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Privacy and privets; Exploring ways to screen your Eden from the neighbours... and hiding unsightly bins.

We would all like our gardens - whether front, back or side - to be places of beauty, nature and enjoyment. We often like them to be private spaces, too, havens from the world.

So, if we want to achieve a private, peaceful plot, how do we screen our Edens from our neighbours? Or from the unattractive paraphernalia of daily life - wheelie bins, oil tanks, washing lines, unattractive sheds, compost bins and even septic tanks - which can interfere with the picture of the green oasis we have in our mind's eye? How can you best plan for these necessities, create garden boundaries or camouflage items when desired? A bamboo stylish way garden eye-like your Firstly, give careful consideration to your overall view, along with practicalities when positioning unsightly but essential services in the garden. Oil tanks and waste bins need to be accessible for delivery or collection lorries, and it's not practical to store bicycles too far from the front gate.

If you need to screen an item which is visually offensive, consider the options.

For dedicated gardeners, the first choice will always be to use plants, often in the form of a hedge, either clipped into a formal wall shape or left in a more informal woolly state.

Evergreen hedge options include yew, privet and holly, and will provide all-year cover and act as a buffer, reducing any noise.

Varieties of Ceanothus, also evergreen, Hebe, Olearia or Pittosporum may make a less regimented alternative.

Tall grasses, such as miscanthus, look great even over winter in their faded beauty. Bamboo is very elegant, but be sure to choose clumping varieties which won't spread wildly all over the garden.

Trellis is the standard option, being cheap and easy to install. Its appearance can be greatly improved by planting climbers through it. Fastest of all is Russian vine Fallopia - but be careful as it can get out of control.

Other evergreen climbing plant choices include Clematis armandii with its delightfully almond-scented white flowers in spring, or semievergreen, such as the chocolate vine, Akebia quinata.

Star jasmine is beautiful but best for a more sheltered position. The flowers are usually white and scented but can also be pink (Pink Shower) or yellow (Star of Toscana).

decide to to trim There is a great range of ivies with attractive cream or gold variegations, such as Buttercup, Goldheart and Glacier.

Always remember access - it's a good idea to include a gate for easy entry.

Willow screens are also good solutions as they blend in well with the natural environment. Cedar fences are more expensive options, but they do last and they look great, either in horizontal or vertical layers. Alternatively, you can divert attention by planting a beautiful specimen tree or shrub, such as Magnolia, Japanese Maple or Acacia dealbata, which draws one's attention to the natural world and away from the ephemera of everyday garden living.


Seclusion: Trellis is perfect for creating a screen

Alternative: Ceanothus

Whatever you decide to go with, get clipping to keep things looking trim

On the up: Clematis is a good climber when given a trellis

Shield: This magnificent magnolia tree makes a marvellous curtain Shrubs can make an excellent garden wall

A bamboo fence is a stylish way to hide garden eye-sores, like your wheelie bin
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 12, 2017
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