Do you have nosy neighbours?
Here are some simple landscaping solutions to help create more privacy in your backyard and keep your nosy neighbours from looking into your backyard.
Nothing is more annoying than a nosy neighbour when you’re trying to enjoy your private outdoor space.
Unless you live on a farm, neighbours are inevitable.
The trend towards larger homes on smaller blocks means neighbours often live more closely together than previously, giving nose neighbours ample opportunity to peek into your backyard, listen to your conversations and be a general nuisance.
Luckily, we have come up with a list of landscaping ideas to help keep your nosy neighbours firmly on their side of the fence.
Upgrade your fence
Low boundary fences often don’t provide enough privacy, especially when your neighbours don’t respect your personal space.
It might be time to think about getting in touch with a local fencer to enquire about upgrading your fence to something more secure.
It’s advisable that you check with your local council about the maximum fence height allowed in your area.
In most states and territories of Australia, fences under 1.8 metres high won’t require approval, providing they comply with planning guidelines regarding style and materials.
However, you may not want to replace your fence if it is in good condition.
In that case, you could use fence toppers installed in a colour and material to match the aesthetic of your home and existing fence.
Grow a natural privacy screen
A living screen not only prevents neighbours from nosing into your business but will also add a lush backdrop to your backyard.
Large trees with dense canopies are ideal, but they can take decades to mature.
Besides that, the roots can crack your concrete paths, block pipes, draw nutrients from your garden beds and destabilise your fences.
It’s important to consult with an expert local gardener, such as Jim’s Mowing, for advice about what plants would be suitable to create a living privacy screen for your home.
Here are some options for you to consider:
Slender weavers bamboo
One of the fastest-growing screening plants is bamboo, but you must be extremely careful about what variety you choose.
Bamboo has gained a bad reputation among homeowners for taking over garden beds and being impossible to remove.
Slender weavers bamboo is a good choice for backyard screening, growing to about six meters tall and providing screening in as little as six months from planting.
If you can’t find slender weavers bamboo, try to make sure that you choose a clumping variety of bamboo rather than a running vaiety.
Clumping varieties send up shoots from the main plant only, whereas running bamboo sends out runners underground, easily spreading to neighbouring properties.
If you’re not sure, seek expert advice before you plant.
Lilly pilly is an Australian native plant that is perfect for backyard screening with dense evergreen foliage.
These bushes can be planted to form a neat hedge and will grow up to two meters every year once well established.
Lilly pilly plants are hardy and easy to grow and produce a pink, red, purple or white edible fruit depending on which variety you choose.
Viburnums are small, evergreen shrubs that can grow up to three meters tall.
They produce small, delicate flowers and red berries which attract native wildlife, bees and butterflies.
Viburnums are basically self-sufficient once they are established in your yard and they are also resistant to drought, making them great for lazy gardeners.
Pittosporums come in several fantastic varieties with different leaf sizes and colours to suit your garden.
These plants can grow up to five meters tall, making it the perfect option for a screening hedge.
Privets are fast-growing plants that can give you privacy within a few years.
Because they grow at a rate of up to one metre per year, privet hedges will need regular maintenance and pruning to retain their shape, but otherwise, they are a reasonably low-maintenance choice.
Any privacy screen you choose will need ongoing maintenance, and a living screen is no different.
You can easily employ a professional local gardener to maintain your hedge regularly to keep it in perfect condition all year round.
Install privacy screens
Border fencing is great for blocking out the neighbours, but if they look down on your yard from an upper storey, no fence will be high enough to obstruct their view of your entire garden.
Depending on your chosen relaxation or play areas, you can block sightlines using privacy screens.
Privacy screens are available in a range of materials, including steel, aluminium, timber, brush, lattice or plastic to suit your garden.
Contact Jim’s Security Doors for advice on which privacy screens offer the best solution for your property.
What to do when your neighbours are noisy
All the hedging in the world won’t block out a noisy neighbour, so you’ll need to start thinking outside the box if you want to claim some peace and quiet from raucous neighbours.
While it’s impossible to soundproof your backyard completely, it is possible to add features to your home that will help to muffle or block out the racket from over the fence.
Here are some options to consider for noise reduction.
Modular wall fencing is an effective option to reduce noise pollution.
This type of fencing is designed to mimic the sleek style of a masonry brick wall but at a more affordable price point.
You can choose between various thickness for your modular wall based on your sound barrier needs and it is able to block out up to 20+dB of sound.
While a water feature won’t drown out your neighbours out completely, sitting or playing nearby will provide you with a different sound to concentrate on.
The ‘white noise’ quality of running water is a soothing sound that could help you deal with the stress of living next door to noisy busybodies.
Take the direct approach
There is a chance your neighbours aren’t aware of how the noise from their home travels to yours.
They simply might not know that they are being a nuisance.
You could take the direct approach by talking to them politely about what bothers you to find a compromise on how they conduct their household activities.
If the noise issue occurs late at night or early in the morning, and you are unable to resolve the issue with your neighbours, you could contact your local government to find out about making a noise complaint.
Every state and territory in Australia has guidelines about when suburban households can make excessive noise, so it’s worth finding out more.
Your home should be a sanctuary away from the rest of the world.
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