Tips to Add Privacy to an Overlooked Garden


If you live anywhere near other properties, there’s a strong chance at least part of your garden will be overlooked.

But there are some excellent ways you can boost the privacy levels in your garden, from fencing and screening to clever planting and seating.

How can I make my garden more private?
To make your garden more private, consider some of these great ideas…

1. Maximise your fence height
If your back garden needs more privacy, make sure you’re maximising the height of your side fence.

Fencing is a great option to screen your garden from the side and you can have a fence up to two metres in height without planning permission.

If you add trellis to the top, this will be included in that maximum permitted development height.

2. Consider other garden screening options
As well as fencing, there are several other garden screening options that can add a touch of style to your outdoor space as well as privacy.

Screening rolls made from bamboo, reed, or rattan make great privacy screens and can also help to disguise damaged or degrading fence panels.

Many companies also offer acoustic fencing solutions, which can help to block out noise as well as protect from overlooking.

3. Shield your garden from above with a pergola
Pergolas are superb for screening your garden from top floor windows in neighbouring properties.

A pergola is also a great alternative to a fence higher than the standard two metres under permitted development, as these structures can be as high as three metres if placed more than two metres from a boundary.

Additional side screening such as trellis can also be added between pergola posts for more privacy, alongside trailing plants.

4. Add an awning or parasol
For moveable privacy, a parasol can help to protect different areas of your garden from overlooking.

A more permanent solution, however, would be an awning attached to the rear of your property.

An awning not only adds excellent privacy but will also provide you with a shaded area to enjoy on a hot day.

5. Construct a summer house
By adding a summer house, or multi-functional garden building, you’ll be able to use its height to your advantage when it comes to overlooking.

A summer house can be built to a height of 2.5 metres if it’s within two metres of a boundary and potentially higher if further away.

As well as the increase in privacy from the building’s height, you’ll have an additional space to enjoy that could also add value to your property.

Always check with your local planning department, however, before constructing a garden outbuilding to ensure planning permission isn’t required.

6. Use low seating options
One of the best ways to get privacy in an overlooked garden is by using low seating.

Seating that is closer to the ground maximises the height from your fencing or planting and works especially well in small, overlooked courtyard gardens.

7. Make the most of climbing plants
Installing trellis and allowing climbing plants to work their magic can be a great cost-effective way to add privacy to your garden.

Go for aggressive climbers like honeysuckle, jasmine, and clematis, which will grow quickly and build up a stunning layer of greenery between you and your neighbours.

8. Add screening trees or hedging
Trees are one of the best ways to add privacy to an overlooked garden – but they can become unruly and block out light, too.

Regular pruning is the key to keeping your screening trees under control and maximising the light that floods into your garden while also maintaining privacy.

Hedging can be another great way to add screening to your garden, with yew, leylandii, and laurel hedging fast growing, dense plants that can also help to block out noise.

9. Cut out noise with a water feature
Garden privacy isn’t just about sight.

If you’re concerned about being heard by neighbours, add a water feature to your garden to create a gentle but consistent noise that will help keep your outdoor conversations private.

View all Blog