Privacy in the Garden: 4 ways to keep out nosy neighbours

All gardeners need a bit of privacy in their garden. Privacy screens might be used to hide an unsightly but necessary corner such as a compost heap or shed, or from nosy neighbours and their dogs (as in our case). Garden screens can also be used to define different areas in the garden, or for increased security if used on the perimeter of the property. An added bonus is that such a screen can filter out noise, and it need not be an ugly, functional structure. There are so many beautiful options out there that your garden screen can become an integral part of your garden’s architecture.

Privacy screen

Privacy screens create lovely areas to relax in your garden

4 Ways to privacy in the garden

1. Use screens made from invasive alien species, reclaimed wood or bamboo. These are great if you only want a temporary solution: make sure the screens are mobile to use them in different parts of the garden as your mood suits you.

2. If you don’t need an instant solution, use a trellis or span wire and let a creeper of climber of your choice cover it. Roses and ivy are the most obvious choices, but how about a fruit tree in the espalier style if you’re really patient?

3. Hedges create great screens as they still allow airflow from one area to the next.  Plants such as buxus that can be cut into a hedge, or use lower-maintenance conifers. Hedges need proper maintenance, especially if you desire a more formal appearance. Once it has grown leggy and unsightly it may be nearly impossible to fix.

4.Plant a vertical garden. Keep in mind that a vertical garden might need additional watering and care, depending on the position and choice of plants.

Screen secrets: Make privacy screens work for you.

  • Whatever screen you choose, remember that it needs to suit your lifestyle.
  • Make sure it suits the style of your garden.
  • If you use a privacy screen to separate two areas in the garden, use the ‘doorway’ as a frame for a focal point on the other side.
  • If you use a screen made of wood or other hardware, use it as a backdrop for garden decor by stringing solar lights or other unexpected elements along it. Did  someone say bunting?

Adding a garden screen adds a new dimension to any garden. Have a look at The Ladybird Garden’s ‘Screens and Hedges’ board on Pinterest if you’re stuck on ideas, or drop me a comment below to tell me about the interesting screen or hedge in your garden!

Image by Sassy Gardener on Flickr. CC BY 2.0

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