Green solutions for a private garden
Your garden should be a private refuge and a peaceful oasis, but that feeling can be difficult to achieve if your neighbours have full transparency. Fortunately, there are solutions that mean you do not have to build high fences or walls to avoid transparency. You can protect your privacy in a green way that also complements the natural beauty of your garden.
Before choosing a solution, there are several things to keep in mind.
- Does the intended privacy protection work in the space you have?
- Does it suit your garden’s location and growing zone?
- Do you have the patience to wait given that some green solutions take longer to achieve?
Take a look at the following smart ways to grow a green barrier that protects you from prying eyes and choose an option that is best suited for you and your garden.
PLANT TREES ALONG THE PLOT BOUNDARY
Depending on where in the garden you have access, a solution may be to plant trees along the plot’s boundaries. Given the purchase price, transport and planting, in that case it will probably be best to procure small, young trees.
Of course, this is not an immediate solution, but it is definitely something to consider if you want long-term privacy in your garden. For example, if there is an empty plot of land right next door, it may be a good idea to prepare a privacy screen in case the surrounding buildings expand and begin to approach your plot boundary. In this way, you have a well-grown privacy protection if you get neighbours close to the house node in a few years.
Before you start planting trees, you should consider whether there is a risk that these will cause too much shade in the rest of the garden. If this is not a problem, you should still be careful about the type of tree you choose. If you live in southern Sweden, it can be good to plant a mixture of deciduous trees such as linden, ash or birch, or conifers such as spruce and pine.
If the space you want to protect is not so large, you do not need to plant a whole row of trees. Even a single tree can make a big difference if it is placed in a strategic location, especially if it has a bushy and broad growth habit.
Letter and climbing plants
Building a trellis that you dress with climbing plants is an easy way to create a beautiful, living barrier to the rest of the world. A trellis can replace a wall or fence, but a large one can be difficult to maintain. Especially if there is a risk of heavy precipitation in the form of snow during the winter.
Not all climbing plants are evergreen, but if you do not spend so much time in the garden during the cold part of the year, it does not have to be a disadvantage. Wild vines and climbing roses are examples of plants that provide beautiful and effective coverage when they climb on a trellis.
GROUNDWEARS OR RAISED CULTIVATION BEDS
Using earth embankments or tall growing boxes is a natural way to get medium-sized plants and shrubs to form a privacy screen. An earth wall is a small artificial ridge or elevation that is usually about 40 to 60 centimeters high. The most common way to build a dike is to measure and mark the distance, dig away the grass and then lay on the material that will form the base. For this you can, for example, use demolition materials, recycled timber, sand or soil. Once the base is in place, you can start packing soil over it. For an elevation that looks natural, try to get a slightly concave or convex slope and create one or more peaks. Water the dike with plenty of water to make the soil settle properly, and then plant the desired type of plants.
Raised cultivation beds are an alternative to earthworks. You can build cultivation boxes from recycled wood from, for example, freight pallets, the remains from a demolished garden shed or old roof beams. When the boxes are ready, fill them with soil and plant suitable plants in them. Consider using plants that are naturally occurring in Sweden, rather than difficult-to-care exotic plants.
CONSTRUCT A HEDGE
A hedge can be a beautiful and constantly growing barrier that is much nicer and more environmentally friendly than, for example, concrete or brick. It can provide effective wind protection, reduce noise coming from outside and can also prevent snow from blowing into the garden during the winter.
If you want privacy all year round, you should invest in evergreen hedge plants. Plant trees to get a high hedge, or shrubs for a low to medium hedge. The space you can set aside for a hedge and the type of plant you choose will determine if you need to plant two or three rows. Examples of popular hedge plants are laurel, birch, boxwood and thuja.
A LIVING WALL
If the only solution is to build a wall, you have the opportunity to make it alive and green by creating a so-called vertical garden. This will result in a very effective privacy protection which will also be a nice and modern element in your garden. Living walls are a perfect solution for those who have a limited space to grow on. There are several companies in Sweden that specialize in planting vertical gardens. However, the concept is so simple that it may be worth building a green wall completely on your own, especially if you buy a ready-made “living wall” kit. A perfect spring or summer project!
One of the most common alternatives is a hydroponic solution where mineral wool is used as the culture medium in combination with a simple drip irrigation system. If a vertical garden is the solution you choose, you should plan well in advance and choose the plants and construction that best suit your garden. When a living wall was laid out at Ursvik’s recycling center in Sundbyberg in 2014, after years of testing, it was concluded that dew cover, trembling grass, daisies and glitter plants were best suited to the harsh Swedish climate.
CREATE SEPARATE ROOMS IN THE GARDEN
If it is not possible to protect your entire plot from view, it may be a good idea to create smaller, separate parts or rooms in the garden. A simple solution is to plant flower beds with perennials and shrubs of varying heights. By planting them in layers, you can create a private arbor in your garden. Lay tiles or gravel to get a cozy patio, a quiet area for meditation or yoga, or you can create the feeling of a secret garden by, for example, installing a small sculpture or fountain.
In other words: a garden should not mean that you lose your private sphere. It can instead give you the opportunity to create a privacy-protected surface in a creative, green and environmentally friendly way.
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