Over the last year we have all realised the importance of having access to outside space and homes with gardens have never been in higher demand. If you have just moved home, are considering selling or want to enhance your living space, making your garden a more secluded, private space will add value to your home and make it a more enjoyable place to be.
Whether your garden is overlooked from the sides or from above, or simply want to block out noise from neighbours or traffic, these tips could help.
Plants are a great way to screen off the world from your property and garden. Pleached trees are trained to grow in a wall-like formation and can add height beyond your fence line. They not only provide privacy but look great for both your property and your neighbour’s. Two suggestions are hornbeam and beech. Deciduous plants change with the seasons whilst still providing a degree of privacy. Alternatively, you could use tall grass for screening as well as shade. These create a hazy screen that will let some sunlight through, but they need to be cut back in the winter which will reduce the privacy in cooler months.
A wild hedgerow such as yew or cherry kaurel create a great year-round screen with excellent sound proofing due to their density.
If you’re looking for a fast solution, bamboo is very fast-growing but be careful where you plant it as the roots can be invasive and travel horizontally, so they are not recommended unless you plant it in a strong metal trough above ground level.
Climbing plants are an ideal solution as they can be placed where you need them and will weave in and out of a supporting such as a trellis or fencing to add greenery and height. You can also use a low budget mesh fence – consider clematis or star jasmine which produce beautiful flowers or ivy which is very hardy and fast-growing although be mindful that it can grow into brickwork over time.
If you want immediate cover without having to wait for plants to grow you might want to invest in established, mature trees and hedging for an instant solution. However, these can be expensive.
Another way to create a secluded space is to install a hard structure. Decorative patterned screens have become increasingly popular – choose from steel or carved wood panels. They are great for small spaces as they don’t encroach on your space and can look beautiful at night when backlit for dramatic effect. Woven willow screens also look lovely when paired with greenery.
Home offices are extremely popular as many people looking to buy homes are seeking additional space to accommodate our ‘new normal’ of full or part time home working. A home office not only provides privacy but will add value to your home and can double up as a guest room or home gym.
A pergola with a roof and open or screened sides can make a cosy retreat especially if you use festoon or pendant lights on the overhead structure. These are especially effective for providing privacy from windows above. You can use this area for seating with a fire pit, outdoor heating, and even a pizza oven or outdoor kitchen – giving you an other space to eat, drink or entertain whilst providing essential shade and protection from the elements and prying eyes.