fence for a home can blend traditional and creative elements. Instead of a straight cedar or other wood fence between you and the neighboring yard, consider a fence made of standard fence materials to a certain height and then an alternate material on top. such as framed lattice. The lattice can be planted with vines to increase privacy. Another mixed materials alternative is a fence made of wooden fencing materials in increments of several feet, interspersed with alternative materials such as corrugated metal or ceramic tiled panels. In a xeriscape or low water landscape setting such as the Southwestern desert, fences are sometimes built of metal posts and cactus ribs.

Planted, Living Privacy Fence

Trees, shrubs, annual and perennial plants can stand alone or be planted in careful combination to grow into a privacy screen. Issues to consider when you select plants are the size they will reach at maturity, how much wind and light they will block and how much maintenance they will require to keep their size without becoming overgrown. In some instances, when the yard has ample room for planting, you can plant to create a layered screen of privacy with tall hedge shrubs or evergreen trees closest to the neighboring yard, ornamental grasses and bushier shrubs next and lower plants such as bulbs and flowers next. The tiers of growth lend beauty and interest without announcing that you seek privacy. Hedges usually need maintenance in the form of pruning to keep them from overgrowing other plants and losing their desired shape.