Ideas for Screening and Enclosing Your Garden

Whether large or small, your garden should be your own personal oasis. Screening unsightly views and enclosing different areas of your garden can help you towards creating a retreat, no matter what the season.

When you select plants for screening or hedges, think about how they will look throughout the year. Don’t limit your choices to evergreens but consider a mixed planting, one that features both evergreen and deciduous shrubs and trees, including those with colorful blooms and brilliant berries. Groups of containers planted with specimens of evergreens offer a portable solution both for screening and enclosure.What about a fence with plants in front of it to soften the effect? When you select materials for a fence or wall, choose those that complement the style and materials that your house is constructed with. This will help tie your garden to your home and create a dynamic space.

Dividing up a small garden into different areas (using low hedges or shrubs) can make a small garden appear larger than it actually is. Using oversized structures and plants, or plants with large foliage and flowers, will also make a garden seem larger. While this may seem counterintuitive, it works!

For example, the eye is naturally drawn to a tall column topped with a container of plants. If you are adding a structure such as an arbor, bigger is better. In other words, if you think it’s large enough, make it one size larger. Remember the sky is your ceiling.

Flowering Evergreens for Screening

Among evergreen shrubs with flowers, the October Magic camellias delight us in autumn with selections like Snow, which displays double white blooms edged in magenta, andInspiration with its double white blooms and distinctive magenta edging. New growth emerges in shades of maroon and then turns to a glossy green. This four-season shrub is ideal for formal or informal screens or hedges and is also a good choice for containers, i.e. to enclose a small patio.

For gardens located in partial shade, the Southgate series of rhododendrons offers beautiful spring blooms in various shades and combinations of white, pink and lavender. Ideal for informal screens in woodlands, this broadleaf looks good year around and best of all, tolerates heat even in the Deep South. For a contrast, combine these rhododendrons with Mountain Snow Pieris, which has smaller foliage and graceful pendulous white flowers in early spring. 

For a low, compact hedge with fragrant flowers, try Jubilation Gardenia. This shrub is happy in the ground or growing in containersFor a contrast combine it with the dwarf pomegranate ‘Orange Blossom Special,’ with bright orange flowers and fruits from spring until frost.