Patio Privacy: I need help finding a solution
One Man and A Hammer
May 20, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Last year I added a stone patio. The only problem I need to resolve is privacy: how to add privacy with a style that fits the home?
On one side of me I have a neighbor whose kitchen window overlooks one side. The other side is a neighbor with a new pool and many pool parties on the weekends. I'm not as concerned with noise as I am with being able to sit on my patio without any privacy.
I am an avid woodworker so building a wood structure would not be a problem. I do like a contemporary feel.
All ideas and thoughts are welcome!
Thank you in advance for your input.
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A Design Alliance , Inc.
what about adding post that follow the perimeter of the patio , with weather friendly rods and the use of a Sunbrella type fabric that blends with the house exterior and tie backs that can be released when needed for privacy ?
0 Likes   May 20, 2013 at 4:28AM
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carolins
Would planting a hedge or shrubs around the boundary of your property not be a solution? Would be ideal if your boundary was somewhere near the pool. Would only have to be as high as their fence and that way you won't be closed in, but you'll have more privacy.
2 Likes   May 20, 2013 at 4:32AM
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carolins
Otherwise you could build something like this and have flowering climbers growing on them if you like:
Entertaining Space 1
Entertaining Space 2
6 Likes   May 20, 2013 at 4:35AM
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Margo
I would create a pergola of sorts. I would create some side walls framed out like windows and hang large ferns or baskets of flowers in each section. I would use copper piping as the roof of the structure. If you are a wood worker this should be fun!
0 Likes   May 20, 2013 at 4:36AM
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MAlps
I would just do a bunch of tall potted plants or bushes. They are very in style these days
0 Likes   May 20, 2013 at 4:38AM
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One Man and A Hammer
Design Alliance,
I have thought of adding posts then attaching some pull down "shades" made with Sunbrella material. The problem I have is coming up with the proper design.
0 Likes   May 21, 2013 at 2:53AM
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One Man and A Hammer
Carolina's,
Yes, my wife and I have discussed using Aborvitaes (sp?) to create privacy but she says they can get out of hand. I haven't considered placing them AWAY from the patio, closer to the neighbor's wrought iron fence. I'll need to reconsider.
Using the same idea on the other side of my patio, to block the other neighbor's view from her kitchen window, puts the Arborvitae to close to the patio, in my wife's opinion.
0 Likes   May 21, 2013 at 2:58AM
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One Man and A Hammer
Carolina's,
I do like the lattice. How long will it take for any vine to grow?
0 Likes   May 21, 2013 at 2:59AM
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One Man and A Hammer
Margo,
I was looking at some pictures in Houzz similar to your suggestion. I'm trying to figure out the proper look so it won't look like I plopped it in place, if that makes sense.
0 Likes   May 21, 2013 at 3:01AM
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One Man and A Hammer
MAlps,
Agreed, but finding the right plants is the tough part. I'm certainly not a green thumb! Lol
0 Likes   May 21, 2013 at 3:02AM
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carolins
Hmm... had to look up Aborvitaes. We call them coniferen or Thuja. Not the most elegant option and they can certainly be fast growing and not always take pruning well. They tend to go brown on the inside.
Since I'm in the Netherlands, I don't know what grows well in your part of the world, but if you want a hedge close to your patio you could look at: Taxus baccata (yew). Evergreen, can take pruning very well. Berries are however poisonous.
A hedge further away from the patio: Prunus laurocerasus.

There are lots of options for flowering vines that will cover a screen quite rapidly. You'll have to investigate what grows well in your area. If possible go for one that smells nice too. Or do a combination of a couple of different climbers. Clematis is always nice. Don't plant Ivy though. Grows fast, gets messy, goes everywhere.
0 Likes   May 21, 2013 at 4:34AM
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Blue Bird Design
What a great outdoor space you have. I think fencing as in the image 'organic fencing' attached could work really well. I've seen something similar used to great advantage by angling each plank so as not to obstruct light also not having the height the same all along can be more attractive. You can paint or stain, add mirrors, intersperse with plants/lighting. How about creating a Sculpture? Have fun.
1 Like   May 21, 2013 at 4:58AM
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Judy M
I had a similar problem. To screen out one neighbor, I added a row of Viburnum ( fast growers) and can be trimmed if needed. They do tend to get wide, so near the property line would be best. They lose their leaves in winter but leaf out early spring with white flowers and then just green the rest of the season.

In another area, we planted Rose of Sharon (not as fast to grow). They are later to get their leaves but they also bloom later in the season http://gardening.about.com/od/treesshrubs/a/Viburnums.htm
0 Likes   May 21, 2013 at 5:03AM
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One Man and A Hammer
Thanks Carolins, I will investigate both of your suggestions.
0 Likes   May 22, 2013 at 4:23AM
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One Man and A Hammer
Blue Bird Design,
Since I'm an avid woodworker I like the organic fence idea. Combining possibly a wooden structure with some type of vine, as Carolins suggests, may be the answer.
0 Likes   May 22, 2013 at 4:26AM
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One Man and A Hammer
Judy M,
I went to the website you posted to read about the plants you suggested. I'm going to call around today to check inventory.
I like the idea of the foliage, now I need to figure out how to lay it all out.

Thanks to you and everyone for your input!
0 Likes   May 22, 2013 at 4:30AM
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Judy M
Here is one view of my full grown viburnum.
I like the height of these, they block neighbors without getting so tall that they block the sky.
0 Likes   May 22, 2013 at 4:48AM
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One Man and A Hammer
Have you pruned them? Can I easily control the growth in height and width?
0 Likes   May 22, 2013 at 4:49AM
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alison423
I think you have two separate problems here. The first is neighbour's the kitchen window. I would deal with that one separately and build some sort of screen on that side of the patio, possibly with very small lattice. Maybe you could follow the curve of the little wall and somehow attach it to the top of the wall. The pool is a whole other story. How about a screen of cedars near your property line close to the pool. You can plant them close together and in no time (with lots of liquid fertilizer) you will have a hedge. Everything else just takes too long to grow and its years before you have the privacy you are looking for. Your patio area and walkways are really nice and its a shame that you can't feel comfortable in your own space. I know exactly how you feel. Good luck.
0 Likes   May 22, 2013 at 4:54AM
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One Man and A Hammer
Yes, Alison, it is a bit of a problem. I don't mind that the neighbors have pool parties but I don't like the fact that I can't enjoy MY space on a nice weekend evening.
I agree that most plants will take a while to give me the privacy that I desire. That's why I'm thinking about a tastefully built arbor or trellis is a more immediate solution. Then add some type of greenery which can grow as slowly or quickly as it requires.
1 Like   May 22, 2013 at 5:00AM
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Judy M
I have pruned a few branches when needed. I would estimate these are about 15ft high and wide at maturity.
These are at a beach house that we rent out.
I have some at another house that we planted about 4 or 5 years ago and within 2 years they provided partial screening and now provide full screening although they have not reached the same height as the one shown.
You can plant these closer for faster coverage or farther apart so you don't need to buy as many, as they will get as wide as they do high.

I will try to get some photos of the other house when I get there later today.

We have been working at screening our neighbors for a few years now. We were almost there using plants and some fencing, then a neighbor lost a large wide tree/shrub and now I have another area that needs something, so I just bought a tree, lower shrubs with provide privacy below the tree canopy.
I understand the desire for privacy.
0 Likes   May 22, 2013 at 5:13AM
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dpwright
hammerguy, I have the same issue and have been researching this for several months. I'm trying to block a trampoline. I have an ideabook: landscape=privacy that I just shared with you. I used the collaborate button on houzz. let me know if you got it. there are a couple ideas that might work for you.
0 Likes   May 22, 2013 at 5:33AM
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dpwright
I think you are USDA zone 6a so viburnums would be a good choice for you. This site gives you info on different types of viburnum to consider for your zone.
http://www.mortonarb.org/tree-plant-advice/article/852/viburnums-for-the-home-landscape.html
0 Likes   May 22, 2013 at 5:41AM
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battziyon
Here are a couple of ideas from Houzz, which should work well for your area.
2 Likes   May 22, 2013 at 5:50AM
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One Man and A Hammer
Dpwright, I don't see a collaborate button anywhere.
0 Likes   May 23, 2013 at 5:48AM
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One Man and A Hammer
Battziyon, thanks for the pics. I had come across the pics when I searched.
0 Likes   May 23, 2013 at 5:50AM
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One Man and A Hammer
Eztia, thanks for all of the links. I have looked through most of them so far and there are several good ideas.
0 Likes   May 23, 2013 at 5:51AM
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One Man and A Hammer
Dpwright, I just saw an email with many photos, thank you!
0 Likes   May 23, 2013 at 5:52AM
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Judy M
Here is the row of viburnum that is about 4 or 5 years old.
These are planted along one side of the back yard.

You can see at each end the neighbors houses that we are reusing to screen. The house on right has a patio that faces the shrub line.
The White House on left is the one that they just lost a large shrub and now they are visible to us. I will plant a tree (and wait). sigh.
0 Likes   May 23, 2013 at 6:23AM
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spenserh
On the pool side, I would certainly do a hedge as close to the property line as possible. You don;t want your privacy to be limited to just your lovely patio. You could put up a trellis and plant vines on them. For immediate privacy, choose a fast growing annual vine. At the same time, plant maybe clematis for perennial greenery. These will be deciduous, so if you want cover in the winter, you might have to intersperse it with an evergreen vine. Be aware that 'fast growing' is sometimes a code word for 'short lived', like the arborvitea, or 'invasive' like wisteria.
0 Likes   May 23, 2013 at 6:50AM
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Braitman Design Studio
Here's a post on creating an outdoor space which you might find helpful: http://www.braitmandesign.com/home-remodeling/7-tips-backyard-getaway/. Among other things, it discusses ways to create privacy in a patio setting like yours. Since you're a woodworker, building a pergola might be a good option for you. This would allow for a more structured, intimate space for entertaining. I would also suggest pairing it with some kind of shrubbery, which would also work without the pergola. Good luck!
0 Likes   May 23, 2013 at 8:24AM
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trishlovesdecor
I would add what ever the screening you choose towards the further away fence, rather than around your seating area... Because I would still want to "drink in" on that gorgeous green garden view you have around the sitting area. I would personally prefer a tree fence screen as Judy M has shows above. So that you can keep the area green and close to nature. I would like to add some gorgeous accents to that sitting area as well! Some beautiful outdoor cushions (fade/water/mold/mildew resistant) would create that lovely atmosphere.... Below are some I found online on www.zahaarasanctuary.com
0 Likes   May 26, 2013 at 8:31PM
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One Man and A Hammer
Thanks again to everyone for their ideas and insight. I haven't yet decided on the final plan but I will be sure to add photos of the finished product.
Have a great Memorial Day!
0 Likes   May 27, 2013 at 2:33AM
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alison423
Sorry to bug you, but I have tried twice to upload some photos and request for help, but it just won't go through. Is there a trick to it? Do you have to log in or something. I just can't seem to figure it out. Thanks for any help. Your back yard is going to look amazing when you are done with the changes, by the way!
0 Likes   May 27, 2013 at 3:28AM
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One Man and A Hammer
Alison, yes, you must login before uploading photos. Be sure that the photos are in your library then look for the "Upload" button on the home page.
Hope it helps.
0 Likes   May 27, 2013 at 3:30AM
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One Man and A Hammer
Spenser, good insight about the invasive and deciduous plants. I'll be sure to keep it in mind.
Thank you !
0 Likes   May 27, 2013 at 3:32AM
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alison423
Thanks, I will see what I can do. I would love to get some input in to my outside problems. Everyone has such great ideas. Looking forward to seeing your finished project.
0 Likes   May 27, 2013 at 3:35AM
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One Man and A Hammer
Trish, we actually have some chair pillows and wall cushions but we store them in a large container when not in use. The birds seem to use them as target practice with their excrement. Lol
0 Likes   May 27, 2013 at 3:35AM
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One Man and A Hammer
Alison, if you still have trouble let me know. Maybe I can offer additional help if the problem with uploading continues. Be sure to read the Help section or type in "Upload" for help from Houzz.
Once you upload one photo you'll see how simple it is.

Bob
0 Likes   May 27, 2013 at 3:39AM
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alison423
Hi Bob, I think the problem is the number of pixels on my photographs. We had changed it to smaller pixels as I was writing a blog on a trip we recently went on. I will take some more photographs with the increased pixels and try again.
0 Likes   May 28, 2013 at 5:37AM
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Grown Solutions
These are great for privacy, but need something to hang from.
0 Likes   August 22, 2014 at 11:43PM
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