More often than not, neighbours can see into your garden and although they are not necessarily being nosey, it can be off-putting when you are enjoying dining al fresco or playing with the kids. We’ve collated several ways to add a shade more privacy to your garden.
#1 Grow a taller hedge
The range of hedging plants is many and varied, from the lush evergreen of conifers to deciduous varieties such as beech. With less privacy from a hedge that sheds its leaves in winter. Its wiry branchlike winter feature can add interest to a garden and also help to protect your garden from winter gales.
- Great for shade
- Helps with moisture levels of the soil
- A lush green backdrop to the garden
- Unless you buy very established conifers or other hedging plants, it takes a while to grow
- You have to trim it from time to time
#2 Potted hedge
A potted hedge differs in that the plants or trees are not planted directly in the ground but in large pots.
Perfect for casting shade over your teak garden furniture and seating area, everything about a potted hedge should be large and oversized. Oversized pots, either cone shape or deliciously rotund with strikingly tall plants.
Use grasses and bamboo are just two options, better for planting in pots as both have a habit of spreading far and wide in a garden.
Or opt for traditional hedging plants, put preferably those that are evergreen. Cypress trees are fantastic in pots as they are slender and tall, with a sense of grandeur that you would struggle to find elsewhere.
- Adds colour
- Has a stylish appeal
- Containers hard to move when full
- Can be expensive for very large containers, topsoil
If planting rows of trees and shrubs to wait for them to grow is not your thing, you could always fall back on the tried and tested fencing solution.
As well as block fencing, you could mix and match with trellis to allow air to circulate around a space, perfect for the sun trap patio or roof terrace.
There are few rules with fencing but clearly blocking light from your neighbours home or having them too tall can create neighbour disputes as well as expensive issues with planning permission.
- Immediate privacy
- Can be painted in different colours
- Must be under six foot and not block light
- Needs maintaining
- Can be expensive if not doing yourself
#4 Bamboo fencing
Mentioned previously, it is worth taking a closer look at bamboo but not in its growing plant form but as inexpensive fencing or shielding options for the garden.
Bamboo fencing doesn’t stand on its own, so will need a strong structure against which it can be fixed. If you have a railing fence or some such thing in your garden, bamboo fencing can be unrolled and easily attached.
Providing it doesn’t have to withstand too much wind, bamboo fencing in a fantastic inexpensive option that affords shade as well as privacy around seating and al fresco dining areas.
- Immediate effect
- Sustainable material
- Not always the best at standing up to harsh weather
- Will need some maintenance
#5 Hang garden drapes
For too long, we have allowed our use of the garden to be dictated by the weather which, in the UK, is not always predictable.
We have looked on with envy at other countries enjoying being fanned in the summer breeze by fluttering voile drapes. But not more! Make a stand, gain privacy and colour in your garden with drapes.
- Add colours and layers to the garden
- Perfect around play areas, outdoor tubs and pools, as well as dining areas
- Expensive, depending on the fabric used
- Need a gazebo or other structure to hang from
- Affords privacy to a certain area rather than the whole garden
A pergola is a fixed option and although it may not afford complete privacy, it certainly gives a structure around which you can add more.
From hanging drapes to bamboo curtaining or fencing, there are many options for using the pergola as the bastion of privacy in your garden – or at least a small area of it.
- Gives shade as well as privacy
- Doesn’t look too ‘blocky’ or absolute
- Needs to be installed correctly to be safe
- Doesn’t give absolute privacy
- Can be expensive to build and install
#7 Trellis fence and climbers
Trellis fencing has been mentioned previously and, along with the pergola and other structures, can be the perfect solution to increasing privacy season after season with the planting of climbing plants.
Fragrant climbers such as honeysuckle and clematis bring their own sweet scent as well as delightful colour. Once established, cut back hard at the start of the growing season to encourage a bushy habit.
- Use delicately scented plants for a delightful aroma
- Adds colour at certain times of the year
- Need upkeep such as staining the fence and chopping back the climbing plants
- Will take several growing seasons before it affords the privacy you want