How to Deal With Nosy Neighbors

Neighbors are different. Sometimes we get unlucky and they turn out to be too curious, pushy, or loud. We tell you how to hide from them.

How to protect your rights to privacy and at the same time not violate the rules of good manners.

How to hide from neighbors?

1. Fence and green spaces

A building or renovating a house, as well as planning a garden plot, is the best time to take into account all the nuances. You have to think ahead.

It is necessary to take into account not only the roses and the level of the sun above the horizon in different seasons. There are requirements for the level of height and transparency of fences. Especially where they pass along the borders of adjacent areas. Discuss everything related to fences with your neighbors right away. Do not neglect the three rules of good neighborliness: negotiation, compromise, and accepting a different point of view.

Who said that a protective green belt cannot be planted next to a low and light-permeable fence? Just do not place fruit trees and spreading shrubs here, no matter how compact the site is – this is another reason and a temptation to come closer or reach out for someone else’s fence.

2. Windows, terraces, porch

The first line of defense: is the outer perimeter, gates. Second: approaches to the house and openings through which light and air enter it.

Moving the porch of the house or the entrance to the terrace is too expensive and costly. But it can be masked with trellises with climbing plants, at the same time getting a shadow where it is needed. They are also appropriate if the windows behind which you spend a lot of time face the street. And less dust.

For terraces and balconies, as well as window framing, slatted screens and folding screen blinds are suitable, which will hide you from prying eyes. Do not forget about awnings and awnings, openwork canopies-supports above the windows for all the same fast-growing climbing vines. 

Fans of a “green” lifestyle will surely like the idea of ​​​​using solar panels as a visor.

3. garden paths

When the path leads directly to the house, prying eyes follow it. But if you round the paths and hide their turns behind multi-level trees, bushes, and flower beds, prying eyes can be avoided. If you still want straight lines, think about diagonals.  

4. Pergolas, gazebos, tents

If possible, move the open space to rest under the roof. Flowerpots with trees and fragrant herbs, combined with other vertical gardening techniques, will be very useful there and will hide you from prying eyes.

Barbecue areas, afternoon siesta, and evening gatherings can be arranged at ground level. Rain protection (canopies, tents) will help here, which will also allow you to hide from neighbors.

If you don’t want to make a roof or a canopy, the “fence inside the fence” technique is useful for such corners. The shape of the fences depends only on your imagination. 

Evergreen trees are planted close to form a living wall with shearing. Vertical beds or lattice walls topped with flower boxes. Gabions, wattle. And even textile screens: removable, easy to clean, and breathable. Optional rectangular: choose the shape of the sail and imagine that you are in a seaside resort.

5. Winter Garden

Where it is fresh and damp, a free-standing or adjoining structure with provided ventilation solves several problems at once. 

First, cut-off sounds: glass does a great job with this. Secondly, to maintain a comfortable microclimate: there are lovers not only to dine or drink coffee, but also to sleep under a glass roof, contemplating the stars. Thirdly, to please yourself with plants that do not survive in the open field, and use them as a natural veil from prying eyes.

A couple of quicker ways

When the season is about to start, there is no time for radical changes. Let’s talk about mobility.

  • A four-slope garden umbrella can be framed with folding trellis screens. For stability, they are fastened with boxes for plants, but in such a way that the structure can be disassembled in a matter of minutes. Add removable curtains or mesh screens to them, and the summer pavilion is ready.
  • A-frame with wickerwork or slats can be put on wheels and moved following the sun. Or whatever you want.
  • Folding wicker or perforated screens can be moved from place to place almost instantly and placed anywhere.
  • Another solution, albeit not so quick, is to build a space divider, which will serve as a woodpile for firewood and brushwood and solve other storage problems along the way. Both decorative and utilitarian.
  • The opening of an open shower fountain with a transparent wall of water, behind which you can hide. A good idea where they do not save on water.
  • Even slats of the right size, threaded into the cells of a banal chain-link mesh, can add privacy.

And what about soundproofing?

Capital external fences and outbuildings around the perimeter of the site work even better than green spaces. But they will give the ideal result in combination: add a layer of soil and a solid carpet of plants to the supporting structure with the help of vertical gardening and get a noise-absorbing structure with an additional bonus of thermoregulation.

With openwork, mesh fences are more difficult. When country houses in the neighborhood are located too close to each other, even the sound of a powerful air conditioner can cause a migraine. For such cases, they came up with special noise-absorbing coatings made of multilayer materials with various fillers. In appearance, they resemble a quilted blanket.

+ 3 more tips

  • Keeping intruders at a distance with barbed wire or broken glass, of course, is not worth it. But the prickly pear, which is enough for quite a bit of soil in a container on top of the fence, is both decorative and works great as a watchman.
  • In a stone outer wall or basement of a lighter fence, experienced gardeners recommend arranging something like a shelter for beneficial insects – for example, bees. Hollow dry stems, cones, and wooden planks with drilled holes will do. Bees will not only pollinate the plants in your area but also scare away the curious.
  • If passive protection does not help, fight troublemakers within the law: tips can be found here.
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