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Future Proof Your Garden For Privacy

Are you frustrated by nosy neighbour's & feeling exposed in your own garden? The rapid rise in 2-3 story new builds in residential areas have caused many properties to be overlooked.

Here are some of the most popular methods that our Auckland landscape design clients are using that can help create privacy in your garden.

Ranging from natural planting to hardscaping materials, our blog covers the options to suit all needs.

1 / Pleached Trees

Pleached trees are an excellent way to screen 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, and complement both contemporary and formal garden styles.

High fencing or concrete walls can make certain spaces feel confined and boxed in, making pleached trees a more attractive option. The great thing about a pleached hedge is that you can make use of the underneath space for additional planting. 

2 / Fencing

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 Auckland landscape design, what they are used for and how much you can expect to pay. 

3 / 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.  

4 / 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. 

5 / 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, barbecuing, fireplace or lounging areas. 

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

6 / 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 plant frequently in Auckland landscape design: Ficus tuffy (when heights up to 3m are required), or Pittosporum karo or Stephens Island in coastal locations.

Maintaining your hedges includes feeding, trimming and potentially treating for diseases/insects. Choosing plants that are best suited to your location and environment will reduce the susceptibility of your hedge to pests and diseases. 

7 / 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. Many options 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 so that you can train your plant to grow upright and spread. 

8 / 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. We can recommend Tiny Anvil for corten screens. They have pre-made styles and designs available, and can also create unique customs screens.

We hope these options have inspired you to find the perfect privacy solution.

If you are still feeling unsure and want to leave it to the professionals, we are happy to give advice and solutions in our Auckland consultations. Get in touch with one of our landscape designers today. 


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