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As the weather heats up, we’ll soon be spending much more time enjoying our outdoor spaces. But, in many gardens, it’s hard not to feel overlooked. A gardening expert has revealed some clever garden privacy ideas to help even those in built-up areas to create a secluded space.
You may simply want to muffle out the sound of neighbors or nearby traffic so you can enjoy a book in the garden undisturbed – even if onlookers can't be avoided entirely.
Alexandra Campbell, author of The Complete Guide to Garden Privacy and a blog named The Middle Sized Garden (opens in new tab) outlines the importance of sightlines for your garden design ideas. ‘The main thing to remember is that if you can see a person in a nearby window, then they can see you,’ Alexandra says in a YouTube video (opens in new tab). So when thinking about where to place a hedge, fence, tree, or parasol, you need to have blocked out an overlooking window.
‘That’s the test,’ she says, ‘if you can’t see what would be a person in a window, then they can’t see you. And that’s the only area you need to block out from a place you want to be private.’ This might seem obvious, but bear with us.
Following the same logic, she explains how if a hedge, for example, is positioned close to your garden furniture, it will effectively create privacy. ‘The closer something is to you, the more privacy you will get without blocking out light. If you have a small tree quite close to you, you’ll probably get a lot more privacy and more light than having a great big one further away.’
Making a quiet, peaceful spot to tuck ourselves away from the busy world seems to be more of a priority than ever, so garden screening ideas are becoming increasingly important. Paving Superstore (opens in new tab) even predicts that privacy will be homeowners’ number one concern in 2021.
We’re also becoming more conscious of the fact our garden can help nurture local wildlife, with experts such as Monty Don urging us to stop mowing our lawns. So a trellis covered with the best climbing plants such as roses or clematis could also be a great option to help section off an area of your garden while encouraging wildlife too.
Sharmeen at Interior Designer Olivia’s (opens in new tab)suggests making wood panelling and adding plants to it for a living wall idea that will help you feel less exposed. ‘Upcycle wooden pallets or purchase specially designed wood cladding,’ Sharmeen suggests. ‘Make a garden feature out of this privacy-creating trick by creating a vertical garden; adding planters with hooks and decorating with potted plants or herbs as a new take on a herb garden.'
Millie Hurst has worked in digital journalism for five years, having previously worked as a Senior SEO Editor at News UK both in London and New York. She joined the Future team in early 2021, working across several brands, including Gardeningetc. Now, she is Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home, taking care of evergreen articles aimed at inspiring people to make the most of their homes and outdoor spaces.
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