Privacy screens

Privacy screens

Yearning for a quiet, private spot to entertain friends, curl up and read, or just sit and contemplate your garden… without onlookers? If a neighbouring property looks into your cosy reading nook or back deck, why not add some stylish screening to block the view? There are plenty of ways to achieve this, from DIY and quick-fix ideas that you can whip up in an afternoon, to more permanent solutions. Here are a few ideas.

Screening plants
These are an obvious solution for creating privacy. If you’re in a hurry, use fast-growing options such as lillypilly or bottlebrush. Other instant screening ideas include tall plants in large pots or planter boxes (containers with wheels are ideal). Alternatively, pot up some climbers, and add an attractive trellis to the pot or planter box to provide privacy while the plants grow. Plus, you can take them all with you if you move.

There are plenty of ready-made curtains you can buy to hang as walls for your pergola or balcony, from sheer ones with tab tops, to heavier ones with eyelets to thread over a curtain rod. But will they be durable enough to leave outside for long periods? That’s no problem if they are easy to remove when it looks like rain. Consider curtains made from tulle or a similar gauzy fabric to create atmosphere, let in light and provide privacy; you may need to sew weights along the hem for breezy days. The other option is to get some curtains made in a fabric that’s UV-resistant and designed for the outdoors – handy if your pergola supports are on an angle and you need a custom solution.

Day beds
If you have limited space or you’re renting, consider an outdoor day bed with a canopy. These giant enclosed lounges are the perfect instant solution to create your own private nook. There’s room for you (and a friend or two) to relax. Tuck one into an unused corner, or position it to block a neighbour’s view into your garden. The luxurious models offer features like all-weather (think hose-down) resin wicker, durable but soft UV-resistant fabric, quick-dry outdoor foam cushions, and wheels if you want to change the location or follow the sun.

You’ll find more ideas for stylish screening solutions, including some quick DIY fixes, in the March issue of ABC Gardening Australia magazine, on sale now.