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The Unique Blog

Turn Your Backyard Into a Tranquil Retreat

How to increase your privacy and improve your home’s value

No matter how extroverted you are, you still need a place where you can relax, unwind and be yourself without the presence, scrutiny or judgement of others. Your backyard is the perfect place for this private refuge, but more often than not, you can see into neighboring yards… and they can see into yours.

But it’s not just about creating privacy. Adding barriers also cuts down on noise, increases security and shields you from unsightly views, like busy roads, utility structures or the junk stowed behind your neighbour’s shed. And done correctly, adding privacy features can also improve your property’s value. 

At Unique, we use a number of strategic landscaping elements to help transform your outdoor space into a private oasis. To find out what they are, read on!

We all need privacy

The degree of privacy each person needs may vary based on cultural, personal, and situational factors, but privacy is essential for all human beings. 

  • Privacy provides a safe space for introspection, self-reflection, and personal growth, helping reduce stress and anxiety by offering a temporary escape from social interactions.

  • Screens and fences deter wildlife and trespassers from viewing and entering your property.

  • Having a private space lets you engage in intimate conversations and develop deep connections with your family and friends, encouraging them to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences.

  • Privacy can enhance concentration and productivity by minimizing distractions and interruptions. It provides a space where you can focus on tasks, work or creative endeavors.

How to create privacy in your backyard

There are many ways to increase the privacy in your backyard. Here are a few of our favourites, along with their benefits. 

Planting screens

Trees, shrubs and hedges create natural barriers that are both effective and beautiful.

  • Natural aesthetics — Trees and shrubs add beauty, texture and colour to the landscape, enhancing the overall aesthetics of your property.

  • Environmental benefits — Plants contribute to a healthier environment by providing shade, reducing air pollution, and releasing oxygen. They also reduce noise pollution and act as natural windbreakers. 

  • Versatility — There is a wide variety of trees, shrubs, and plants to choose from, each with its own growth habits, foliage density, and height. This allows you to choose the right combination to achieve your desired level of privacy.

  • Natural sound barrier — Dense plantings of trees and shrubs can help absorb and dampen sound, reducing noise from nearby streets, neighbours, or other sources. 

  • Wildlife habitat — Invite birds, insects and other wildlife to enjoy your yard, promoting biodiversity in your landscape.

  • Increase your home’s value — As they grow and mature, trees and shrubs become more effective in providing privacy, increasing their value and the overall value of your property.

  • Sustainable and cost-effective — After the initial planting, all that’s needed is routine care and maintenance to keep your trees and shrubs healthy.

There is no shortage of plants that provide excellent privacy and screening. When selecting plants for your landscape, it's important to consider factors such as sunlight exposure, soil conditions and the desired height and growth rate. Some plants to consider include arborvitae, Japanese yew, blue spruce, privets and ornamental grasses.


A good, sturdy fence creates a physical barrier that shields your property from prying eyes and clearly defines the boundary between your space and the neighbours’.

  • Immediate privacy — You can have a fence installed in a single afternoon, giving you an instant solution to your privacy issues.

  • Visual barrier — Fences block your line of sight and protect you from the gaze of neighbours and passersby, giving you a greater sense of privacy and security.

  • Noise reduction — Solid or semi-solid fences, especially those constructed with sound-absorbing materials, can serve as effective sound barriers, creating a quiet and peaceful outdoor environment.

  • Boundaries and security — A fully fenced yard helps define the boundaries of your property, establishing a sense of ownership and deterring trespassers. 

  • Pet and child safety — A fence isn’t just about keeping trespassers out… it will also keep your kids and pets in. 

  • Low maintenance — Depending on the type of fence you choose, maintenance requirements can be relatively low. For example, vinyl or composite fences need minimal upkeep, while wood fences need periodic staining or painting.

  • Increased property value — Potential buyers often look for houses with fenced yards, especially if they have kids or pets. 

Fencing comes in a wide range of styles and materials, making it easy to find one that matches your home’s aesthetics and the natural surroundings.

Privacy screens 

If your yard is already fairly private, there still may be some areas in your yard you’d like to screen off to create a secluded and intimate outdoor space. 

  • Complement your home’s aesthetics — Privacy screens come in various designs, materials and styles, adding a decorative touch to your outdoor space and enhancing its visual appeal.

  • Versatility and flexibility — Privacy screens can be installed in specific areas of your backyard, giving you privacy precisely where you need it. They can also be easily moved or adjusted if you want to change the layout of your outdoor space.

  • Wind and sun protection — Privacy screens can act as windbreakers, reducing the impact of gusty winds and creating a more comfortable outdoor environment. They can also provide shade and sun protection, allowing you to enjoy outdoor activities without being exposed to direct sunlight.

  • Create functional spaces — Want to separate your outdoor dining area from the kid’s play area? Privacy screens let you create distinct spaces for all your activities, maintaining privacy in each zone.

  • Quick installation — Privacy screens are relatively easy to install, especially compared to more permanent options like fences or walls. This means you can quickly create privacy in your backyard without extensive construction or long waiting periods.

Privacy screens can be made from living or non-living materials, including hedges and vines, lattice panels, pergolas and more. Where you place your privacy screen will depend on the layout of your property and your specific needs. We can help you determine the best place to put your screen to maximize privacy and enhance your outdoor space.

Turn your backyard into your sanctuary 

At Unique Landscapes, we understand the importance of creating private and secure outdoor spaces — no one likes to feel like they’re being watched when they’re trying to relax or spend fun time with their families and friends.

Whether it's through plants, fences, or privacy screens, we’ll work with you to help create a backyard that is private, inviting and enhances your outdoor experience. If you’d like more ideas or would like to explore your options with us, book a consultation. We’d love to hear from you.