Whether you want to create an illusion of space or because you want to achieve some form of privacy in your garden, you need few clever ideas on how to make it work. Fences, dividing walls or privacy walls are some of the practical solutions. The question is, what type of dividers or screens would be the most effective to provide a semblance of or real privacy to an area in your garden, that not only is practical but also aesthetically pleasing and will blend well with your surroundings.
Let’s take a look at some ideas that might provide you the solution you seek to add privacy to your garden.
- Even if you have a small space, you can enclose one part of your patio or your garden with a trellis. But not just an ordinary wood trellis, mind you. Get two large terracotta pots, two bags of quick drying concrete mix, 2 1/2-inch PVC pipes, wood stain and 2 x 2 lumber for the trellis. Measurement will depend on how big the enclosure you are going to make. Arrange your 2 x 2’s one foot apart. Stain your trellis to your desired color. Make sure that the second and third vertical pieces of wood on each side are longer than the rest. These will act as the posts of your trellis, which will go inside the terracotta pots. Extend the drain of the pots by cutting two 8-inch long pieces of PVC pipe. Push them into the drain hole inside the pots. Cut another 4 pieces of PVC pipe to the same length and push the long ends of the trellis posts into them. Put the posts into the terracotta pots (you need some help in keeping them steady) and mix the concrete. Pour enough concrete to reach the top of the PVC pipes. Let the concrete dry before filling the pots with soil. Plant any type of fast-growing vine and pretty soon you will have a natural privacy screen.
- If your garden does not have a fence or you have a very low perimeter fence, why not plant a number of pollarded willows along the wall. Provide more focus to your natural privacy fence by planting different varieties so you will have several colors ranging from yellow to yellow green to golden yellow and red to red orange. The catkins will make your fence more interesting.
- Keep mosquitoes away and provide a natural screen for your porch or patio by planting lemongrass in tall pots. Arrange them in a row close together and you will have a lemon-scented screen that not only provides privacy but repels mosquitoes naturally as well.
- One thing about this next privacy wall is that it’s movable. Buy a metal horse trough. Place a wood brace on its underside and attach sturdy casters on the frame. Fill the trough with good garden soil and plant it with low-growing evergreens. You can move the natural privacy screen anywhere you need it around your garden. An alternative is to put pots planted with tall shrubs in the trough.
- Divide sections of your garden with willow branches. Build several wooden frames that are tall enough to suit your needs. Instead of using 2 x 2s or wood slats for the screen part, cut willow branches to length and weave them along the vertical posts and secure with wire.
- If you are growing plants that need trellises, such as beans, cucumber, tomatoes or even ornamental ivy, make the trellis a dual-purpose one. Place the wood trellis on areas of your garden that you want to divide or screen off and place a row of your potted growing plants at the base of the trellis and anchor/train them to grow upright. Pretty soon you will not only have a green and blooming trellis where you can pick the fruits off your plants easily. After the vegetables, you can use climbing plants with scented blooms as alternates.
- If houses are too close together in your area, rather than building a higher fence between houses that will limit your access to natural light and good air circulation, invest in some good open work lattice screen made of wood. This will filter in sunlight, allow air to circulate and give you a sense of privacy on your patio or a section of your garden that you use for afternoon tea, small family gatherings or barbecues.
- An alternative to this is to have large tubs planted with clumping bamboos or plant them directly on the ground. This type of bamboo does not need barriers to contain the rhizomes. There are many types of bamboos and their height ranges from waist high to very tall ones.
- If you have young children you can encourage them to play outdoors in the garden by providing them with their own private areas. Arrange a number of sunflowers planted on medium-sized terracotta pots could give them a private hideaway, perfect for shielding them from the harmful rays while getting their Vitamin D requirement.
- Alternatively, you can build tall teepees made of bamboo poles and wire. Children can still have their private outdoor playroom while your cucumbers, tomatoes or beans grow healthily over the temporary teepees. Old long-handled gardening tools could also be used as main posts for the green teepee.
- Screen off a section of your garden and turn it into an outdoor receiving and dining area but use foliage rather than concrete walls for privacy. One option is to have a hedge, tall enough to screen the area. You can choose plants with varying leaf colors for variety, or choose plants that will have delicately scented or showy flowers. Another option is to use dwarf evergreens.
- Screen off your patio from the rest of your garden and your neighbors’ eyes by planting a thick row of green hedge that could be trimmed to the desired height. Plant colorful perennials and ground covers for an interesting contrast at the base of the hedge.
- If you have an overhanging roof facing your garden and you want to utilize the space, install a wooden screen with horizontal slats. You not only get a nifty nook, the horizontal slats shield the area from too much light, while the screen gives a sense of privacy and allows air to freely circulate.
- Alternate permanent and semi-permanent privacy walls. Have some laser-cut stylized bamboo sheet metal panels installed on the area you want to enclose. Add tubs planted with horsetail, tall snake plants, lemon grass or Italian cypresses to alternate the height and have natural barriers. You can also plant bamboo species with thin stems and wide leaves directly on the ground for additional contrast.
- Create a wall of green to mark a section of your garden as your own private area. Use planter boxes of varying height and fill with pots plants with tall upright plants. You may choose leafy shrubs or flowering plants such as roses, gardenia and jasmine.
Concrete walls are of course the most durable and efficient when it comes to securing your home. However, you do not always have to use concrete walls or make your perimeter fence higher to achieve privacy in your garden. Using tall plants, planter boxes and box hedges are just some of the ways to achieve privacy and create enclosures within your garden. The latter are natural and organic and could be changed when the season changes, giving natural variety, dimension and texture to your personal space.