How to Landscape Near a Wood Privacy Fence


Privacy fencing screens the yard from prying eyes but by itself a wood privacy fence looks like a barrier in the landscape and may make a yard appear smaller and too closed in. Taking time to design a landscape to integrate the privacy fence into the yard results in a more spacious effect, giving the fence a softer appearance and keeping all the areas of the yard in harmony. Invest in plants and a day or two of yard work to achieve a more pleasing privacy effect.

Things You'll Need

  • Trellises (optional)
  • Vines or climbing roses
  • Pantyhose or strips of soft cloth
  • Shovel
  • Ground cover plants
  • Trowel
  • Plant vines near the wood privacy fence to soften the effect and make it part of a garden setting. If possible, plant on both sides of the fence. Allow vines to grow directly on the fence and along the top. Flowering vines along a fence send a friendlier message than a plain wood barrier.

  • Invest in well-established climbing roses for immediate improvement of the privacy fence. Plant the roses four to six feet apart. For climbing roses, put in trellises at least four inches away from the fence to allow air and light circulation. Use strips of pantyhose or soft cloth to tie the long canes, or stems, of the climbing roses to the trellises.

  • Add ground cover plants along the fence. Use a trowel and stagger the holes for the plants---they will spread on their own. Plant a six-pack of creeping ground cover every foot for fast coverage. Ground cover reduces erosion and adds texture to the landscape. Choose a drought-resistant variety for easy maintenance in sunny areas. Baby tears provides quick coverage in shady areas.

  • Create a border of low bushes or tall flowering plants along the fence to increase the ornamental effect. The U.S. Landscape Horticulture website recommends selecting plants for year-round appeal, such as evergreen shrubs and those that bear berries in winter. Select plants compatible with your climate zone for successful results.

  • Add a decorative feature near the privacy fence to create a focal point. A fountain, birdbath or statue adds a three-dimensional effect and can serve as the focus of a seating area.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take a walk to see which plants thrive in your neighborhood. These offer clues to suitable plants for your location.
  • Avoid placing solid items against a wood privacy fence, such as a wood pile or large decorative rocks. To prevent rot, leave at least three inches between flower pots or other large items and the fence, as items placed near the fence can prevent moisture evaporation. Items that cast a lot of shade on the fence can also lead to prolonged dampness.

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  • Photo Credit grape leaves on a fence image by Tasha from
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