Instead of walls, plants can make great privacy screens. (Stock photo)

Column: Creating living privacy screens

Plants can create private outdoor spaces

Using plants to create private outdoor spaces can be an interesting and beautiful addition to the landscape.

Before you get started it’s important to think about what space is available and the growing capacity of the plants you want to use. Research how big the plants will get at maturity and how long it takes to get there. It makes no sense to purchase a plant that will outgrow its space in a short time and become a nuisance rather than a long-term joy.

Carefully plan out your privacy screen, take into consideration what you are wanting to block out and how quickly you want to achieve this. Take time to research what is required to properly space each plant so that it can grow healthy. If you are in doubt, there is lots of help out there; ask a landscaper or a staff member at your local nursery.

Think big and fast. Even if you found a great deal on one-gallon container shrubs, but you’ll be waiting a long, long time for those little plants to hide anything for you.

A great screening plant is bamboo. Bamboo grows fast and some varieties grow as tall as 12 feet. If you are worried about bamboo taking over the garden, not all bamboo is invasive like clumping bamboos such as Fargesia types. The bonus to Fargesia bamboo is that it grows fast, it is very hardy and remains green all winter.

Another great evergreen is boxwood. Although tall boxwoods are sometimes difficult to find an interesting way to create height is to plant it in tall containers. I have seen this done a few times. Not only does it look great, it creates an instant screen.

Vines too make good privacy screens. They generally need some structural support, something to cling onto or wrap itself around. The honeysuckle vine is one perfect example of a fast growing vine. My favorite honeysuckle is goldflame. This hardy vine is very fragrant all summer, has purple to deep pink buds that open up to yellow trumpet like flowers.

Clematis is also a great grower. There are many wonderful varieties and colours to choose from; definitely worth a try.

If you have a larger area you might like to try the butterfly bush, it has a long blooming period and does attract butterflies.

There are a lot more interesting privacy screening plants worth exploring.

Elke Lange is a landscape coach who can be found at Kel-lake Greenhouses or online at www.elkelandscapingcoach.com.

Just Posted

Chance of showers and thunderstorm for Okanagan-Shuswap-Similkameen

Mostly cloudy day for the Okanagan-Shuswap and Similkameen regions

EDITORIAL: And if a council meeting was like live theatre…

A news reporter cannot cover a municipal council meeting as if it… Continue reading

Rattlesnake bites dog

Anti-venom used to save pooch

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Unsettled skies dominate the week’s forecast

A chance of thunderstorms is in the forecast for much of the Okanagan-Shuswap.

B.C. Premier Horgan to make announcement in Keremeos

B.C. Premier John Horgan is scheduled to make an announcement in Keremeos

Protesters rally in Victoria over newly approved Trans Mountain pipeline

The Still No Consent! No Trans Mountain! 20 kilometre march will end at Island View Beach

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Crews fight wildfire along Sea-to-Sky Highway

A cause has not been determined, although a downed power line is suspected

Two mudslides close Seymour Arm road in North Shuswap, no one injured

Slides hit Seymour Arm Main Forest Service Road halfway between St. Ives and Seymour Arm

One Okanagan municipality has seen a crime increase in almost every statistical category, report says

Report states there were 617 offences in Lake Country in 2018; almost 100 more than 2017

“Our community has had its heart broken”: South Okanagan celebrates life of David Kampe

Community and families members who knew Kampe give tearful addresses

Lower lake levels could create bumper crop of invasive milfoil

The CSRD board received an update on efforts to suppress the invasive aquatic plant

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Most Read