We’ve all had the awkward moment when a new neighbour is peering over their fence into our back garden, seemingly judging everything we have done with it.
It is even worse when houses are faced to naturally overlook your garden; when working on your fenced paradise, it can feel as if you are a star on a reality television show.
Luckily, there are many options available to keep nosy neighbours at bay that can also add a touch of elegance to your outside space.
If you own your own home, you will have more options available for building structures in your garden. Many tenancy agreements do not allow tenants to build walls without a landlord’s permission, so owning your own property can enable you to make your privacy screening more permanent.
If you want to keep prying eyes out of your garden but have no real issue with how long it may take, then planting trees or hedges is a natural and easy way to provide a barrier.
Remember, natural borders will require maintaining, so once again, think about how much time you have free to tend to your border plants.
Consider your budget when planning your border.
Do you have the excess cash to build a wall from scratch? If you want a larger wall, you will have to hire a contractor specialised in building a garden wall, which can be very pricey, especially if they are decorative.
Presuming you have designed your garden; you will be aware of what look would suit it. In a chic style garden full of designer structures and plants, a large cherry tree may appear out of place and look odd.
Walls and fences are very common in most gardens to divide up space; hardy and weather proof they also require very little upkeep aside from a coat of varnish or paint.
Remember, if you are renting your property, check height regulations along side legality. It would be extremely distressing to spend a large amount of money to build a beautiful garden wall to then have it removed.
Assuming it is good to go, you can decorate your fence with climbing plants, bright paint or even put some wall planters across it. You can do the same with walls but will need a stronger drill!
A relatively new idea in garden design, metal screening can make a unique and stylish way to partition your space.
Many are cut by laser to feature quirky design patterns, allowing natural light to filter through and make stunning visual decorations on your lawn or patio.
One benefit of this screening is that it is not only relatively cheap, it is also movable and is perfect for rented properties.
Be aware though, as with anything made of metal, if left in the sunlight metal partitions can get very hot. These may not be suitable for a garden where there are young children and pets.
Take care not to burn yourself if you are moving them around in hot weather.
Adding a lattice trellis to the top of your garden fence provides a cheap and easy way to extend the border. It also requires very little installation and can be moved at a moment’s notice.
You can also grow a climbing plant on to it, which will enhance the border naturally and be visually stunning.
Bamboo screening has a similar appeal; it is cheap, easy to install and simple to move. If you want your outdoor space to create some zen or calming quality to it, bamboo is a natural way to achieve this. If you are handy at DIY, you can even build the bamboo fence yourself.
However, both bamboo fencing and lattice trellises cannot withstand excess wind or force, so may need replacing after a storm.
A somewhat genius alternative to the real things, artificial plants and hedges are growing in popularity.
Cheap to purchase and in a variety of styles and colours, they can add privacy to your garden instantly while also being light weight and easy to move.
Many artificial hedges come in a roll, so you just roll them out, secure them and that’s it but you can also buy them in panel form.
Artificial plants, used creatively, can enhance a border and have the additional bonus of requiring no maintenance. Bamboo is perfect for this and many artificial plants come in a variety of heights, which if grouped, can make them appear more natural.
But manufactured plants cannot withstand high winds, so you can weigh down the pots with stones to make them more secure.
Of course, if you have permission or own your own home, you can’t beat the real thing.
Trees produce oxygen, provide shade and of course fruit trees will give you produce while also attracting wildlife.
Most can tolerate all weathers once established, are secure enough to hang swings from if you want to but will require pruning and maintenance.
They also take a long time to grow, so will require patience and shielding from animals like deer if you are in the countryside.
With people more aware of creating unnecessary waste, with a bit of imagination, you can create an ‘upcycled’ border out of almost anything.
An old, disused pallet is a common place to start when upcycling pieces for garden use and with a splash of outdoor paint and some plants, you now have a personalised and low-cost border.
Other popular upcycling options are plastic bottle ‘bead curtains’ which are once again cheap, easy to makes and provide an effective screen.
If you are feeling creative, why not use a set of old internal doors? With a lick of paint, some hinges and a bit of DIY know-how, they transform into a folding screen, that is easy to move and relatively cheap.