If you live in an apartment or even just a well-populated neighborhood having privacy in your outdoor space can be tough. While many enjoy their neighbors’ company for backyard cookouts, no one wants to feel that they’re face to face with the couple next door every time they step outside. Here are some easy, affordable ways you can give any outdoor space a little extra touch of privacy.
Grow a Living Wall
Install a large trellis and train a gorgeous vining plant such as clematis, American wisteria, trumpet vine, climbing hydrangea, climbing roses, hardy kiwi, or grapes to cover it. Match the plant and trellis size with the space you have available. Most clematis are, overall, less bulky, than hardy kiwi vines. Living in a rental home or apartment? Maybe you don’t want to or cannot plant a perennial vine for privacy. There are plenty of annual and tropical plants that will get the job done. Mandevilla, passionflower, and Black-eyed Susan vines are fast-growing and produce tons of flowers. If you want your living wall to do double duty, pole beans are a great choice because they grow fast, thrive in containers, give you an edible harvest, and can reach 6-8 feet in height over a growing season.
Use a Partition
You can purchase premade privacy partitions that allow you to quickly and easily add a wall to your outdoor space. You can also make one of your own out of second-hand materials like old shutters if you’re feeling crafty. Partitions are great options for renters because they go up and come down in seconds and can easily be taken to your next home.
Bring Your Houseplants Outside
Large houseplants love spending the summer outside. While they’re “on vacation” they can add privacy to your outdoor space. Citrus trees are great candidates for this. Just be careful bringing them out too quickly. Plants should be brought outside for just a few hours the first day, slowly increasing the time over a couple of weeks. Hardening them off to their new environment allows them to naturally adjust to the difference in light. Even plants summering in a shady spot outdoors will still receive more light than they would get sitting near a sunny window outdoors.
Plant a Hedge
Even if you don’t like the look of a modern, clipped hedge there are plenty of plant choices available to give you privacy without the formality. Many shrubs will form a nice dense hedge if correctly pruned, while others will mature into a less formal border when left alone. Willow, rhododendron, laurel, hawthorn, and bamboo are just a few worthy choices. You can even use blueberries if you’d like a bounty of fruit as well!
Upgrade Your Fence
Many outdoor living spaces already have an existing fence or rail. Unfortunately, it’s common for these to be simple metal bars or chain-link, neither of which offer much in the way of privacy or aesthetics. Perhaps replacing the whole fence would be too costly, or maybe you live in a rental, so you can’t make permanent alterations. In each case you can upgrade by adding horizontal wooden slats or a privacy screen. Both will also make your fence look much more attractive without a huge investment.
A comfortable outdoor living area can provide an important respite from modern life. With these tips you can turn your public patio into a private space for relaxing and unwinding.
For more decorative ways to add privacy to your patio visit our Home Goods department at either of our Homestead Gardens locations.