Home Landscaping Ideas: Increase Your Backyard Privacy

If you've ever lived in an apartment, you probably remember growing accustomed to sacrificing privacy to a certain extent. When you finally moved into a single-family home, you probably thought that sacrifice was over. However, as a large majority of homes in Phoenix and Tucson neighborhoods are within close proximity to each other, community residents are left to fend for themselves when it comes to personal discretion. Between nosy kids peeking through your fence and your neighbor's second story bedroom hovering right over your pool, you may find yourself desperate for privacy fence ideas.

Ditch the screen and go green.

When the existing fence doesn't provide enough protection against Lookie-Loos, consider adding a row of hanging plants to the porch. Not only will this add life to your yard, it can be an effective way to create a personal haven for the family. Purchase several oversized planters for running bamboo trees and position them across one side of your yard. Just be aware they do require advanced planning and proper maintenance otherwise you'll have bigger issues at hand than just privacy. The fastest-growing trees perfect for desert climates include Arizona Ash, Oleander, and Palo Verdes. Local nurseries even recommend planting a row of dense Ficus Tree Columns for the sole purpose of seclusion.

Block out the sun.

For more effective privacy fence ideas, take to the DIY blogs and consider building a lattice partition such as the one in this tutorial. Even better, place climbing hydrangeas or jasmine below the lattice and watch as the vines grow sky high. Bigger Arizona backyards require more creativity, so don't try to block a neighbor's line of sight from every direction just yet; rather, transform one section of your yard into a secluded sanctuary. If there's a handyman in the family, consider building a simple post or two that can serve as an extension of the porch. From there, you can dress it up with light, airy fabric or drape thick outdoor curtains from corner to corner. Check IKEA if you're on a tight budget for a nice selection of colors and fabrics. Alternately, run two parallel galvanized pipes from the roof to your fence or the closest tree and hang curtains overhead creating a canopy. Take this guide from allyou.com and modify it to work with your desired level of privacy. Lastly, consider finding four different colorful umbrellas (scour local garage sales or Craigslist) and secure them in large planters arranged in each corner of your exposed yard.

Many Arizona homes with desert landscaping leave homeowners feeling wide-open, but your year-round barbeques don't have to include the whole block. When it seems you're on display every time you step outside, first determine where you want the most privacy, draw up a budget, and plan from there.

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