Garden screens come in all forms, sizes, designs, materials, colours and budget sizes. So, if you want to install one in your outdoor space, your problem won’t be a lack of options. It will be about figuring out the right garden screen for you and your garden.
Obviously, functionality will be your number one priority. You will be looking for something that can serve the purpose you want it to perform. For example, maybe you want the garden screen to add privacy to a seating area, zone a garden space, hide unsightly views or add height to an existing garden fence. Regardless of everything else, your choice of garden screen must be able to perform this primary function effectively.
However, if you are a veteran gardener, you will understand that it’s okay (even wise) to expect garden structures to perform multiple functions. So, you will also be looking for a garden screen that will add visual interest, fit in with the established style of your garden or even provide more planting opportunities. Therefore, the key isn’t in a book that can give you one hundred garden screening ideas. It’s about knowing how to choose the right and most effective garden screening idea for your needs.
This article is our three-step plan to help you do this. Here is the game plan. Step one will help you understand the different types of garden screens. Step two will introduce you to 10 incredible garden screening ideas. Then we will round things up with four essential tips for choosing the best garden screening idea for any outdoor space.
The Three Different Types of Garden Screens
There are probably a dozen different ways to categorise garden screens. For example, you can classify them by whether they block or don’t block air and natural light. You can also classify them by their building material, such as timber, metal, railway sleepers or vinyl. Whatever classification system is used, the goal is to give you a better understanding of garden screens. So, don’t think of this as an exact science.
Natural Garden Screens
As the name suggests, these are garden screens made from building materials that appear naturally in nature. Examples include actual plants (like coniferous or deciduous trees, ornamental grasses, hedges, and tall plants), willow, bamboo, reed and wooden garden screens. Even brick and stone walls fall into this category. Usually, especially with wooden screening, the screen material is treated (either by painting, staining or pressure treatment) to increase durability.
Artificial Garden Screens
These are garden screens made from artificial building materials. Examples include vinyl, wires mesh, PVC, composite or metal garden screens.
Decorative Garden Screens
All garden screens have or should have some degree of aesthetic value. However, aesthetics is only a secondary attribute of the average garden screen. With decorative garden screens, it is a priority. Aesthetics is the main (sometimes the only) priority. Therefore, a decorative garden screen is one that is only there to beautify and decorate a space. It doesn’t serve any functional purpose.
Our Top 10 Garden Screening Ideas for Your Outdoor Space
Slatted wood screen panels
Let’s start with a traditional and popular garden screening idea. Whether you are thinking of a garden fence or screen, slatted wood has always been a popular option. Wood fits right in within a garden. So, any type of wooden screen could be perfect. However, we chose slatted wood screening because it is simple, classy, timeless, durable and easy to install or repair.
You can even improve aesthetics at a low cost by choosing unique designs, painting or staining the wood, or installing the slatted fence panels horizontally instead of vertically. You can also mix things up, switching between horizontal and vertical installation. There is also the fact the slatted fence panels don’t block natural light and airflow. Combine all these qualities, and you have the perfect garden screening idea.
Willow garden screening
Whether used for fencing or screening, willow always brings incredible aesthetics to a garden, especially in urban areas. In such places, a willow screen’s natural and cottage-like aesthetics will make your garden stand out.
It’s stable and secure too. So, whether you mount it to an existing fence (or wall) or install it as a standalone structure, a willow screen will give you all the privacy and security you need. It also has excellent noise reduction qualities, and you don’t have to worry that it will make the space claustrophobic. Plus, willow is a renewable material. So, you will be doing the environment a favour.
Woven screen panels
It’s so easy to fall in love with the unique visual appeal of this garden screening idea. A woven garden screen looks fantastic and provides privacy, shade, security and noise reduction without blocking natural light and ventilation. You also won’t have to worry about durability.
Therefore, a woven fence could be perfect for your seating area. Whether standalone or mounted to a wall, it has a lot to offer. Examples of woven garden privacy screens include woven reeds, hazel, willow and bamboo screening.
Stained glass screening
This is a perfect example of the decorative gardens screening ideas we discussed earlier. Stained glass screens are usually used as a single (or a couple of) panel, standalone or mounted to an existing wall or fence. Therefore, it is not actually physically screening the entire space. It’s only there for decorative reasons. Think of it as an ornament, like a painting or photograph mounted on a wall.
You can install enough stained glass panels to cover the entire space, but that will blow up your budget. So, it’s cheaper to use stained glass as decorative screens. Then choose a more cost-efficient option if you need a functional garden screen.
Each stained glass panel includes a metal frame and a glass with designs and paintings. It will also include UV protection to protect the glass from fading due to sun exposure.
Verdure large garden screen
Here is another garden screening idea you can use for both decorative and coverage purposes. In either case, you can install verdure garden screens as a standalone structure or mount them to an existing wall or fence. Here are a few reasons to consider a verdure large screen. It is stylish, sleek and elegant. It also doesn’t block sunlight and natural ventilation.
There are lots of good reasons to consider this gardening screening idea. Firstly, a side awning screen is affordable. All you need is the awning fabric and some frames. Secondly, it is very easy to install, repair or replace. You can even easily dismantle and adjust it at will. Then thirdly, the options are pretty much limitless when it comes to colours, designs, textures and materials of awning fabrics.
In the introduction, we mentioned that garden screens could also “provide planting possibilities.” This garden screening idea is an example of that. It is also a great way to smoothly transition between the soft landscape of the garden proper to the hard landscape of your seating area or main house. A living wall involves training climbing plants to grow along a supporting structure(s).
Choose plants that smell and look good. Examples include roses, clematis wisteria, ivy, honeysuckle, jasmine and sweetpea. As for the support structure, you can use a trellis, lattice, fence, wall or another garden screen.
If you like the idea of living walls but want something more straightforward, consider ornamental grasses, hedges, tall plants, conifers and deciduous trees. They are all great for screening a place. Plus, they have an edge that other garden privacy screens don’t – the ability to attract wildlife. This could be good for your garden’s ecosystem.
You can grow these plants in planters and pots if you don’t have planting space. This will give you an adjustable garden screen similar to our next garden screening idea.
Adjustable garden screen
How about a garden screen that you can adjust at will? That’s what you will get when you buy an extendable instant fence. So, check out this garden screening idea if you want to be able to increase or decrease the coverage of a garden screen whenever you want.
Lattice garden screen
Lattices are a popular option when it comes to garden privacy screens. So, you are probably not surprised that we have included this garden screening idea. What’s not to like? A lattice garden privacy screen is elegant and classy. It doesn’t block sunlight or natural ventilation.
There are also many options to choose from when it comes to design, colour and building material. Plus, you can add some climbing plants to make things more interesting. Mounted to a wall or installed as a standalone structure, you can’t go wrong with a lattice garden screen.
Trellis garden screen
Like lattices, trellis panels are also a popular option for garden privacy screens. In fact, whatever you use a lattice for, you can probably also use a trellis for it too. That’s one of the main reasons people find it difficult to differentiate between them. Just so you know, trellises are lighter and mainly used to support climbing plants. Lattices, on the other hand, are bigger, usually cross-patterned (squares or diamonds) and multifunctional. Either way, it’s easy to find a beautiful decorative trellis or lattice at a local store.
Four Tips for Choosing the Right Garden Screen
Here are some tips for choosing garden screening ideas for outdoor spaces. Remember them even if you intend to hire a garden designer.
Consider the Purpose of the Screen
The best garden screening idea is the one that serves the main purpose that you want it to serve. So, don’t get caught up in all the exciting and eye-watering garden screening ideas you see. Don’t lose sight of your primary reason for wanting that garden screen.
In most cases, that purpose is usually to zone a space, add a little more privacy, reduce noise, provide shade, add height to a fence, cover up something or add visual interest. In fact, don’t use this tip for garden privacy ideas alone. Use it for all forms of garden ideas.
Think About Maintenance
You are about to install another structure that will need maintenance and attention. So, think about how much time and effort you are willing to put into maintaining it. Just to be safe, choose low-maintenance and durable screening rolls and ideas. They will save you a lot of grief.
Keep Your Garden’s Style in Mind
Every garden should have a specific style or theme. That’s what separates veterans from newbies. When your garden has a style, every element within it will complement each other. That includes plants, garden furniture and structures, including the garden screen. Nothing will look out of place.
So, don’t forget to consider your garden’s style before settling on a garden privacy screen idea. However, if you need a privacy screen but your garden doesn’t have a style, wooden and other natural garden screen ideas are your best bet. They also fit snugly in the average garden space.
Think About the Season
You should also try to get a garden screen that’s appropriate for the weather conditions in your location. For example, it is better to choose a strong and durable garden privacy screen if you expect heavy rainfall or wind. You can even mount the screen to a wall or fence for extra stability.
In truth, we just scratched the surface. There are still a lot of garden privacy ideas that we didn’t touch. Enough to fill up an entire book and then some. As a matter of fact, when it comes to garden screening ideas, you are only limited by your imagination. You don’t even have to spend much money to develop an interesting and unique garden screen. For example, even reclaimed railway sleepers, old pallets and old shutters can serve as garden screen panels.
So, it is all about learning to choose the most effective garden screening idea for your specific needs. More often than not, it is usually not the most eye-catching or expensive idea. However, whatever garden screen you choose, consider adding a shade, especially if you are screening a seating area. It will provide a refuge from sunlight and privacy from people on higher grounds.