You spend all of your spare time and energy on your yard, making sure the grass is watered, using premium soil to ensure the most potential of your perennials, and even designating someone the job of trimming your lawn once per week to maintain its pristine appearance.

Your neighbor, however, is not up to the same standards of lawn care and maintenance. What can you do? Here are some tips from our local expert BrookBerry’s Landscaping & Home Improvement (https://brookberrys.com), a Newton, NJ landscaping service.

Add Some Bamboo Charm

There is nothing worse than throwing a barbeque and having your friends and family members distracted by the monstrosity that is over the fence. One solution is to plant some bamboo, as told by Bamboo Garden (http://www.bamboogarden.com/care.htm). Bamboo is a resilient plant that grows tall. It is easy to maintain and non-invasive, meaning you won’t have to worry about grooming it every other day. Simply plant it, and the view from next door will disappear with ease.

In order to form a privacy barrier, you should plant your bamboo 3-5 feet apart. If you are unable to wait until the plants grow and wish to maintain privacy right away, you can plant them closer together. The most effective method is to allow them to grow at the recommended distance, though. It takes a shoot around 2-3 months to reach its full height potential. This is an impressive feat, as it grows much faster than any other type of tree that you could plant.

Bamboo does best with up to 5 hours of direct sunlight, so before you plant it, be sure that you will at least be able to meet this standard. It is wise to utilize manure or garden compost around the base of your new bamboo to encourage healthy growth. You can fill the hole that you dig for planting with the above for a seamless blend within the soil. This hole should be at least 1 ½-2 times as wide as the root of your pant.

Add a Privacy Screen

DIY Network is an advocate for using outdoor privacy screens (https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/outdoors/structures/outdoor-privacy-walls-screens-and-curtains-pictures). You might be familiar with such screens, often used in bedrooms to divide the space for a private place to get dressed. There are weatherproof options that you can also utilize in your yard, though!

An outdoor privacy screen works the same way as an indoor one. Most come with 3 panels, and are able to easily fold for storage. Even if you already have a backyard fence in place, lining it with privacy screens can add some height. If you are unsure about how they would look, start off using temporarily detached screens. They can be found in your local hardware or home goods store. These screens come in many different styles and can be made from wood, bamboo, or wicker. The cons to using temporary screens is that they may be easily blown over by wind or storms. Also, you will need to use several of them in order to line your entire fence border.

Once that you have decided privacy screens are for you, you can have a professional install permanent ones. They will be more sturdy and seamless. The best part about these screens is that they are customizable. If you would like, you can paint them or stain them in order to match your already existing patio furniture. You can also plant some ivy to grow along, and cover, the screens over time.

Add a Pergola

You have probably seen these before without realizing what they are called – Pergolas are essential when it comes to backyard privacy (https://www.thebalance.com/free-pergola-plans-1357132). A simple structure that is built using wood beams, pergolas are designed to tower over your seating area. With a 4-legged structure and slatted ceiling, this leaves an area in the center for you to put your table, chairs, or outdoor sofas. They are beautiful and simple, also effective at keeping you dry during a rainstorm if you cover the top.

Once you have a pergola in place, the options will be endless on how you decide to style and utilize it. Because the slats are wide and open, you will be able to hang different things off of them. A standing umbrella in the center can make your pergola weatherproof. For instant privacy, hang some outdoor curtains from the sides. These can be partially tied off or completely closed to your liking. You can also plant some ivy on it that will eventually grow out and offer you even more privacy.

There are endless, free blueprints online that will illustrate how you can make your own pergola. It takes moderate skill level with DIY projects to make one. If you are not feeling up to the task, it is simple to hire a contractor who can build one for you. This backyard privacy solution is one that looks expensive but is actually relatively affordable on almost any budget.

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