Plant Some Privacy

by | Apr 10, 2019

In today’s stressful and more crowded living spaces, the need to create more privacy has become an important element of garden design. Without the blocking effect of dense hedging, vines and climbers can shelter back gardens and patios, making even the plainest privacy screen more attractive. Walls and unsightly chain-link fences can virtually disappear, and old rundown buildings can be transformed by the creative use of these plants. In addition to screening, vines and climbers can also provide shade, perfume and even tasty fruit! For centuries, Europeans have been using grape vines to cover patios and enjoying the fruits each fall.

How Do Vines Climb?

Vines and climbers use several different climbing methods. Some, like climbing hydrangeas, are self-clinging, using aerial roots or adhesive tendril tips to climb up walls and fences on their own without special supports. Others that climb by means of twining stems or curling tendrils, like akebia, clematis and passionflower, need a framework on which to climb. All vines and climbers require some initial support until they are established.

Vines to Plant for Privacy

Most folks plant flowering vines, like clematis and honeysuckle, for their lovely blooms, but attractive, carefree foliage should also be considered. The delightful, male Actinidia (kiwi) vine is a perfect example of this. Its leaves come out green in early spring, then develop white edges that turn a dappled pink for the summer.

For fast-growing vines, try Boston ivy or the dainty, yet very classy, small-leafed akebia, a semi-evergreen vine that produces fragrant purple flowers and small, sausage-shaped fruit. If you want really fast, the silver lace vine (Polygonum aubertii) can stretch up to twelve feet per season. It has lacy, white blossoms and requires little care. Wisteria also grows quickly once established, and now comes in a wide range of colours. If you have a really shady spot, then a climbing hydrangea or variegated Algerian ivy are among the best.

Groundcovers for Privacy

Another new trend is taking groundcovers, like Cotoneaster salicifolius and ‘Gaiety’ euonymus, and growing them on a trellis for attractive year-round screens.  They are particularly effective on decks and patios.

Vines and climbers are easy to grow and are effective in adding visual and often colourful interest, while also creating secluded spots in any garden. Should you have a particularly challenging spot to grow in, or if outdoor plant maintenance isn’t your forte, we have several attractive non-growing screening options, including roll-out bamboo, expanding willow trellising and pretty metal panels too!