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How to Make Your Garden Private

Jun 30, 2020

For most of us, our town gardens tend to be on the smaller side. Garden space is really an issue for many inner-city homes with a lot of housing backing on to more housing.

For many urban homes, the question of

“how do you make a garden private when it is virtually overlooked on all sides?

A lot of people will firstly jump towards building up fences, huge hedges or adding some trellis here and there. However, the issue with this is that it can make the garden feel really boxed in and like a prison yard.

Don’t forget that there is a law in England that fence height can go to a maximum of 2m, so fencing will only help with certain spaces. In some respects, new fencing will only help with privacy a little bit.

Find our areas where your garden is overlooked

The first thing that you need to do is really think about your garden. Try to understand what spaces within the garden are most overlooked.

A great idea is to think about how you would want to use your garden. Where would you like your patio furniture to go? What areas will you relaxing in most and are there any areas that simply are fully exposed to your neighbours?

Ideally, you want to make a sketch of the garden, making it as accurate as possible. This is where a trusted gardening company can be worth their weight in gold.

Make notes on the sketch of where overlooking windows and viewpoints are, these will be the ‘hot spots’ and will need extra thought to make the garden more private.

So now you should firmly understand how you would like to use your outdoor space and where you feel the problem areas are.

Create height in your garden to increase privacy

Adding height with a fence can be a great way of shielding certain problem areas, although as mentioned before it can only help somewhat. Planting is a really good idea to help reduce views and give a feeling of privacy.

However don’t rush out and buy the biggest growing conifer or bamboo you can find as the height maybe too much, especially if you have a smaller garden.

Large growing plants will not only shield views to your garden but they will also block out a lot of light too.

As an example, if your garden backs on to a two-story home and you feel that their upstairs windows have direct views into the garden, plant some trees and shrubs with a maximum growing height of around 3m.

Not only will that break up your view of their property but it will also shield their views from you too.

A key point to remember when using shrubs and trees to increase privacy is where and how you plant them.

If you where to plant two large shrubs in a certain spot and the rest of your garden is mainly lawn and flowerbeds, then two large plants may stick out like a sore thumb.

Try thinking of your garden as a multi-level space and plant accordingly.

Use planting to lead your eye 

Many gardeners that need more privacy often make the mistake of planting lots of various types of plants anywhere in their gardens.

It is great to have lots of planting variety, however, you will never really get your garden to flow by doing this. Planting and repetition are key to help make your garden more private.

Repetition of planting helps link up areas of your garden, this will help your eye skim over the garden and make it look harmonious.

If you were to add many different types and heights of plants randomly placed then it can draw your eye all over the place which can lead to highlighting overlooking spots.

Use climbing plants and vertical planting

You can easily increase the feeling of privacy and a feeling of space using vertical gardening.

As we mentioned before you do not have to install massive structures for the plants to climb up, although trellis could be an option.

For a more discrete look, use garden wire and hooks, once plants get established it will be almost invisible.

By building the height of plants against structures is another way to increase the feeling of privacy.

For example, you could use ivy which will grow up structures very easily, if placed right, it can create a way of blocking out views and making your garden look great.


There are many challenges for today’s urban gardens when it comes to privacy and many of which may just be a case of doing the best you can with what you have got.

With a little creative thought and planning, you can create a stunning garden.

A garden that not only decreases being overlooked to some extent but also allows you to feel a sense of peace by drawing your eye around the garden.


Talk to us today

Why not discuss your requirements now with an experienced landscape gardener? We'd be delighted to have a chat and see how we can put our expertise at your disposal. 

Call us today on 0114 3485221

Contact M&M Gardening Services Sheffield

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M&M Gardening Services
94 Wollaton Road
Sheffield S17 4LG

Telephone: 0114 3485221
Mobile: 07779 330638