Even if we love our neighbours, we still like to enjoy our privacy when we're out on our deck enjoying the sun or relaxing with friends in the evening. Creating a natural privacy screen with hedges, or a trellis is an attractive solution in your patio or backyard. There are many plants that can be used to create a barrier that looks great and are easy to manage.
One Pot, Two Pots, Three Pots, Four!
You can use a row of pots on your patio (or even in your backyard) to create a privacy barrier. This is especially useful to add height to your chosen plants, as you can get tall pots that lift your plants up 3-4' off the ground. Consider how much space you want your pots to take up on your patio or balcony, and decide if round or maybe a narrower rectangular shaped pot might work best. You also don't have to use pots that are all the same colour and can create interest by choosing hues that work well together.
Hedges & Trellises
Hedges are a quick and easy way to build a privacy barrier, just by potting them in a row. Make sure to use large enough pots so that the roots can grow as the plant does, otherwise you'll end up with unhappy and unhealthy plants. These evergreens and shrubs will be lush and dense, creating a perfect barrier. Some of my favourite choices include laurel, cypress, boxwood, or cedars.
Depending on how much space you have, larger shrubs such as hydrangeas or roses can also be used. However, be aware they will grow in a round bush shape and take up more space than a narrower plant.
Trellises are another solution, and often include blooming plants that look and smell great during the summer! You can attach a wood or plastic trellis on your fence, railing, or to the pots themselves. I suggest choosing climbing plants like roses, clematis, wisteria or camellia.
Grasses are another option, depending on how high and dense you need your privacy screen. Some grasses grow quite tall, but also require a wider space. If you use shorter grasses with tall pots, then you can create a 4-5' barrier quite easily.
Bamboo barriers are also popular, with bright green leaves and quick growing stems. There are a number of varieties of bamboo available, so check with your garden centre to make sure it's suitable for a privacy screen and make sure the lighting is correct. Some bamboo requires full sun, while others enjoy some shade.
More Than A Summer Fling
Be sure to remember that your living privacy screen is more than a summer fling, and will likely need care and watering during the fall and winter months as well! Positioning it near a water source can make this job a bit easier. As well, choosing plants that won't grow a lot during the rest of the year can cut down on your trimming chores.
Adding in interesting lighting will give your privacy screen a finished look and also create an interesting space during summer evenings. Use spotlights pointed upwards, or even strings of light hung along your hedges and trellises.
Get ready for a fantastic summer, complete with a private space you and your family and friends can enjoy!