Chicago Landscaping with Pergolas, Courtyards & Fences |
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Chicago Landscaping with Pergolas, Courtyards & Fences

Chicago Landscaping Ideas: Cozy Up Your Outdoor Space While Creating Definition

When you are landscaping outdoor areas in cities like Chicago, there are a variety of tactics you can use to create an atmosphere that is both inviting and private. Creative approaches to developing a great space can include incorporating anything from structures like fences and pergolas to using plants to create privacy. Whatever your budget and preferences, the bottom line is that where there’s a will, there is most definitely a way!

Take a look at some inspirational ideas that can help transform your outdoor space from blah to cozy! Then, spend some time outside in your spaces imagining what could be.

Use Plants to Create Privacy

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Fast-growing evergreens help create privacy and offer a lot of atmosphere.

Fast-growing evergreens, like arborvitaes, and other varieties of shrubs can give you an enormous amount of both privacy and atmosphere.

Take a peek at some of the varieties of plants that create privacy and stay green all year round here in Chicago:

  • Boxwood
  • American Holly
  • Canadian Hemlock
  • Blue Spruce
  • Red Cedar
  • Emerald Green Arborvitae
  • Hollywood Juniper
  • Skyrocket Juniper
  • Leyland Cypress
  • Oak Leaf Holly
  • Spartan Juniper
  • Thuja Green Giant
  • White Spruce Tree
  • Bamboo


Incorporate a Privacy Fence

Privacy fencing can do a lot to both define your space and to create privacy. To keep it colorful, consider leaving anything from one to several feet of unpaved ground between your fence and your hardscaped patio. Then plant your favorite flowers, vines or shrubs to give the space some softness.

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Leave some growing space between your fencing and hardscaped patio to “soften” the area and to give it color. This will make your space so much more inviting!


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Incorporate a Terrace or Wall

Hardscaped terraces and walls add tons of interest to an outdoor space and can really help define the space. If you’re dealing with a slope in your yard, think about how it would look with some leveling and a terrace or wall. (Granted, the transformation can be so dramatic that it’s hard to imagine, but your landscaper will give you some renderings to help visualize what can be done.)

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Create a Courtyard

By definition, a courtyard is an area that is mostly surrounded by walls. That said, you can create the illusion of a courtyard using plants, fencing and other materials.

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Install a Pergola

Pergolas can help filter the sun a bit while providing a fixed space for a dining table, lounge area or even a hot tub. Pergolas can also be used as large trellises for vining plants like wysteria and can be used either to define a space or as an entryway to an outdoor space.


Creating your outdoor space takes some time, patience, vision and creativity. When you’re ready to move ahead, our team is highly experienced in all facets of landscape design. We’ll be happy to talk with you in person or over the phone to discuss how we can help you with your planning and outdoor overhaul. Feel free to call us or contact us online to get started with a discussion about your Chicago landscaping ideas and needs.

About The Author

Anne Roberts
Anne Roberts
Chicago Landscaper, Master Gardener, Green Roof Specialist & Degreed Horticulturist at Anne Roberts Gardens

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