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How does an outdoor privacy screen work?

Updated April 17, 2017

Outdoor privacy screens can be composed of nonliving or living materials. Privacy screens serve to shelter a particular area, create privacy or hide an unattractive feature. They work by blocking the view of and the noise from passersby, neighbours and nearby traffic, thus creating an outdoor area with clearly defined boundaries and some amount of seclusion.

Outdoor Privacy Screens Protect Outdoor Areas

Outdoor privacy screens can be composed of nonliving or living materials. Privacy screens serve to shelter a particular area, create privacy or hide an unattractive feature. They work by blocking the view of and the noise from passersby, neighbours and nearby traffic, thus creating an outdoor area with clearly defined boundaries and some amount of seclusion.

Non-Living Outdoor Privacy Screens

Non-living outdoor privacy screens can be composed of fencing, trellis, lattice work, or free-standing fence sections installed in particular places. Fences are the most durable and cover the most amount of outdoor space. Trellis and lattice work, because they contain open spaces, won't create complete privacy. However, when used in combination with evergreen or flowering vines, they can offer a good amount of seclusion as well as a lovely view. Free-standing fence sections will leave open ends, but they are attractive, easy to install and helpful for covering features or defining areas.

Living Outdoor Privacy Screens

Living outdoor privacy screens can be created from a row of shrubs or grasses, a hedge, a row of bamboo or a row of trees. As they grow, the area they cover and protect will be bigger and the privacy they provide will become more complete. A row of bamboo can be just as sturdy and impenetrable as a tall wooden fence. A tall boxwood hedge creates a very secure border. Other living screens, such as grasses or more spaced-out shrubs, offer definition to an area and block the view partially, but also allow a feeling of openness and connection with the remaining areas around.

Other Purposes of Outdoor Privacy Screens

Beyond creating privacy, outdoor screens can be used to highlight particular features of the yard or garden. By placing a screen around a water feature, for example, or a particular flower bed, it will become more prominent because the distracting background is covered by the privacy screen. Outdoor privacy screens can also define particular areas for outdoor living by creating "walls." In the same way, they can be used effectively alongside paths to direct outdoor traffic.

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About the Author

Annie Mueller is a professional writer and blogger. Since 2003 she has written extensively on small business, finances, parenting, education and personal growth, and has been published on Financial Edge and many other websites. Mueller attended Missouri Baptist College and earned her Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, in English from Mississippi State University.