Help with Backyard Privacy

northeastgardenJanuary 6, 2013

I would so appreciate any help with coming up with back yard privacy. I have put in fences but my deck is raised and I always feels like I'm in a fishbowl when I sit on my deck. I am out of ideas. Any help would be so appreciated.

I just took a panaramic view of my back yard. I know it's a winter picture but I live in the northeast. I am trying to hide that ugly building on the left that is falling down on my one neighbors property and the other next door neighbors garage and house as well as their sightline right to my back deck.

This post was edited by northeastgarden on Mon, Jan 7, 13 at 9:52

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northeastgarden, All of the posts about this landscape issue should be in a single thread. I'd use this one and declare the other two dead so that no one adds to them. It would become confusing and difficult to navigate the information if it's in multiple threads. You can add as many photos as you want to a single thread ... one at a time using GW's system.

I think you need to add other photos to explain the situation. We would need to see what you are trying to screen yourself from. It's not really clear in the above photo. At the side yard, the photo is too close-up and doesn't give a sense of how the side yard relates to the house and rest of back yard area.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 12:02AM
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I tried to add more than one picture to the link but it wouldn't let me. Guess I just didn't use it right. So sorry about that.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 8:43AM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

extend the post and beam across the length of the raised deck.
between each you have the opportunity to use pull down cavas or rattan shades.
This space also allows you to have curtains , a shoji screen or a higher end architectural panel.

Paint the structural members ( posts and beams) white to that it blend in with your existing railing and unites with the house.

If you don't care for the structure idea then consider planting a bosque of trees at the corners of the deck. Use low multi banching trees ( here in the west I use Olives ) This will give you a sense of enclosure.

Below is a winter time photo of a raised deck . The client wanted a sense of privacy so we planted Olives at the terrace corners. The trees are pruned to the desired level of privacy. They are also recessed into the terrace floor so that there is no raised planter box.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 1:56PM
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Though my earlier post appears on this thread, this is the first time I'm seeing the panoramic picture. (The pic I saw had the grape growing on the deck rail.) Panoramas tend to torque the perspective so it's hard to get a sense of the space. Normal shots that are not too close up are probably better. Not sure what/where is the "ugly building on the left." (Advice on that would best be from a photo of the "ugly building" taken from the deck.)

In general, it can be surprising how much a sense of privacy and "protection" is added simply by being in the shade of an overhead tree canopy, and it doesn't obstruct one's view outward. If you could place any SMALL trees near the deck that could produce some shade, it would help lessen the in-a-fishbowl feeling. Screening that can be called into use at will (as mentioned earlier) or strategically placed screening (such as a vine laden trellis) could work when directly obstructive screening is necessary. Strategically placed plant material screening at the back yard perimeter would be useful. Unlike some of the at-the-deck screening options, it wouldn't limit your view of your own yard. Yard perimeter screening does not need to be solid, but could be broken up as the need warrants. Some areas may need no screening. Some might need a filtered view, like what could be achieved with small tree forms (such as a Lilac grove or 12-15' height trees.) Some areas you might wish to obstruct entirely so tall shrubs (on the narrow side) would be useful. How tall depends on the elevations of viewpoint and object to be screened. For more specific help on that, I'd add views taken from the deck (with more of the deck showing than just the rail) toward the area in question.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 8:49PM
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"am trying to hide that ugly building on the left that is falling down on my one neighbors property"

Assuming it is the blue-grey building at the rear ... you need some evergreens (conifers or even holly - whatever you prefer) that will quickly grow to about 10-12 feet high between your line of sight and the rear border. An informal arc of them with staggered placement across the rear quarter of the yard wolud give you a visual boundary.

" and the other next door neighbors garage and house as well as their sightline right to my back deck. "

Assuming you are standing on your deck ... what yardvaark said. Several small trees (whatever is suitable for your climate) between you and the view will make you feel better. If you repeat those trees in the evergreen border, and use some evergreens in this barrier you will unify the appearance.

And it leaved most of the yard free for vegewtables, grass and kids.

If it's a serious privacy issue, with leering neighbors, a trellis with an evergreen like pyracantha across the sight line would do it.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 10:13AM
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>I tried to add more than one picture to the link but it wouldn't let me.

You can only add one photo per post from your computer, but you just keep replying to yourself in the same thread to add more. You don't need to start a whole new thread each time, just a new reply. (If you are linking to photos hosted on a site like photobucket there's no limit on how many per post.)

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 10:32AM
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