Things You'll Need
Trees, shrubs and vines
Ask your neighbors if you can look at your yard from their property to properly gauge the privacy of your tanning area.
Perfecting a natural tan requires regular basking in the sun. Since most people don't have the luxury of spending that kind of time on a tropical beach, many tanners look to build a private area in their own backyards. Backyard tanning is inexpensive and convenient, but if you choose to tan in your yard, you run the risk of being watched by nosy neighbors. Build yourself a space where you can comfortably tan by setting up a good fence and some strategically placed shrubbery.
Build a privacy fence around your property. If you plan to wear a bathing suit while tanning, a trellis fence with some vegetation woven through will suffice. If you plan to tan in the nude, build a fence that offers complete privacy. Use solid wood slats with no gaps in between the boards so that passing neighbors can't sneak a peek. Standard privacy fences are 6 feet tall, which will only suffice if your yard is not situated lower than any of your neighbors' yards. If you live downhill from other houses overlooking your yard, build the fence as high as possible. If your fence will have a gate, make sure it can be secured from the inside so that people won't enter the yard while you are enjoying your privacy.
Plant hedges around the perimeter of your yard. The hedge can either act as a fence itself or work as a privacy screen in conjunction with a wood or metal fence. Be aware that a full hedge will take several years to grow, but when mature it will offer almost as much coverage as a solid wood fence.
Plant other bushes and shrubs around the property, specifically around the area where you intend to tan. If you want to block off one section of the yard for tanning, plant some hardy shrubs and trees in that area so that it is blocked off from the rest of the yard. Plan your plantings carefully and don't choose plants that will grow too high, as you don't want them to create shadows that block the sun. Also choose shrubs that can withstand a lot of sun, since you will be planting them in a sunny area.
Install a fountain or a man-made brook near your tanning area. The fountain will not only block the view of onlookers, but the running water will also offer some sound privacy. The sound of the bubbling water will allow you to sit back and relax while soaking in the sun's rays.
As a professional journalist since 1998, Lisbeth Booth has worked as a writer and an editor at several magazines. Her career has focused on music and film criticism but she has also written about lifestyle topics such as parenting and home design. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Calgary.