If you’re finding yourself being eyed by your neighbors and passersby as you entertain guests on your patio or sunbathing in your backyard, it might be time to rethink the privacy of your home and its landscape.

One way to do this is through landscaping for privacy.

A good landscape design plan that keeps your privacy as a focus will protect you not only unwanted stares, but might protect your valuables and property as well .

Privacy Screening Quote

Before we take a look at some landscaping for privacy ideas, keep in mind that some of the structures and even plants mentioned might be subject to local regulations and might require a permit for installation.

Outdoor Privacy Screen

If you entertain or sit out on your patio, finding ways to make it more private can help you enjoy your home more. This is especially so if your patio is visible from the street, as is often the case in urban living.

Privacy screens can be used selectively to hide one or more sides of an area such as a patio or outdoor pool from view. They can be anywhere from dense, hiding everything from view, almost like an inner fence or wall to lightly woven, such lattice panels which can let more light come through.

A privacy screen can be used to hang pots and flowers or together with other landscape elements, such as a water fountain, flower garden or walkway.

Privacy Bushes & Plants

You can either get plants that have the potential to grow into significantly large plants to provide some coverage or buy large plants.

Large plants are pricier than their younger versions, they are best when you want immediate privacy and so not want to wait months or even years to reach the required height.

If anything, most people find that investing in a few large plants.

If you opt to get young smaller plants that have the potential to grow tall and spread out, think about the space you have.

Ultimately, you want plants that will not overwhelm the space over time. Keep this in mind when buying privacy bushes.

Privacy Trees

Evergreens are the best choice when it comes to privacy trees because they keep their foliage year round and some of the species can be grown close together, forming a living fence.

These are some of the best trees for privacy in the Chicago area, based on hardiness and how fast they grow:

  • arborvitae
  • Leyland cypress
  • lawson cypress
  • italian cypress
  • moonglow juniper
  • eastern white pine
  • concolor fir

Privacy Hedges

If you are prefer a living fence, privacy hedges can work superbly well.

A privacy hedge is a group of shrubs or trees planted close together. Some examples are:

  • holly
  • portugal laurel
  • griselinia

Learn Plant Layering

Try and scatter your flowers and privacy plants around the areas of your home where you need more privacy.

This works best as opposed to planting them in a single file.

The first reason for this is that it creates a ‘thicket’ look. One way to achieve this is by scattering vegetation of different heights in between your trees. This creates a thicket at eye level, blocking passersby from looking into your property.

Random growth also looks more natural because this is how plants grow in the wild.

Finally, random planting protects your plants. In the event of a disease or pest attack, plants in a single file are easier to wipe out as opposed to sporadically grown ones.

Plant layering and privacy screening are dependent on the layout of your landscape and can be used alongside other privacy elements.

Before you go for this option, you should research the height and placement requirements in your neighborhood.

Drop Cloth Curtains

For areas around your pool where you would want to sunbathe and swim with your family discreetly, drop cloths are a nice, light option during summer.

All you need for these are the curtains and detachable rods that you can fix in the area you wish to conceal.

The good thing about these is that you can get printed drop cloths to compliment your home's design and overall landscaping in Chicago.

These are also not permanent fixtures, meaning you can have the area open or locked off as you wish.

Drop cloth curtains work exceptionally well for patios and balconies as well.


Trellises are sophisticated, cost-effective options for homeowners looking for privacy.

They are also space-effective, making them ideal for small spaces.

These come in woods, plastic, iron, copper, and aluminum, making it possible to find something that compliments the space you want to barricade.

Trellises can also be dressed to increase coverage and to help them blend in with their environment.

Climbing vines like morning glory, honeysuckle and scarlet runner beans not only create a denser screen, but they add beauty and character to the space.

Grape Vine Trellis

Grape Vine Pergola

Growing grape vines on a trellis or pergola is a delicious way to make your outdoor dining area more private. An easy way to bring abundance to small gardens, the vines will grow vertically and give your space a welcoming, Mediterranean look. Come harvest time, you can pick grapes at their ripest moment, when they are the sweetest and most flavorful. Grapes are perennial plants, so this is a gift that will keep on giving for many years to come. You can use grapes growing on your trellis or pergola as a raw, delicious fruit, or to make jelly, juice and even wine. Given plenty of sunlight, such vines give a lot of fruit, so you will also have plenty to give as a gift to family and friends.

One Last Thing…

Your chosen landscaping privacy option will likely need some care and maintenance. Aside from initial cost and space considerations, you should consider their maintenance needs.

R & G Almanza Landscape offers both privacy screening installation and maintenance to clients located in the greater Chicago area.