The process of protecting your privacy can evoke images of high tech gadgets, reinforced steel doors and high walls. It’s a draconian image. If you’d like to take charge of your privacy, but find the idea of a Fort Knox style home off-putting, Mother Nature can lend a helping hand. Here's how.

Conifers

For anyone looking to limit access to or site lines into their property, these hardy evergreens provide an excellent buffer. Naturally (excuse the pun), you’ll need a large enough property to install these - we’d recommend planting mature conifers as they take a while to grow - but for people with gardens that back onto neighbouring plots, these are the perfect natural wall. Conifers are great for privacy because they are dense and woody, with thick branches covered in rugged, dark green leaves. They are also a good means of discouraging nosey parkers (or those with a more sinister agenda) from attempting to enter your property. A well position conifer screen is exceptionally difficult to get through without making a lot of noise, ripping your clothes or getting stuck at least once. Any child growing up in suburban England knows who had to retrieve a football from behind next door’s barricade of woody conifers knows this. Conifers also have a remarkably effective baffling effect. Conversations you have at your back yard barbecue would need to be exceptionally loud for the sound to travel beyond your conifer screen.

Holly

Not everyone has the space or means to build a conifer screen. Holly, which can be planted in tubs on balconies, in small front yards and against garden walls, is a great alternative. It’s dense, very prickly and smells lovely. Police forces often recommend the use of holly to deter burglars, as it does a great job of blocking views into your home, without robbing you of sunlight.

Hanging baskets

Say you wanted to conduct legitimate surveillance around your property, but didn’t want to advertise this fact. Hanging baskets, carefully installed at key vantage points, can be a great way of concealing outdoor security cameras or CCTV devices. They also look lovely, let’s not forget.

Hessian

Hessian is a natural fabric that does very important things. It insulates noise and light. Blackout blinds made of hessian are an excellent choice if you want to shut out sound and light from your bedroom and get the best night’s sleep of your life. But they’re also really good for maintaining privacy. Due to their design, they typically cover the entire surface area of the window, ensuring no gaps for people to peek through. If you live in a built-up area, for example on a terrace street, they’re awesome for preventing sound from inside your house traveling out. As an extra bonus, you might even notice your heating bill dropping a little bit, as hessian blinds are excellent for insulating glass. Coconut You probably never thought we’d recommend coconut as a useful substance in the fight to protect privacy, but here goes. Coir is a thick, rope-like material used in high-end carpets, rugs and mats. It's made of coconut shell. It is phenomenal at insulating sound. If you live in an apartment block and want to move around your own place without disturbing your neighbours below, this stuff is the dream. Your neighbours will never be disturbed your footsteps, nor will they hear your conversations (we all know how poorly sound-proofed modern apartment buildings can be) and as a nice bonus, coir carpet is supremely rugged and hardwearing. Due to it being made from only natural fibres, it can be good for allergy sufferers too. Image credit - Wiki Commons