Looking for more privacy in your front or backyard? Consider using living fences as a viable option. These natural enclosures can last from decades to even hundreds of years, providing not only privacy but also beautifying your property with a vibrant green touch, ideal for nature lovers.

You can consider several living fence ideas, including shrubs, grasses, and trees. You can choose an all-natural fence, a vine fence supported with metal posts, or even a horizontal wood fence with potted plants.

Whatever living fence idea appeals to you will add that special touch of life, freshness, and even color to your fence. There are so many ideas that you can combine and customize to suit your needs and preferences.

Best living fence ideas for privacy

The best living fence ideas for privacy

In its simplest form living fences are made out of plants. These plants can be trees, shrubs, and even grasses. However, there are ways to still have a living fence without waiting years for them to finally grow.

There are many ideas on the best living fences and we will explore all of them. We are going to classify the best living fence ideas for privacy into two categories; All natural and Using other materials

1. All-natural living fence ideas for privacy

A natural living fence for privacy is made up exclusively of plants. This can be a single plant or a combination of complementary plants. The idea is that the fence is made up entirely of plants and offers maximum privacy.

These ideas are a good choice for lovers of all natural barriers. How else to enjoy your private landscape if not as a fence? In general, you’ll want tall trees and shrubs that can block any outside view for optimal privacy.

Make sure to fill in any gaps with bushes and hedges and plant flowers for color and variety. I suggest mixing two or three different species. This allows you to create a natural effect and increase biodiversity.

There are several ideas for all-natural privacy fences. They include;

I. Shrubs


Shrubs are one of the most popular and best options for an all-natural living fence. They are versatile plants that come in different varieties from evergreen to deciduous, flowering and non-flowering, dense foliage and scanty foliage, dwarf-size and giant-sized, etc.

Shrubs have been used as living fences for centuries. You can decide to plant just one species or a combination depending on the aesthetics you are trying to achieve. An important thing to note when choosing shrubs to plant is the soil type, best growing zones, conditions, rate of growth, flowering or not, etc.

Some of the best shrubs for fences include Lilac, Weeping Willow, Euonymus, Laurels, Hicks Yew, Juniper, Boxwood, etc. Ensure that you purchase tall varieties of a shrub to ensure the best privacy living fence.

II. Grasses

When people think of grasses, they usually think of lawn grasses or weeds. However, those are just the common grass varieties. Many types of grass can be used to make a living fence e.g bamboo (Though a common misconception is that bamboo is grass, not a tree).

These grasses are usually referred to as ornamental grasses. These grasses usually come in different varieties, shapes, colors, etc. They can be evergreen or deciduous, tall or short, etc. if you decide to use grasses for the living fence, you don’t have to worry about privacy if you choose the right grass.

Ornamental grass like Ravenna grass and zebra grass can grow up to 10 ft in height ensuring maximum privacy from any passing eyes. Some of the best ornamental grass for a living privacy fence include; bamboo, Plumegrass, Big bluestem, Maiden grass, Zebra grass, Purple silver grass, Purple fountain grass, Ornamental millet, Blue oat grass, etc.

III. Trees


Trees are a good choice for a living fence, especially when prioritizing privacy. Thousands of tree varieties are available, so making the right choice is very important. Some of the best trees for a living fence include; Arborvitae, Concolor Fir, Red Cedar, Eastern White Pine, Japanese false cypress, Italian cypress, etc.

Your home’s type of tree nest will depend on a few factors. This includes the soil type, weather patterns (the amount of sunlight and rainfall), etc. Evergreen trees are usually better than deciduous trees for privacy fences as they do not shed, remain green all year, and can withstand cold weather.

For privacy from all corners, canopy trees or screening plants are the best options as they block the view between you and the upper-story sight line. This is a very good option, especially when living in a crowded area as it blocks out outsiders’ views, noise, and any unsightly views.

IV. Combination of trees, shrubs & grasses

Combining different types of plants is a living fence idea that can transform your landscape. You don’t always have to use the same species throughout the fence or the same type of plant. When combining plants, make sure to use plants with similar soil requirements and care.

There are different ways to combine trees, shrubs, and grasses. You can incorporate trees and shrubs by planting the shrubs between the trees to cover any open spots and improve privacy. The same method can be used to combine trees and grasses.

You can combine grasses and shrubs in two ways. One, plant a grass-like bamboo along the hedge and then plant the shrub behind it to cover any open spaces and improve privacy. Or for bush grasses, you can plant the shrub and grass alternately.

V. Wood & climbing vines

Wood & climbing vines

Using wood in a living fence keeps the theme of plants while providing support for plants that require it. Wood is a common option when choosing natural building materials for your privacy fence and one of the most affordable choices.

There are plenty of wood types to choose from. However, cedarwood is a recommended wood for privacy fences. You can use logs, planks, and wooden posts and combine them with plants. Vines are one of the best plants to combine wood with as they require support.

For privacy, make sure to place the wooden supports close to each other, then use the selected vines to block out any space between the wood. This provides a living privacy fence that is low maintenance and very aesthetically pleasing.

VI. Stone & plants

Ideas For Privacy

Stone is another natural material that is used frequently in privacy fences. A stone fence can be more expensive on the front end, but it is low-maintenance landscaping and easy to maintain thanks to the stone’s incredible durability.

You can create a stone wall embellished with plants and vines. These plants and vines can be planted in crevices of stone to provide a natural look. The stone can be used in addition to a shrub, grass, or tree fence or alone depending on you.

For privacy, consider making the stone wall above 6ft to keep out any onlooker’s views into the home. You can also use plants and vines to cover any blank spots and open areas in the stone wall.

2. Not all natural living fence ideas for privacy

While living fences for privacy can be made up of exclusive plants, there are other ways to still have a living fence while making use of non-living materials. These materials can be wooden posts for vines to climb, tiles and bricks recycled into a fence, wooden strips, etc.

The not-all-natural living fence ideas offer maximum privacy and are modern interpretations of what a living fence is. Your privacy living fence doesn’t have to be constructed entirely from just one material. Here we make use of alternating symmetrical elements, such as fencing and planting to create pattern and rhythm in the garden.

There are several ideas for all-natural privacy fences. They include;

I. Metal posts & vines