How to Get Privacy in an Overlooked Garden

Emma Loker Headshot - DIY Garden
Written by: - Gardening Expert
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Neighbours can be nosey. They just love to see what’s beyond their fence. Witnessing your neighbour peer into your garden when you’re enjoying the summer sun doesn’t scream relaxing, does it?

You’re in dire need of some privacy. This article gives you all the information on how to make your garden more private. So, sit back, and enjoy the prospect of privacy. 

Garden Privacy Ideas

1. Consider Your Garden’s Boundaries 

The first thing to think about when increasing your garden’s privacy is your garden’s current boundaries. There’s no point splashing out if you don’t need to! It may not be necessary to incorporate anything new into your garden.  

Are there already secluded places where you could put your seating? Can you carefully design your garden around existing screens? 

2. Install a Parasol 

Parasols work perfectly for shielding yourself from view from above. Your neighbours can no longer stare through their overlooking windows, trying to get a sneak peek of what you’re up to. 

3. Try a Pergola


Wondering how to block overlooking windows? A pergola is another option for privacy from above. Why not string some lights from the timber to create a cosy atmosphere or grow gorgeous climbers like Wisteria or Jasmine?

Just place your pergola in the way of your neighbour’s upper windows, and enjoy complete privacy!

4. Plant a Low Hedge


If you’re worried about being watched while seated, try a low hedge. A 5ft hedge can close off the space between your seating area and your neighbour’s intrusive gaze. 

And, unlike a tall hedge, this doesn’t block the light. You can still enjoy the sun on your face. 

5. Include Climbers in Your Design

Fast-growing climbing plants are an ideal choice for a quick privacy screen. They’re not fussed about what they grow up, ascending fences, pergolas, and trellis’. 

Try climbing Nasturtiums, Jasmine, Clematis, or Honeysuckle if you favour a floral design. Runner beans or Ivy are the perfect solutions if you want more greenery. 

6. Erect a Trellis

A trellis provides a barrier but doesn’t completely close off the space, allowing you to see beyond. This gives you the privacy you’re after without boxing you in. 

Ensure your trellis is secured into the ground correctly, sinking the posts 12” into the ground at a minimum, and then securing them with a cement mix. 

7. Create Privacy with Upcycled Materials

Why not repurpose some old doors to give your garden an eclectic feel? Alternatively, you could use pallet wood or corrugated metal sheeting. This creates a private space without breaking the bank. 

8. Play Around with Slopes

Slopes can be used to your advantage when making the space more private. If your garden naturally slopes, why not create a raised bed or retaining wall that mimics this slope? 

You’ll create a private space without exceeding the original height of your garden. 

9. Grow a Summer Flowering Hedge


Try protecting a table, sun lounger or seating from view with a summer hedge. You can create a border of tall plants and flowers around a designated space. It will expand towards the sky and bloom vibrant colours as it grows. 

Then, it will die down, ready for a new idea next year. 

10. Get the Oriental Look

If you’re not into flowers, why not try other tall plants? You could give your overlooked garden an oriental twist with bamboo. 

Surrounding yourself with this exotic plant will feel like paradise, especially when your neighbours can no longer see you!

And why not plant bamboo in an easy-to-move planter, so it can go with you wherever you choose to sit? 

11. Construct a Private Nook

Check out your garden’s corners. Is there a peaceful little space where you can construct your very own nook? Choose your favourite seating and potted plants and enjoy an intimate space just for you. 

12. Install a Canopy

Just like a parasol or pergola, a canopy provides overhead privacy from prying neighbours. Place a canopy over your seating area, and relish your new stylish shaded area. 

13. Find Equilibrium Between Deciduous Trees and Evergreens

If you are after natural isolation, try surrounding yourself with deciduous trees and evergreens. Finding an equilibrium between luscious low-level plants and tall trees will give you a gorgeous forest feel – and all in your very own back garden!

READ NEXT: Fast Growing Evergreen Trees For Added Privacy

14. Use Outbuildings to Your Advantage

Are you considering erecting an outbuilding? Why not kill two birds with one stone and position it in your neighbour’s line of sight? You’ll enjoy the practicality of an outbuilding and the barrier it creates for years to come!

15. Establish Sunken Garden Seating 


Hide underground with inset garden seating. Just sinking seating a little way into the ground can give you the secluded spot you desire. You’ll get privacy from above and experience the comfort of being close to the ground. 

16. Create an Outdoor Cinema

What better way to say bog off than placing an enormous screen between you and your neighbour? It’s definitely one way to block their line of sight! 

Just position your screen in the way of their view. Then sit and enjoy blissful privacy on an outdoor rug or comfy cushions!

17. Purchase Contemporary Dividers

Looking for a privacy screen in your modern garden? Contemporary dividers may be the thing for you! Add a pop of colour to your garden with a vibrant modern material barrier or a dark statement with a bold black design. 

18. Add a Splash of Green to a Garden Trellis

If you’ve opted for a trellis, add a touch of green with some plants. Why not try a scented option such as Sweet Peas or Roses?

19. Construct a Living Wall

Who said a privacy screen couldn’t be alive? Choose a living wall if you want to completely immerse yourself in greenery. Add flavour to your food with a herb or vegetable living wall or a floral display with annuals and perennials. 

20. Create an Open Space with Slatted Panelling


Give slatted panels a go. They provide privacy but still allow you to see through to the rest of your garden. They don’t block your view as a solid barrier would! This makes your secluded space feel more extensive and open. 

21. Erect Artificial Screening Materials

Artificial screening materials are cheap and cheerful. They give you the privacy you’re after without costing you an arm and a leg. You could make an artificial living wall with fake plants or a faux hedge screening.

22. Include an Arbour

An arbour is less common than a pergola or parasol but is just as beautiful. It may also give you added privacy, as the walls shield you from view. It’s the perfect private space! 

23. Gain Privacy with Ornamental Grasses


Tall grasses work wonders for gaining that little bit of privacy. Zebra Grass and Pampas Grass are excellent options, growing up to 8 feet and 12 feet tall, respectively.  

Ornamental grasses grow quicker than shrubs and trees; they’ll reach maturity after just 2 growing seasons. 

24. Get the Holiday Feeling with an Outdoor Curtain

Create a border between you and your neighbour by putting up curtains around your seating area. You could attach them to a pergola or four posts surrounding your seats. 

You can hide from your neighbours and get some well-needed shade on super sunny days!

25. Plant Specimen Trees

Shaped specimen trees break up the view, although they don’t completely shield you from watchful eyes. Pleached trees, however, can completely block your garden from view, giving you total privacy. 

26. Station a Soothing Water Feature

For a bit of extravagance, try a water feature. Of course, this is an expensive option. But you can’t get much more luxury than the sound of falling water, can you? 

And what’s more, it shields any noise you make; neighbours may not even notice you’re outside!

27. Develop a Focal Point

Maybe you don’t need big trees or structures to get the privacy you seek. Perhaps, you just need to focus on something else. 

Developing an exciting focal point can take your mind off your intrusive neighbours. 

28. Shade Yourself with a Gazebo


A gazebo can offer a small area of sanctity protected from snooping neighbours. And it’s an attractive accessory to a garden, providing separation from other areas of the garden and a designated space to sit.   

29. Build a Porch to Shield Exterior Walls 

If you’ve even caught your neighbours peering into your back windows, it’s time to build a porch. This acts as a sun screen to keep your backroom from getting too hot, all while hindering your neighbours’ curiosity. 

30. Consider a Summer House

Try total seclusion with a summer house if none of the other options fit the bill. The walls will shield you from view, but with large floor to ceiling windows, you can still get the outdoor feel. 


You’ve been scratching your head, wondering how to get more privacy in a garden overlooked by neighbours. Now, you have all of the options laid before you – what to choose, what to choose? 

There’s something for every garden type – a living wall, a pergola or outbuilding, or just a quiet seating area in a secluded nook. Perhaps planting tall hedging really gets the message across.

So, take your pick, and enjoy peace, privacy, and tranquillity.

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