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Some of us actually like it when neighbours lean over for a chat. Others, though, prefer to live in complete privacy – no nosy neighbours allowed. Whether you’re holding a backyard barbecue or just lounging on your back porch, there’s no need for your neighbour to get all the details about your life.

If you find yourself Googling “cheapest backyard privacy idea” or asking “what can I use to block my neighbour’s view”, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll be listing several cheap ways to block out nosy neighbours – outdoor curtains, a corrugated metal fence, even a privacy screen.

For green options, hedges, bamboo, and screen trees will work just as well! You can enlist an expert gardening service to help you in growing and maintaining your hedges for the utmost at-home seclusion.

If you want some privacy around your outdoor living space (and we definitely understand) – here are some affordable ways to block your neighbours view.



1. Privacy screen

Privacy wooden screen or fence

Patterned outdoor screens are a very aesthetic way to block a neighbour’s view of your backyard. They’re available in most outdoor furniture shops, and come in both cloth and wood form. This option is great because it’s flexible – the screens are foldable and lightweight, so you can move them around as you want.

The problem, though, is that outdoor screens are very susceptible to the elements. You can’t use them when it’s windy or raining, and they won’t do much to block noise.



2. Outdoor curtains

Summer gazebo terrace with outdoor sofas made of white wood, roof and curtains

If you have a shaded outdoor area, hang outdoor curtains! You can get these at any interior decor store – and there are semi-blackout varieties if you really want to create privacy.

Outdoor curtains let in sunlight while still allowing seclusion. They’re also easy to install, since you just need a set of curtain rods. And you can get sets that match your outdoor furniture, adding a classy touch to your backyard porch.



3. Corrugated metal fence

Green metal corrugated fence with brick pillars on the background of a beautiful house.

This is one of several cheap ways to block neighbours’ view! Corrugated metal is very affordable, and you can find it at most hardware stores.

A corrugated metal fence will take some work to install, though – you may need to enlist some construction or tree removal services. The industrial aesthetic isn’t for everyone, either. And you’ll need to maintain these since rain can make them rust, so paint them beforehand!

If you are building a fence, though, make sure to check local building codes beforehand. You may have to consider other materials or other methods of blocking out your neighbour’s view depending on regulations.



4. Garden structures

Lush green summer garden with perennial plants and statue near stone wall

If you know a landscape architect, you could create a stone wall or cascading landscapes around your garden. These have the advantage of doubling as garden beds, where you can then grow ornamental grasses or edible plants.

You can even turn this into a DIY project if you’ve got the time. Build it up little by little using rocks and compacted soil. One warning, though – you’ll need to be pretty fit to carry and stack rocks, so don’t undertake this if you don’t have the muscle for it!



5. Bamboo fence

A walk path with a long bamboo hedge on the left.

Japanese hedge bamboo is one of the most garden-friendly varieties, and makes a perfect privacy fence for your garden. It grows fairly quickly (up to 3.0m!) and has the added advantage of being an environmentally-sustainable option.

Make sure you choose the clumping variety – these grow in the same place they’re planted, are non-invasive, and are much easier to maintain. Since they grow in dense clumps, they can also block out wind without completely shutting out a breeze. Japanese hedge bamboo can even have a cooling effect on your garden – turning it into a sweet, tropical paradise.



6. Garden hedges

If you want to grow – or rather, go green, then garden hedges are your outdoor privacy screen of choice. Evergreen shrubs make an excellent privacy wall that looks amazing and adds a touch of freshness to your outdoor space.

One option for a hedge plant is a Murraya paniculata or a Murraya hybrid cultivar. Growing Murraya hedges is straightforward for even those of us with brown thumbs. They also produce gorgeous orange blossoms with a sweet fragrance – making Murraya the perfect addition to any garden.

Evergreen trees also make very good hedges. Italian cypress is a popular option, since it grows upright in a column shape. You can also go for conifers and Japanese euonymus.



7. Climbing plants

Long and tall hedge full of beautiful blooming purple bougainvillea flower

Upcycle some cheap wooden pallets or wooden boards to create a fence for your climbing plants! There are plenty of fast-growing plants that can give you complete privacy. Bougainvillea, crimson glory vine, star jasmine… Pick whichever suits your environment and climate the most, and then go, go, grow!



8. Large plants

golden cane palm trees in backyard behind cement wall

Growing – ahem, going back to green ideas, large potted plants are also an effective way to block a neighbour out. They’re less permanent than a hedge or a bamboo fence while still effectively obscuring a neighbour’s view. Tall plants like golden cane palm and boxwood can help block neighbours view.

If you have loud neighbours, make sure to choose noise-blocking plants.



9. Overhead shade

Grape vine on a trellis exterior verandah of building

If your neighbour has a tall house, consider building some overhead shade to cover up your outdoor living area. A trellis is a particularly great idea – you can create a “living wall” by growing trailing plants off the roof. You’ll get the added benefit of cooling your outdoor space with overhead plants.

If you’ve recently moved houses and need cheap ways to block neighbours view, these are some of the best options. Some offer complete privacy, while others at least obscure your neighbour’s sight line. Whichever option you choose, just know you’ll have to maintain it to keep your privacy – and keep that nosy next-door neighbour out of your business!


About Author

Jamie Donovan

Jamie is an Australian horticulturalist and landscape designer. He enjoys writing about landscape architecture, garden design and lifestyle topics.


About Author

Jamie Donovan

Jamie is an Australian horticulturalist and landscape designer. He enjoys writing about landscape architecture, garden design and lifestyle topics.