Have you ever noticed prying eyes while relaxing on your balcony or enjoying some fresh air in your garden? Unfortunately, when homes are close to one another, especially in the city, it’s difficult to escape the gaze of neighbours or passers-by. Sometimes it isn’t even a question of curiosity or being too invasive. Our eyes are simply attracted to people moving about.
How can we improve privacy in these outdoor areas?
A privacy screen is the most rapid solution. Whether it’s a tall panel with wooden slats, a mesh grille, a trellis or bamboo canes…there are plenty of options to choose from, to suit the widest range of styles.
This choice can fulfill several functions. It can close off one side of a balcony from your next-door neighbour or the street, act as a sunshade or separate different areas of the available space (for example an outdoor eating area from a garage door).
What plants should you choose to have more privacy?
If you want to protect your yard from indiscreet stares, the best choice is definitely a hedge. You can go for a classic box hedge, sweet-smelling jasmine or a colourful photinia. There are plenty of options and the choice depends mainly on two factors: where you live (climate) and how much time you can spare to care for it.
Bamboo is an interesting alternative if you want a tall hedge. You can plant it along the perimeter fence or even in a large pot if you live in an apartment.
Climbing plants guarantee wow factor if that’s what you are after. Wisteria running along the garden fence, bougainvillea or ivy twisting around a wooden trellis or even a native or American grapevine.
Not much time for looking after plants? Go for a bushy shrub to plant in your back yard or in a large pot on your balcony. A considered choice of trees suitable for balconies will involve checking exposure. North and West-facing spaces require evergreens (such as a bay tree), South-facing is perfect for Mediterranean plants (like lemon and kumquat), while East-facing suits plants that don’t like morning sun (such as camellia).
What should you choose, then? The answer is, unfortunately…it depends. Think about how much time you have, the exposure of your space and the style you want to create. That’s the only way you’ll find the right solution for creating your private outdoor corner!