Love the convenience of city living, but not the lack of privacy? Move over fences – because the best plants for privacy screening are right here!

A green backyard with a crabapple tree in front of a fence.

While living in a town or city with neighbours to befriend and amenities nearby definitely has its pluses, there’s also the whole “people can see right into my yard” situation. 

We live in the country so we don’t have that issue, but we used to live in a town and our back fence was chainlink – with a walking path right behind it! So yeah… I feel you.

Of course, using plants for screening doesn’t just apply to creating a more private yard space. Plants and small trees are also great for sectioning off seating areas or hiding things like compost piles.

Want to know nine of the best plants for privacy and screening in your yard? You’ve come to the right place! And if you’re looking for more info on creating a beautiful, easy to maintain outdoor space, check out my low maintenance landscaping post

First up, three of the best plants for hedges. Or, check out tons more plants and flowers here!

Note that this post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you click on a link and make a purchase a small percentage of the sale goes to yours truly. Please know that I strive to only feature eco-conscious products and brands.

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The Best Plants for Hedges

Not much cuter in the landscaping world than a nicely pruned hedge placed around the perimeter of a yard. Hedges are the first step in making your yard feel more private – and more cozy. Here are three super popular choices!

A cherry laurel hedge.

Cherry Laurel

Latin Name: Prunus laurocerasus
Description: An evergreen shrub that is hardy up to 5 degrees fahrenheit (that’s a chilly -15 degrees celsius to my fellow Canadians).

Closeup of green boxwood leaves.Boxwood

Latin Name: Buxus sempervirens
Description: You know those perfectly pruned hedges you sometimes see in TV shows and movies? Well, most likely they’re Boxwood – also known as Buxus. Boxwood tolerates most types of soil and is relatively low maintenance. Unless you feel the need to sculpt it into a living statue!

Closeup of red photinia leaves.Photinia

Latin Name: Photinia fraseri
Description: Photinia grows best in fertile soil and part shade and – with its showy red or deep green leaves – makes a stunning hedge. Develops small white flowers, usually followed by berries.

Climbing Plants for Trellises, Fences and Walls

I think climbing plants are quite possibly my favourite plants of all. They’re able to create a feeling of privacy that also feels cozy and – dare I say – a little bit magical? At our old house we had a variety of climbing plants to help screen our yard in and also just add to that urban oasis vibe. Here are a few climbing plants I’ve grown over the years!

An english ivy climbing up a trellis.English Ivy

Latin Name: Hedera helix
Description: Can be grown as a climbing vine, but also works beautifully for ground cover, English Ivy is a must when it comes to creating a hidden backyard sanctuary. Performs well both in full sun and shade.

Closeup of star jasmine plant with white flowers.Star Jasmine


Latin name: Trachelospermum jasminoides

Description: Star Jasmine thrives in either full sun or partial shade. It prefers well-drained soil and once established is drought-tolerant. Star Jasmine also needs little training as a climber and will climb up trellises, fences and so on quite easily.

Closeup of green honeysuckle leaves and pink flowers.


Latin Name: Lonicera periclymenem
Description: An excellent alternative to ivy, Henry’s Honeysuckle vine can grow to almost 30 feet in height. Produces pretty flowers that will attract birds and other wildlife for you to observe and enjoy.

Need help choosing eco-conscious furniture and decor for your home? That’s what I’m here for!

3 Trees for Backyard Screening

My favourite topic – trees! Where we live now, we are very fortunate to be surrounded by all kinds of trees. Even so, we still planted two smaller trees in our front yard and plan to add more! Here are three of my favourite medium height trees.

Closeup of red crabapples.Crabapple Tree

Latin Name: Malus  sylvestres
Description: We had two flowering crabapple trees in the backyard of our old house and not only did they provide privacy from the public path that ran behind us, they also provided tasty crabapples to eat!

China snow tree with creamy white flowers.China Snow Lilac Tree

Latin Name: Syringa pekinensis
Description: Dare I say a lilac tree is my favourite tree of all time? I don’t want to play favourites, but the site and smell of a lilac tree in full bloom does make me a bit weak in the knees.

A mountain ash tree with red berries.Mountain Ash

Latin Name: Sorbus aucuparia
Description: We actually have Mountain Ash trees growing in the forest on our land – so I know that means they’re hardy! My parents also have a beautiful Mountain Ash in their small backyard that provides privacy and a nice, shady spot to sit and relax.

Whether you’re looking to create a hiding place from the outdoor world, order off a sitting area or create a boundary around your yard, these are nine of the best plants for privacy I could think of. And, of course, there are so many more!

Need some sustainable outdoor furniture and decor to go in your newly screened-off yard? Check out my post all about green outdoor living!

What plants and trees do you currently have in your yard? Are they there for screening, your enjoyment or both? Let me know in the comments!



A pruned hedge in a yard with text 9 of the best plants for privacy.

Posted on June 17, 2023

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9 of the Best Plants for Privacy and Creating a Cozy Yard

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