Picture this, you’re in the garden pondering about your crop rotation plans or yard work that seems to be piling up and begin to feel the prying eyes of your neighbour. I’m all for sharing some of the beauty I’ve created but sometimes I like to be left alone to my thoughts and seemingly blank stares as I map my next steps.
This is when you think, I’m putting in a privacy fence to get some peace! If your like me you have been scouring the internet looking for new and unique ways to keep those pesky lookers at bay. Whether you are looking for metal fences to brave the weather, pine fences to mind your wallet or something more tropical we’ve got you covered.
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Cedar fence with privacy
Despite the higher price tag that typically comes with cedar building material, it has to be one of my favorite woods to use in the garden and yard. Not only does it look great with the light red tones it acts as a natural pest and fungus deterrent. Typically, anything made from cedar will last 4 times longer than pine. Add some food safe neem oil to really preserve this beautiful wood. In this example The home owner used their own form of a privacy trellis for a more distinct look.
Not all fences need to withstand a hurricane, some offer a peaceful ambiance among an otherwise open seating area. Have a table set that feels a bit too exposed to the elements? Try using cedar planks dug 6 inches into the ground in order to get the privacy you need. Depending on your soil type you may need to anchor them in with rebar or some other steak in the ground. If your going to bury any wood in the ground (even part way) it’s best to go with cedar, like we mentioned above it’s great at slowing down the decay from pests and fungi.
Are you working with some tough terrain? Try having your fence conform the structure of your land. This home owner only used treated wood for the main posts and kept the cedar look intact throughout the rest of the design. The red wood tones really look nice against any shrubs or flower placed Infront. Rather than sloping the designs as the soil drops this designer chose to dramatically drop each section by 1-2 feet in order to work with the grade. The result is a great looking fence that feels intentional.
Peaks and valleys fence
It may take a bit more time in the wood working shop to get this design up and running but the result is something that will make your close neighbors grateful and the further ones envious. Finished with black iron hinges this fence design is truly a work of art. The peaks of the fence offer a warm and inviting feel similar to that of string lights gently hung among branches.
Oblong privacy fence.
Tired of seeing the same old cookie cutter fences? Try using fence boards cut at different lengths for dramatic effect. It’s perfect for keeping parts of your yard more secluded than others. You can take advantage of the added length of the fence post to include a feeder for the birds like this gracious home owner has done. Just watch out for the squirrels!
Evergreen Privacy Fence
One of my favorite fence ideas by far is using natural landscape to build great looking privacy fences. Not only are they a much cheaper option in the long run they work themselves magically into the place where they have been planted. Not only do they look great they also offer a much bigger end result than you could ever achieve with a fence. Some varieties of hedges like the skyrocket juniper shoot up 20 feet in the air over the course of 10-15 years. This is much higher than any city or township municipality would allow. The biggest drawback here is the time it takes to see your work come to fruition.
Forsythia privacy screen
While not quite a fence, adding shrubs or tall growing flower beds ca be a great way to turn your old (and see through) picket fence into a privacy screen during the garden season. Depending on the variety it may offer some privacy during the winter but prepare for a gradual loss come fall. This group of forsythia bushes add a pop of vibrant color along the white fence. It’s a hardy shrub that can be trimmed each year for added design. The bright yellow flowers come in dense and offer a vivid privacy display. Once the flowers fall you are left with little green leaves that pick up the pace.
Rose bud fence
Who doesn’t love looking at a bush of roses as they tend to their garden landscape? Not only do they look great a rosebud fence has a double duty of also being low-key security system for our back yard…ouch! All kidding aside the prickly thorns may help to keep pests away from your garden treasures like carrots, cucumbers and any other snack waiting to be sampled. Roses are relatively low maintenance and offer a classic smell to be enjoyed as you sit peacefully or work away at your dreams. Group them together as a single color or mix in a variety, the choice is yours!
Live Bamboo fence
Sure, we’ve all seen the typical back yard bamboo fence, it offers a less expensive way to increase your outdoor privacy. But what about using live bamboo? Bamboo is hardy up to zone 5 and creates a tropical look and feel in any garden space. Careful though, these shoots grow more like weeds and can get a little invasive. Try planting in low sitting sectioned planters to keep the runners maintained. The fast growth bamboo has is great for anyone looking to have a green screen without the long wait times.
Lush Garden fence
The best of both worlds meet in this example of how a modern looking fence can be combined with green living branches for grand appearance. While this may take a bit more work to keep maintained the payoff will surely be worth it. Try using ferns as your choice shrub to implant into your living wall. The leaves will complement the wood naturally and create an exotic atmosphere regardless of the weather.
The burning bush offers a wonderful set of foliage to enjoy as the seasons change. While this bush is a appealing planted as a single specimen the true beauty comes from a wall of red in the fall. The red of the leaves is some of the most vibrant I have ever seen and the branches are stiff enough to hold a few dustings of snow to enjoy in the cold winter months. The burning bush will spread is fortunes through seeds in the berries it grows and by sending up shoots to grow new plants. For this reason It is on the “invasive species list” Despite it’s beauty the burning bush is poisonous so plant with caution if you have pets or young children.
Lattices offer a great rustic charm to any backyard design. They also work partially as a privacy screen to trellis for plants to latch on to. Most any vine will work to fill in the gaps but I prefer using a winter hearty vine like ivy which can stand up to our southern Ontario winters. In this example the home owner accentuated the rustic look and feel by painting the lattice dark brown. This creates a nice contrast between the earthy tones of the wood and the vibrant green leaves that weave their way in-between.
Frosted glass fence
Another great example of a modern style of privacy fencing is this frosted glass fence. The home owner went to great lengths in order to keep the charm of nature in this meditation space of a garden while introducing the glass that can be found in other areas of the build. They took a different approach than some of our earlier examples and went with a low foliage tree to keep the lines simple. Not only does this contrast well it ensures that their artwork will not go unnoticed after years of overgrowth.
Horizontal Wood Fence
While it’s nice to see some woods like cedar go untreated others can transform a dull fence into a vibrant one with a bit of clear coat and elbow grease. This home owner went with a beautiful rosewood for their modern privacy fence. The different color grains for the wood create great contrast between the boards as they line up imperfectly along your garden beds. Not a fan of using chemical coatings? Try wiping the boards with linseed oil for a long-lasting shimmer that can be applied each year. Great for preventing wood rot in the years to come.
Live Ivy fence
When done properly a living fence can add great intrigue to an otherwise boring partition. This home owner chose to build the living fence using Ivy. Ivy is a great choice for this type of project since it is woody and hearty. This means when your kids are kicking around the soccer ball in the back and happen to be using the fence as a goal point you won’t have to worry replanting your fence the following year. Anyone who has ever tried trimming back their ivy vine can attest to the strength of these woody vines.
A favorite among growers and gardeners, bamboo is a less expensive option for surrounding your area in privacy screening. It’s durable, weather resistant and can easily be stained to match your own garden design. Secure each section of the bamboo with 1×4’s for added stability and greater design. Most store bought designs are lacking these stability sections so be sure to plan for this ahead of time. The great thing about bamboo is it can easily be repurposed in the garden before discarded. Tomato supports for everyone in the neighborhood!
Working around nature
Sometimes you have pre-determined obstacles you have to work around in order to get some privacy in your life. Take this as an opportunity to build something remarkable like this cedar fence with privacy rails. Rather than using your typical lattice for the upper section the home owner chose to space the rails evenly in an orderly fashion. While the crisscross pattern typically offers a bit more privacy, this design adds a modern flare to this well aged maple tree.
Green moss living wall
Already have a wall giving all the privacy you need? Try sprucing it up with a bit of color by adding a living wall feature. Made from a mesh insert and resilient plants this living wall will be the talk of your next get-together. What better way to add a pop of color to an otherwise boring wall?
Thick Bamboo fence
This might be a bit harder to source than you might expect. Since large bamboo is expensive to ship from Asia the size of your bamboo fence will depend on your budget. This example in particular was taken from a garden park in Japan. It’s amazing to see heritage like this live beyond those that keep the grounds proper. Bamboo is a sturdy building material and can take the place of your traditional wooden fences. For an added rustic flare trying securing them (at least for show) using dark or blackened rope.
Looking for similar aesthetics to a bamboo fence but for half the cost? Look no further! Reed fencing offers a cheap and effective way to get the tropical vibes into your garden without the added cost. Why doesn’t everyone simply do this you ask? Well reed fencing does come with a drawback, it’s less durable. So if your planning on putting your new privacy fence somewhere that could receive strong sails of wind then forget about reed fencing as an option. The light weight design will prove no match for these prevailing sails. Similar to bamboo reed fencing comes in a variety of color treatments or dye’s
Modern Metal Fence
If your looking for a more upscale look to your privacy fence try incorporating more modern designs. This home owner decided to go with a timeless approach and painted their metal slates black. While they might be extra crispy in the summer heat, they add great elegance to any back-yard space. This is especially contrasted when compared against the pure white columns. Add a few solar pos lights and your all set for hosting!
Metal sheet and wood fence
The metal and wood combo is a great option for those looking to create a unique contemporary privacy fence on a budget. While taking advantage of the low cost to corrugated sheet metal one could build a fence with this design in no time. Adding stained wood to the top of each section creates warmth and color contrast that appeals to classic and contemporary design elements. The tin can easily be painted for an even more contrasting look -have fun and get creative!