Most American homeowners expect privacy in their backyard, but assume that the front yard will always be open to public view. However, this doesn't have to be the case. You can design a landscape that helps boost privacy, even in the street-facing front yard. Here are five ways.
1. Start With Decorative Fencing
Although most zoning laws prevent tall front yard fences, you can usually build low, decorative fencing. This won't provide all the privacy you crave, but it's a good foundation for other design choices. Look for a fence that matches your home's architecture and the type of garden you want (such as rustic, cottage, or modern). If you use a style with slats and plenty of structure, building on it with greenery will be much easier.
2. Create a Taller Living Fence
Whether or not you started with a low decorative fence, build a living fence along the open borders. This fence could be any style you want, including a formal hedge of solid green foliage. Want something less structured? Plant tall shrubs, large-leafed flowering plants, and vines along the inside of the fence. Then, layer with shorter plants and flowers on the edge facing your home.
3. Use Interior Shrubs
Many homeowners stop after creating an outer perimeter for their front yard. But including shrubbery throughout the yard helps boost privacy from all locations. For example, you might carve out a seating area by designing a circular opening near the home and surrounding it with tall shrubs — such as hydrangea, rhododendron, or hosta — in a similar style as the front living fence.
4. Plant Trees
Trees may or may not contribute to privacy from pedestrians and passing cars, but they enhance your overall confidence that you have a private space. Trees are especially important if you live in a neighborhood with homes and buildings taller than one story. Look for fast-growing trees with a wide canopy, and be certain to place them appropriately distant from hardscapes and structures.
5. Build a Front Porch
Your front porch increases privacy in several ways. If you opt for a style with an overhang, columns, or low decorative fencing, the hardscape helps keep you out of view. In addition, a long porch placed next to the house provides a great outdoor use area that can easily be protected from street view. And finally, porches encourage the use of container gardens, which give more vertical privacy.
Where to Start
Want more ideas for making your front yard as private as you can in a busy world? Start by consulting with a landscape designer in your area today.