Six ideas for garden screens

Do you need to create some privacy from neighbours in your garden, or are you looking for garden screening ideas to mask an ugly building or view? Or maybe you want to create a sense of enclosure around a seating area, balcony or roof terrace, or some privacy in your front garden. You may also want to divide your garden into ‘rooms’.


Screening plants are not the same as hedges – they usually take up less room, making them good for small spaces. They are also less dense, creating a hazy screen that allows glimpses through it. They are also less formal, and can change with the seasons, which means they give interest throughout the year.

From a grasses to a green wall, here are six ideas for garden screening.



Grasses make an beautiful, gauzy and low maintenance screen. Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ and ‘Overdam’ are excellent early season grasses, flowering in June. Or try miscanthus (left) which comes to its own in August.




Bamboo is a fast-growing, evergreen plant that is ideal for garden screening. Its roots can be invasive, so choose a clump-forming variety, and plant in containers or troughs to tame them. Water regularly.



Green wall

There are now plenty of easy-to-install DIY systems that offer great value for money. Fixed to a garden wall or fence, it can transform a space, especially if it’s close to a window, where plants will diffuse green light into the house. Find out how to create a living wall.



Ivy divider

Pre-grown ivy screens are a cost-effective way to create an instant boundary. The ivy is grown on a wire frame, with the roots of the plants in a mesh and coir trough. The screen will be much narrower than a hedge, making it ideal for small spaces.



Wildlife wall

A wildlife haven is easy to make using recycled materials such as pallets, waste wood, broken pots, old logs and straw. Place your haven in a shady spot to avoid drastic fluctuations in temperature – better for overwintering insects.



Fruit tree screen

An espalier trained fruit tree can make a beautiful and productive screen, giving blossom in spring and fruit in summer or autumn. Buy bareroot plants for planting in autumn and winter. Find out how to make a fruit tree screen.