As much as we may like our neighbors, we don't want to watch them sunbathing, or weeding, or training their dog every time we go out to enjoy our yard. And perhaps they don't want to watch us swaying in the hammock every time they go outside. If your yard is lacking privacy, there are a few things you can do to make your outdoor space your own, peaceful - private - oasis.
1. Install a privacy fence
The obvious solution for quick and easy privacy is to add a 6 foot fence around your property. There are a number of fence designs and materials to suit the style and architecture of your home as well as your preferences. Be sure to check with your local city/town as rules are different in each locality on how high a fence can be and how far it has to be from property lines.
2. Add natural screening with plantings
By planting tall shrubs, trees, or hedges at your property line, you minimize the stark look of a fence and can have an even higher screen of privacy, as some plantings and trees can grow taller than six feet (typically the maximum allowed by local ordinances for fences). Just be sure to plant something that will not lose its leaves or coverage in New England's fall and winter seasons.
3. Add a stone wall
Stone walls are a great way to add privacy, as they add texture to your property while using natural elements. Once built, they last a lifetime and always look timeless, which adds charm to any home. If a tall, stone wall seems a bit claustrophobic, consider a shorter stone wall that you can add plantings or a short fence on top of to really achieve that privacy and beauty.
4. Install a fountain or other water feature to minimize noise
Sometimes you care less about what you see and more about what you hear. If chatty neighbors, busy traffic or even AC condenser units are bothersome to you, adding a fountain to your landscape may be the right fix. The running water can add a natural white noise while drowning out unpleasant sounds.
Rodrigo Dos Anjos