Often the most magical spots in a garden are behind a trellis bursting with flowers or a stand of bamboo. With these and many other types of garden screens, you can block out unsightly views, create a bit of mystery and divide your outdoor space into private rooms. Create your own secret garden with the following ideas.
Give new life to a discarded set of shutters, doors or even a free-standing mirror discovered in the attic or bought from a building reuse centre. Besides being "green," recycling architectural elements creates a whimsical feel for your garden. Who knows what lush world you'll find around the other side?
Besides the obvious choice of wood, a variety of natural materials can serve as screens. Look for options such as dried willow and bamboo at the local garden centre or in mail-order garden catalogues. Natural screens wear gently to blend in with the organic look of a garden.
Living screens can range from traditional hedgerows to almost-maintenance-free perennials. For a neatly trimmed hedgerow, choose evergreen shrubs such as boxwoods, compact holly bushes or arbor vitae. If you prefer a cottage-garden look and don't want to spend time pruning, try hibiscus or tall pampas grasses. Alternately, use bamboo to bring in a bit of the tropics.
Trellises and Vines
Trellises work particularly well in concert with vines and climbing roses, which soften the look of the structure and provide even more privacy. Wood, metal, plastic and vinyl trellises come in free-standing styles or as panels to incorporate into fencing. According to Garden Guides, some fast-growing vines include honeysuckle, wisteria and Carolina jessamine; other options may take a couple of seasons to fill in.
Fences and Walls
Fences and walls are great options for those who want complete privacy. Options include wood privacy fences or walls made of stone, stucco or masonry. A long expanse can dominate the garden, so break up that solid structure by pairing it with plants, artwork or decorations.