Garden Notes

Creating privacy in your garden

Published on 1 April 2009

Line of treesBeing overlooked by neighbours and wanting a sense of enclosure is something that a lot of my clients are looking for. How much, and the kind of screening that you want in your garden, depends on how you use it. If you don’t go out into your garden much in the winter then using deciduous trees or plants on a trellis or pergola may be effective.

Cherry TreeTrees can be bought already pleached onto a framework, so that they act as a tall narrow hedge, which grows above or along the boundary. These need trimming like a hedge once a year and are expensive to buy, but do provide instant privacy.

If there is one main area that you want to be shielded from, one or a group of strategically planted trees may be all that you need. There are many suitable, narrow and light canopied trees for small gardens that will create only dappled shade but provide an effective screen in the summer. These would include, Birches, Cercidiphyllum japonicum and Prunus amanagowa.

Tall grassesSometimes a tall shrub is sufficient to create a sense of enclosure whilst letting in light above it, a good ornamental shrub which provides effective, tall screening is Photinia fraseri Red Robin, which has red tipped leaves most of the year.

If the screening you want is for when you are sitting down as opposed to walking around the garden, then there is a huge range of tall grasses which can create a beautiful diaphanous curtain shifting in the breeze such as Stipa gigantea or Molinia transparent.

It’s not too late to plant trees as long as you water them through the summer. So start planning now for a private dinner in the garden.

Happy gardening.

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