As the world gets bigger and bigger, our living spaces get smaller. So even if you’re lucky enough to live in the suburbs, you probably don’t have the same yard size your grandparents had. Maybe you want to subdivide your space for functionality – separating the kitchen garden from Fido’s favourite playing spot. Or maybe it’s a communal outdoor space.
This may be the case with timeshares or gated communities. Either way, garden screening ideas are a clever and convenient way to achieve privacy and style while raising property value. So let’s explore ideas on how to tastefully distinguish the sections of your garden.
Garden Screening Ideas
1. Black Planks
Some say black is back. Some say it never left! Either way, black décor never goes out of style. And it’s versatile enough to go with anything! As a garden screen, there’s the added advantage of hygiene – black screens won’t show dirt from little hands, muddy paws, or sprinkler splash-back. This screen uses matte black wooden planks treated against fungus.
2. Wood and Hedge
Plain wooden screens do require maintenance. Check that the timber is pressure-treated to avoid rot and deter pests. But wood alone won’t do. Try planting tall trees and pruning the trunks so that the leaf-line starts above the fence. You can also plant creepers, vines, or elevated live hedges above the upper border of your lumber fence. Wire mesh supports them.
3. Stained Horizontals
Stripes have a way of elongating any surface. So if your garden is on the smaller side, a screen made with horizontal panels will visually enlarge your space. This home uses gapped garden screening ideas. The gaps between your planks keep the space well lit and sufficiently ventilated. Both make the space seem larger and less crowded, so it’s perfect for small yards.
4. Prim and Proper
Modern city dwellers are starting to embrace construction techniques from indigenous communities and rustic spaces. We’re finally realising they were onto something all along. This reed screen is the perfect example. It’s a tribal structure woven from hazel reeds by Primrose UK. The linear pattern draws your eye, making your space seem larger than it is.
5. Light and Lovely
W0od stain comes in multiple shades so if you prefer your natural-looking garden screen ideas, opt for something with low lustre. This outdoor screen is constructed from gapped horizontal plants. They match the shade of your garden furniture and their natural knotting adds to the aesthetic appeal of your make-shift fence. But treat the screen against termites.
6. Beautiful Bamboo
Bamboo resists wood pests better than most. Plus you can brush or spray the screen with homemade remedies. Like apple cider vinegar mixed with baking soda and dish soap. You can erect your bamboo screen as a DIY project – cut the stalks to the same level and hold them with leather thongs, sisal strands, or nylon rope. Or just buy a screen ready-made.
7. Beams and Balustrades
Horizontal planks are great for lengthening your garden space. But you can lay them on their sides or along their width. This garden screen idea relies on the former. By laying the wooden planks sideways, your screen is thicker … but you can leave wider gaps between planks. This concept works best if your wooden screen is anchored atop a thick stone wall.
8. Garden Glass
Glass fences are often half-sized balustrades. Meaning they mostly come to waist height. But you can invest in a full-sized garden screen. Clear glass doesn’t offer privacy, so opt for glass that’s frosted, misted, stained, tinted, fogged, or mirrored. And ensure the screen is made from tempered, shatterproof, safety glass. This prevents injuries and cuts in case it breaks.
9. Simple Sizing
Symmetry is overrated, especially in contemporary décor. So this garden screen uses mixed-size wooden planks. Yes, the planks themselves have regular oblong dimensions. Their length and thickness is uniform. But their width and spacing vary so you can create decorative patterns in your garden screen. Vertical bars provide support and reinforcement.
10. Pretty Perpendiculars
The garden screen ideas here are a mix of colours and lines. The fence uses matte black wooden planks with generous spacing between the slats. Similarly styled planks are used to make benches that are positioned perpendicular to the wooden fence. These benches aren’t darkened though – the stain is clear and non-glossy to match the matte screen beside them.
11. Decorative Stencils
Yes, shop screens can be repurposed for garden use. But it helps if the screens are certified for outdoor use. These stencilled screens make pretty palm-frond shadows. They’re equally gorgeous at night when your outdoor lights seep through the gaps. The garden screens offer visually pleasing backdrops while providing privacy and separation in your garden.
12. Variable Height
You’ve heard of asymmetric dresses and hairdos – even reverse mullets. But what about a mixed height garden screen? The construction team here recognised a slight shift in vertical length could make the screen so much pretty. So these square-shaped poles were mounted onto vertical planks and arranged into an aerated privacy screen with tons of natural light.
13. Cross-Hatch Trellis
In hot humid areas, mesh screens are the norm. But you can translate that into garden screen ideas too. A trellis is basically a gapped grid that serves as a fence or privacy screen. In this case, the trellis screen has diagonal cross-hatching. The grids are large so the area is well-ventilated. And because the fence is painted off-white, visibility is slightly disrupted.
14. Brush it Up
Earlier, we mentioned indigenous styles of construction and how they’re being repurposed in contemporary architecture. Grass thatch – for example – was something you’d only see in tropical spaces. But a brush fence made of dried grass and woven leaves is a perfect garden screen idea. You’ll have to check it regularly for pests though. And replace it every few years.
15. Pot and Plant
Opposites do attract, and they often look great together. So when it comes to garden screen ideas, try combining urban and tropical jungles. Cast planters out of concrete. Make them square or oblong for contrast. Then plant a row (or two) of live bamboo reeds. The concrete and greenery intermingle to offer eco-friendly privacy and beauty to your garden space.
16. Faux Bamboo
Of course, you might enjoy the look of bamboo but not the labour involved. In that case, a simulated bamboo fence may do the trick. You can buy it as a rolled-up sheet you can unfurl. Or you can get a bamboo curtain that drapes to the ground. Check the care instructions first.
17. Laser Living
It may seem redundant to use leaf motifs in your garden screen ideas. But it’s also intuitive, especially if your area gets a lot of sunlight. Or if you’re outdoors a lot at night so your garden lighting system is elaborate. In both cases, these laser-cut garden screens are both pretty and practical. They blend into your greenery and throw wispy leaf-shaped shadows all around.
18. Square-Shaped Trellis
The laser screens we looked at come in leafy styles, but you can also find stencils with Brunel spirals and Moroccan stars. And while we’ve looked at diagonal trellises, here’s a slightly less angular example. For this garden screen, the lattices are arranged vertically and horizontally to form a grid-work of squares. Pair the grid with wooden planters and shrubs or vines.
19. Mini Gardens
Portable screens can section your garden for events or provide poolside privacy. But you can also use garden screen ideas to segment your yard into cubicles. These could be eating spaces at a restaurant, temporary booths for a speed-dating event, or areas for different plants. Use foldaway wooden screens so they can double as ‘doors’ you can conveniently open or close.
20. Mesh and Flowers
Chain link fences are a curiosity. Sometimes described as wire mesh fencing, they’re intended to deter climbing but seem custom-built to tempt you. But a chain-link fence doesn’t offer much privacy, so covering the fence with bright flowering vines. More discreet.
21. Metre Matting
We’ve mentioned outdoor bamboo curtains, but here’s an example of a bamboo mat you can use a garden screen. These mimics can be hollow or split, but they’re usually flattened. They come in various colours and have UV protection built-in to extend their life span. Installation is easy – you order them by the metre and glue the nylon chords to avoid fraying as you cut.
22. Split no Splat
Bamboo garden screens come in multiple styles. We’ve seen them planted, dried, green, fake, organic, draped … and now split. Garden screen ideas that involve split bamboo are convenient and common. The bamboo is generally split in half or sliced into fine reeds. You can also opt for wider slats – when you order, you pre-approve the thickness of each ‘slice’.
23. Plastic Hedge
What if you can merge the convenience of fake plants with the beauty of real ones? Artificial hedges offer immense garden screening ideas. The leaves and branches are permanently painted so they never lose their brightness. And they don’t need watering, weeding, or pruning – just hosing and dusting! Try fake laurel, confers, ivy, boxwood, or even fake grass!
24. Tall Grass
Wispy grass is often considered a nuisance and if generally a weed. But you can plant some deliberately to provide some garden privacy. Ornamental species work best. Things like switch-grass, fountain fronds, pink hair, or feather reeds. They’ll need careful manicuring though, or they can get out of hand. They can also offer food and hiding spots for wildlife …
25. Willows and Wows
Willow boughs are another great fencing option for garden screen ideas. The reeds are similar to bamboo but far narrower. So they can be applied in all the same styles as bamboo screens – split them, string them, trellis them, fake them, or weave them into panels.
26. Firm and Fern
While we’re wandering in the reeds, let’s look at something even finer. We’re used to seeing ferns as wispy potted plants in cat videos. But fern reeds make great garden screens. They’re thicker than brush but slimmer than willow and bamboo so it’s a solid middle ground.
27. Ratatat Rattan
Forget the mixy-matching of the past – these days, colour blocking is in! And that goes double for texture. So if you have wickerwork in your garden furniture, why not pair that with rattan screens? Rattan lattices look artificial but are actually a series of vines from the palm-tree family. It’s a creeper and includes over 600 species, so the term is generic.
28. Private Pergola
Pergolas, gazebos, grottos, arbours, and patios – similar structures designed to grab attention and offer relaxation. So they hardly seem private. But all these three garden features have open sides. So consider designing hollow frames with wide gaps and filling them with climbing plants, wispy vines, colourful creepers, and sweet-smelling flowers. Pure bliss!
29. Just Hang Out
When we think of live fences and organic garden screen ideas, we focus on hedges and climbers. But what about ‘fallers’? You can create privacy and freshness by planting large leafy overhangs. Use trellis and metal frames to support the plants so they can flow over your space like a living curtain without obstructing your outdoor activities or blocking your view.
30. Herbal Hedging
Fruity vines like passions and pumpkins can be tasteful – and tasty too! But they may be too labour-intensive for casual garden screening. So try something less fussy like a vertical patch of herbs. It’s just like your kitchen garden, but style your spiced greenery as fence and pluck a few sprigs while you cook. It can be soothing and aromatic, depending on what you plant.
31. Birch and Hazel
You can construct a hurdle fence using a single plant or you can mingle your species. Hazels and willows are popular. One popular tactic is to weave birch and hazel reeds together. The birch caps reinforce the garden screen while the hazel reeds are pliable and easy to weave.
32. Evergreen Supreme
Garden screens don’t have to be temporary. If you don’t intend to move the screen around, invest in tall evergreens like firethorn, cypress, laurel, boxwood, privet, laurel, arborvitae, or cotoneaster. Think of it this way – Christmas trees are evergreens, so if it’s common at Christmas, it makes a great hedge. This includes yew and ilex, better known as holly.
33. Lights Up
Fakes get a lot of negative responses, but they come with convenience in care and cost. That’s why our final garden screen idea is a trellis threaded with artificial vines and dotted with LED chips. This offers a nightly light show with minimal maintenance. Your fence is gorgeously green in the daytime and ethereally lit at night. And no weeding or watering?
How big or busy is your garden and/or neighbourhood? This influences your garden screen ideas, so tell us about it in the comments and we can recommend something that suits you!