In order to feel comfortable sitting and eating outdoors in your own garden you need to know that there are places where you can relax without being overlooked by neighbors or passers-by.
Sometimes all that is required is a strategically placed tree.
Alternatively there are a number of easy solutions, some seasonal, others permanent.
You can create privacy quickly and inexpensively, using plants and temporary frames.
Some have the bonus of adding color and fragrance to the terrace or may be dual purpose, screening the patio with an edible crop like runner beans.
Annual flowering climbers such as Canary creeper (Tropaeolum peregrinum) are particularly speedy.
Choosing a sunny, sheltered spot, plant a line of cordon tomatoes, acclimatized to outdoor conditions, about 45cm (18in)
Good varieties include ‘Gardener’s Delight’ and ‘Sweet 100’. Deep, heavy troughs provide more stability and better growing conditions than growing bags.
Insert expanding trellis and bamboo canes for support.
Tie new growth in regularly.
A row of identically planted containers on top of a retaining wall creates an informal flowering hedge.
POTS ON WHEELS
How To Make Privacy
Sow hardy annual sweet peas on a light window ledge in spring (use deep, root-trainer units), or buy ready-grown plants already acclimatized to outdoor conditions.
Make a bamboo frame
Prepare the ground next to paving and add homemade compost to retain moisture.
Erect the frame, plant, and then water.
Screening solutions can make permanent patio or terrace features and be highly decorative as well as functional.
The ideas below show how you can create privacy without making an area feel dark or cut off from the rest of the garden.
Once you had to order pull-out triangular awnings from sail makers and ship’s chandlers, but white or colored treated-fabric patio sails are now widely available in garden centers and online.
STAINED GLASS PANELS
This screen is made from a number of stained glass strips but you could purchase old stained glass windows from reclamation yards to incorporate into a conventional trellis partition.
Made from translucent polypropylene and wood, these off-the-peg panels are perfect for creating a room-like quality, especially when incorporated into a pergola. Because they let in so much light you can use them as dividers in shady courtyards.
Some trellis and fence manufacturers make panels with window-like apertures that screen effectively but allow glimpsed views
through to the garden or landscape beyond.
Make your own by cutting a rectangular window in trellis and framing it with wood.