Landscape Design Trends for Privacy

In today’s modern landscape design trends homeowners are seeking to create a private backyard oasis. A place that they can gather with family and friends to get away from it all. Ideally, they want an exclusive location that affords some privacy from the prying eyes of neighbors plus helps reduce sound overflow from busy streets.

With most homes located in the suburbs on small lots, landscapers have more of an opportunity to focus on a design that optimizes privacy while remaining visually appealing for not only your client but your client’s neighbors.

Landscape Design Trends Include Quick Growing Shrubs 

Shrubs are an affordable option to create not only privacy but a lovely accent to any landscape. When you consider which shrubs to plant in your client’s yard you must not only take into consideration their rate of growth but also if they will be deciduous or evergreen.

An evergreen hedge will provide privacy year round but a deciduous shrub loses its leaves in the fall so half the year it will be bare with little or no privacy value.

  1. Italian Cypress: The Italian cypress  (Cupressaceae sempervirens) is an evergreen that has become a popular privacy shrub in recent years. The trees grow in a tall, slender form but when spaced correctly they will create a thick screen. They quickly grow to a height of up to feet with a width of 10 feet. Ideally, they should be spaced 2 to 3 feet apart to form an impenetrable hedge. 
  2. Oleander: Oleander (Nerium oleander) is a bushy evergreen that produces a wealth of flowers in shades of pink, white, lavender, and red. The shrub can grow to a height of20 feet. It is exceptionally hardy and will easily withstand salt spray. When planting as a hedge, you should space them 4 feet apart. An oleander hedge will typically require trimming two or three times a year to maintain its appearance. 
  3. Viburnum: There are several types of viburnum shrubs and all make ideal hedges. An evergreen, in the spring they produce sweet smelling flowers. Each viburnum should be spaced at least four feet apart. When fully grown, the hedge tends to reach a height of 10 feet or more. It can easily be trimmed and shaped. 
  4. Red Twig Dogwood: The deciduous red twig dogwood (Cornus alba) features bright green twigs and foliage in the summer months followed by outstanding red twigs in the winter months after the foliage has fallen away. The red twigs are especially striking against a backdrop of pristine white snow.  One shrub will grow to a height of 8 feet and width of 8 feet so space the shrubs accordingly to provide adequate growth room. It tolerates pruning well so its overall height can be maintained.  The red twig dogwood makes an ideal informal hedge.

Landscape Design Trends That Include Fencing Options

You can also opt to put up a privacy fence to muffle road noise and afford privacy for your client. Typically, there are two privacy fence choices. You can give the choice of installing either vinyl or wood fencing.

  • Wood: A wood privacy fence should be made out of fir or cedar so it can withstand the elements without rotting. Wood has many drawbacks such as rot, fungus, and termites. It will usually require painting or staining to maintain its appearance.Wood starts to break down in about 20 years and may require board replacement.
  • Vinyl: A vinyl fence will usually cost more than wood but it requires virtually no maintenance. Simply hose it off to keep it looking good.

Retaining Wall Landscape Design Trends

A concrete retaining wall is durable and provides privacy for a terrace. They can typically be designed to stand about 8 feet tall and double as a retaining wall and a privacy fence.

Whatever you opt to use to create a privacy screen for your client’s landscape will not only add beauty but also value. Everyone enjoys their own version of seclusion so you will need to determine what works best for your client’s unique landscape needs.

Arborgold offers a free landscape design tool to help you diagram the clients property, get your free copy here.