Paying Attention to Privacy
If your patio is visible from the street or can be viewed easily by the neighbors, you might feel as though you're on stage every time you walk outside. But if you think it's rude to build a tall fence to protect your privacy, why not let nature do the work by planting a hedge or a few shrubs? Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens), juniper (Juniperus) and arborvitaes will all help create a tasteful screen. If you need something taller, try planting hedges in raised beds or planting a few strategic trees, like a dwarf Japanese maple (Acer palmatum).
Of course, if you can't afford to wait for hedges and trees to grow, consider adding a trellis or prefabricated vinyl divider to your patio. These screens are available ready-made or in do-it-yourself kits that go together easily. You can also build one yourself from wood slats. If a trellis still allows too much visibility, incorporate it with climbing vines like clematis, ivy or wisteria. Vines offer thick coverage that will conceal your patio activities while adding some color and texture to the landscape.