Nosy neighbours can be a real nuisance. Being overlooked from an upstairs window or through a gap in a hedge when you’re enjoying your garden, having your lunch outdoors or topping up your tan can feel like an invasion of privacy.

So if you don’t want to be overlooked, but also don’t really want to put up an 8ft fence around the perimeter of your plot, what are the options?

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Garden screening ideas

1. Bamboo

Garden screening ideas bamboo
Bamboo in a pot can provide an effective screen (Hannah Stephenson/PA)

Julian Palphramand, plant buyer at Wyevale Garden Centres (wyevalegardencentres.co.uk), says: “With neighbours often being in close quarters, particularly in urban areas, Brits are turning to plants as a way to screen from any prying eyes.

“Towering, upright grasses and fast-growing evergreen bamboos have seen a huge surge in sales, providing privacy while also evoking a sense of calm and order in the garden.”

Garden screening plants bamboo in pots
Plant bamboo in a pot as it can be invasive (Hannah Stephenson/PA)

There are lots of new clump-forming bamboos (fargesias), such as Fargesia ‘Red Panda’, which can be planted in the ground and offer attractive stems and dense cover, offering protection from the wind as well as subtle privacy.

Phyllostachys works well if kept in a pot, as it has tall, evergreen foliage. But beware of planting it in the ground because it has invasive runners, causes havoc with neighbours and doesn’t really contain itself. Plant it in a large container which can hold plenty of water.

2. Tall perennial grasses

Japanese silvergrass, miscanthus sinensis in the evening sun
Japanese silvergrass (Miscanthus Sinensis) is a good choice for screening.

Again, these can be planted in pots or in the ground to provide some protection from prying eyes. Tall perennial grasses such as Miscanthus (‘Silvergrass’) or the perennial sunflower Helianthus x laetiflorus will provide a decorative screen during the peak summer and autumn months spent outdoors.

3. Pretty climbers

Trachelospermum jasminoides in bloom
Trachelospermum jasminoides in bloom.

Climbers are a great way to add height to fencing, particularly the Trachelospermum (‘Star Jasmine’), which has the dual benefits of providing both attractive screening and fragrant scent through the summer months, producing star-shaped white flowers from mid to late-summer.

Other good climbers include the climbing hydrangea Hydrangea petiolaris, as well as clematis. If you plant a variety of clematis to climb up a trellis, you can get colour throughout the year, too.

Flowering purple clematis flower makes for colourful screening.
Flowering purple clematis flower makes for colourful screening.

If your boundary wall isn’t high enough, hammer in some posts on your side and erect some raised trellis which climbing plants can scale to increase your privacy and add colour and scent to your plot. Both clematis and star jasmine can be grown in large containers.

4. Evergreens

 

 

 

If you don’t want a hedge to take over to the point that you need to get on a ladder to trim it, think about planting a closely spaced row of evergreens in a line of planters, clipping them to make a neat potted hedge.

5. Pergola

Garden screening ideas pergola
A pergola can provide both shade and shelter from prying eyes (iStock/PA)

If it’s your patio area which you particularly want to screen, consider putting up a pergola, which can be covered in climbing plants. This not only give you shade in the heat of summer but means you’ll be able to eat your dinner outside in privacy.

6. Panels

fence made of wicker decorates the property in the garden
Fence panels made of natural materials such as wicker can blend in with your garden.

If you don’t want to go the whole hog with solid brick walls or solid fencing, try installing hurdle-style panels made from willow, hazel or bamboo, which feel more natural and eco-friendly, blending in better with the garden.

7. Alternative walls

Ornamental screening
Ornamental screening, like this one, is another alternative (Harrod Horticultural/PA)

Of course, you could go all contemporary and erect some eye-catching decorative screens (although some of the better ones come at a price). Harrod Horticultural (harrodhorticultural.com), for example, offers Laser Cut Screens in different designs which add interest, made from 3mm-thick aluminium and powder coated for a long-lasting, weatherproof finish.

Top 5 best-selling garden screening products

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Best Artificial English Ivy Leaf Screening Roll 3m x 1m Privacy Hedging Wall Landscaping Garden...
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Last update on 2022-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Nightmare neighbours? How to avoid and deal with neighbour disputes

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