Every gardener has a unique vision for his or her garden. Whether it’s a soothing sanctuary, a cavalcade of colors, a backyard bistro, a pristine paradise, or a children’s corner, these images of the garden have one thing in common: They all require a measure of privacy.
Just like the inside of a home, the garden area needs a way to separate itself from the world around it. Front porches may be for watching the world go by, but gardens are for stepping away from the world.
There are all degrees of privacy. Even though a picket fence doesn’t stop the neighbors from looking at your garden, it does politely say, “Please stay on your side.” A chain link fence makes a bolder statement of separation, “This is as far as you go.” Add vinyl strapping to the chain link or put up a wooden stockade fence, and your visual and physical separation is complete.
A trellis festooned with climbing vines (sweet peas, passionflower, or morning glory, for example) provides a natural screen, offering the illusion of privacy, which is often all we need. A smartly trimmed hedge–of yew or privet perhaps–screens out the neighbors while complementing the garden.
Lattice erected on the street-facing side of a deck may not block out the noise of the road, but does help make the road seem far away.
Vertical gardens, hanging planters, and container gardens can create impromptu privacy screens. It only takes a few hanging baskets of fuchsias or petunias to block an unsightly view. Or you can compile an assortment of containers of various sizes and heights and fill them with herbs and vegetables, annuals and perennials, houseplants and bonsai.
Arranged and placed just so, the planters will give you a touch of space for yourself.
New on the market, vertical planters take a nod from ancient gardens where plants were stacked one on top of the other. Ranging in height from two to seven feet, vertical planters provide maximum planting area with minimal lateral space.
Similar to vertical planters, living walls let gardeners plant up a wall, rather than just alongside it. Whether you build the frame yourself, put one together from a kit, or purchase an assembled living wall, you can cover the wall with an assortment of plants of your choosing.
With very little space you’ll have a unique screen that grows and changes with the seasons.
One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon had walls 80-feet thick to keep marauders out. While most of us don’t need that much protection from our neighbors, we probably want some privacy. With a little imagination and not much money or space, you can create just the type of privacy you want while adding to the beauty and ambiance of your garden.