A well-crafted wrought iron porch railing is attractive in its own right. Elaborate designs that bear intricately curved shapes paired with the strong, straight lines of the pickets qualify as works of art. Yet, wrought iron fences do not provide much with respect to privacy because they have large gaps between the iron elements. The spacing usually enhances the overall design. However, circumstances sometimes require you to obscure your wrought iron in favour of adding privacy to your porch.
Add pretty flowers and foliage to your porch while you increase your privacy. Plant climbing vines that will wrap themselves around the iron as they grow upwards and spread outwards. Choose plants with large leaves, large flowers or both to increase the area you cover. Moonflower (Ipomoea alba) is a fast-growing vine that produces very large, white flowers during evening and overnight hours. One vine will produce multiple flowers each evening, but each flower only lasts until the morning sun causes it to fold and fall off the vine. Mandevilla (Mandevilla spp) is a woody vine that will grow up to 10-feet high with fragrant flowers. Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea spp) is a woody vine with a sprawling habit that will benefit from the support the wrought iron fence offers to grow vigorously throughout the season. Grow any of these plant choices in the ground or in containers that you place close to the fence.
Create a privacy hedge with conifers. Pine, hemlock, cedar and Douglas-fir trees, among many others, are all conifers. Conifers tend to bear needle-like leaves; however the branches usually grow together in dense packs that block views through their interiors. Conifers are evergreen in the majority of environments, which means that they will provide you with privacy year-round. You can grow most conifers in pots or containers if you are unable or unwilling to grow them in the ground. To add visual interest, alternate the placement of the conifers on different sides of the fence, which creates spaces between the plants where you can still see the wrought iron. Grow miniature or dwarf conifers on a raised porch and their larger counterparts on the other side.
Weave cloth around the fence pickets. Select cloth rated for use outdoors when you want to keep your privacy screen in place for longer periods. For short-term privacy needs, experiment with lightweight cloths, ribbon and paper. Dark, solid colours create more of an understated look. Dark fabrics stand the best chance of blending into the background as well as reducing the appearance of the wrought iron components. Fabric with bright colours, with or without a pattern, gives the fence more of a festive appearance. Start at the bottom of the fence, and tie the fabric to post at one end. Push and pull the fabric in and around the pickets and any curved decorative elements. Tie the end piece of the fabric around the most distant post. Alternate colours each layer to create a pattern, using the same fabric on each level to create a solid appearance for your fence.
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