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8 Ways To Screen Your Neighbours

Are you frustrated by nosy neighbours & feeling exposed in your own garden?

Investing in a beautiful garden should mean that you can enjoy the landscape without views into your neighbour's home, overlooking windows or unappealing scenery. We have designed thousands of gardens here at Sculpt, so we understand that every garden is unique and there is not just one solution.

Our '8 Ways To Screen Your Neighbours' will provide you with the most popular methods that New Zealanders are using to add privacy to their garden. Ranging from natural to hardscaping materials, this blog will cover options to suit all needs. 

If you love our blog and would like to meet with one of our landscape designers to discuss the perfect privacy solution for you, book in a consultation HERE

Pleached Trees

Pleached trees are an excellent way of screening your neighbours whilst also softening your landscape. Pleached (or standard) trees describes when the lower branches have been removed to expose the trunk, keeping the foliage up the top - lollipop style.

They are perfect if you have a small or narrow space, in which a typical hedge may be too wide. They complement both contemporary and formal garden styles and are available in many options. 

High fencing or concrete walls can make certain spaces feel confined and boxed in, which makes pleached trees an ideal option that suits many gardens. The great thing about a pleached hedge is that you can make use of the underneath space for additional planting.

In this design by Sculpt, topiary trees are the perfect solution for this courtyard oasis. Our clients needed some added height above the concrete block wall for privacy, and the garden bed wasn't wide enough for thick hedging trees. If you would love for us to discover the perfect trees for your garden, get in touch to book your consult.


Fencing is a simple & relatively cheap way to add privacy to your garden without the need for trees or tall planting. In New Zealand, you can usually build a fence up to 2m in height without needing consent from your local council. 

Be conscious of your neighbours and ensure you have spoken to them before installing any fences on their boundaries. The NZ Fencing Act covers any information you may need to check before you begin planning. Also, be wary that fencing may block sunlight and harden the appearance of your space. 

There are a few options for fencing to consider, such as wood or vinyl. Our free guide "Your Guide To Fencing: Different Types & Costs" covers the most popular choices for fencing in NZ, what they are used for and how much you can expect to pay. 

In this Sculpt Gardens design, slatted timer is used to create privacy screening that doesn't completely block the sunlight.

Layers of Planting

Planting in layers adds screening whilst also adding interest and visual appeal. Ensure you allow enough garden bed depth and width when designing to allow each layer to establish and grow, as most trees need this to grow tall.

Include a variety of heights, shapes and textures. Taller plants will be positioned at the back, with low-growing shrubs positioned near the front. If you are planting in a full sun area, keep in mind when planning that taller plants may end up shading other plants once established.  

'Garden For Birds & Bees' designed by Sculpt features layers of planting to give privacy from the neighbours. A mixture of low growing natives with interesting textures form the base layer of planting.

Tall, long flowering exotics with interesting forms pop out from behind. If you would love to bring your naturalistic garden dreams to life, get in touch with one of our landscape designers.

Well Positioned Trees

Trees are a great way to screen your neighbours, as the more they bush out the more they provide coverage. Well-positioned trees can be used as an alternative to hedging and remove the need for tall fencing all around your boundary. 

A feature tree, or the strategic placement of a few evergreen trees may be all you need to screen out an undesirable view. 

There are many beautiful native trees that you can incorporate into your garden, as well as many exotics that grow well in Auckland, New Zealand. 

In this 'Lifestyle Block' design by Sculpt, native plants give pockets of privacy as they stagger across the windows, allowing light to still pass through.

Pergolas & Structures

Pergolas, louvres, and canopy structures are growing in popularity as they are ideal for most garden styles and sizes. There are many companies and options to choose from, as well as the option for a custom-built structure. 

These make for a great screening solution as they are practical, protecting you from the elements of wind, rain and sun. 

Outdoor structures are excellent for encouraging you and your family to spend more time outside and make for ideal dining, barbequing, fireplace or lounging areas. 

You can find all the pergola & gazebo regulations on Spa World

Climbers such as Wisteria and Grapevines can be trained to grow over structures to add greenery, aesthetic appeal and more coverage.

Tall Hedges

Hedges add beautiful greenery to your landscape and provide complete privacy and coverage, they do however need maintenance to keep them controlled and in shape. 

Tall fast growing hedging options we use frequently are:

Ficus tuffy; when heights up to 3m are required, or Pittosporum karo or Stephens Island in coastal locations.

Upkeeping your hedges may include feeding, treating for diseases/insects and trimming. Choosing hedging that is best suited to your location and environment will reduce the susceptibility of your hedge to pests and diseases. 

Auckland is our home, so we know the soil like our own backyard (in fact, it is!).  We can design your garden and the perfect screening option. If you are interested in our landscape design services, please enquire here.

A Living Wall

Ranging from trained climbers to vertical planting, a living wall is a great option for adding greenery and privacy to many gardens, including those that are small or narrow. 

These are an easy and stunning way of screening your neighbours. There are many options that grow well here in Auckland and throughout New Zealand. These include natives such as Muhlenbeckia complexa, Tecamanthe speciosa, and Clematis Paniculata. Exotic climbers that grow well in Auckland include varieties such as Trachelospermum jasminoides, Bougainvillea Glabra, Vinca Blue, Wisteria, Mandevillea, Hardenbergia, Passionfruit and Grapefruit vines. 

Ensure you install wiring or framing to train your plant to grow upright and spread. 

Decorative Panels

Decorative panels are a rising trend that offers an alternative to traditional fencing. 

A popular option that we incorporate in some of our designs is corten steel. This is an ideal solution for many gardens due to its strength, durability, practicality and aesthetics. Many styles and designs are available from Tiny Anvil, as well as the choice to customise. 

We hope that a few of these options have inspired you to find the perfect solution that will give you privacy.  We are always happy to pop over to give advice & solutions in our garden consultations. To get your dream garden underway, get in touch with one of our landscape designers HERE.


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