Your backyard pergola is perfect – cozy, serene, and spa-like … until you open your eyes to see the neighbor’s five-year-old staring back at you from the patio next door. Ok, it’s time for a little privacy. Here are some ideas from our outdoor oasis afficionados:
Bryan McKenzie

Bryan McKenzie

Bryan is a landscape designer at a family-owned landscape design and consultation company in Jacksonville, Florida. Being a gardening geek, he started the Bumper Crop Times blog together with his wife.

Two Great Options for Privacy

Grow climbing plants
This is probably the most time-taking option, but it also lets you turn your garden pergola into a fabled private place for romantic dining and memorable occasions. The best climbing plants for pergolas include honeysuckle (Lonicera), passion flowers, potato vine (Solanum laxum), grapevines, clematis, climbing and rambling roses, wisteria, trumpet vine (if you don’t mind some occasionally falling ants in your soup), and crimson glory vine.

Of course, standard pergolas only let you grow these plants over on the top, but you are also able to use netting to let the vines create green walls around your patio.

Set a zoning wall
A thin and partially transparent pergola not only adds extra protection from direct sunlight but also increases the privacy of the spot a lot without cutting the whole place in halves. You can come up with any wood pattern for this “wall” or even stretch a piece of cloth. However, the benefit of setting a wooden zoning wall is that you can grow climbing plants on it if you want.

Use a Climbing Plant

The structures of a pergola make the perfect base for climbing plants! Not only does it effectively provide you with enough shade and privacy, but it also adds an element of coziness and serenity to your space. It’s the relatively cheaper option and the only real downside to this is that it may take a while for the vines to climb and cover up the top entirely, but I guarantee that the results are worth the wait.

Matthew Paxton

Matthew Paxton

Matthew Paxton, Founder of Hypernia.

Nick White

Install a High-Quality Privacy Wall

The best way to secure privacy in a pergola is to invest in a quality privacy wall, which can range from $40-$400 usually. Install the privacy walls on all of the sides of the pergola you are wanting to be blocked from the view of neighbors or the public. If you are wanting it to be as private as possible, you can get 3 privacy walls for all of the open sides of your pergola, leaving one open for your house or pergola entrance of course.

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