Creating Privacy on Your Balcony, Part 2


Last week, I wrote a post about screening out unwanted views or unsightly neighboring balconies:

Let’s face it, one of the worst parts of living in an urban area is that you probably live near at least one person who thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to leave a sofa out on their balcony. Or if they don’t have a sofa out there, their idea of great outdoor living is sitting in white plastic chairs smoking incessantly and talking loudly with their friends. Who wants that view? I certainly don’t. As I see it, you have two options: screen the eyesore out with a physical object or screen them out with plants.

That post was about using physical objects as a screen, but I also promised that I would write about using plants to screen out neighbors, which is what I intend to do here. To block out your neighbors or an unsightly view, you could…

  • Buy the hanging garden planters or, if you’re handy, you could make your own. Plant with tall-ish bushy annuals or trailing vines, like Ivy.
  • You could create a similar effect with less sweat equity by hanging a bunch of pots at different heights and planting them with a variety of bushy and trailing plants. If you have a shady balcony, Fuchsias would look stunning with this kind of set up.
  • Plant a long, narrow planter box with bamboo. There are a number of really stunning bamboo. For example, check out this black stemmed variety Eric planted. Place the planter box along the side of your balcony or patio where you’d like more privacy.
  • Place a trellis in the location where you want to block the view. In front of it, plant a pretty vine. One idea to try is Black Eyed Susan Vine in the spring and summer and Sweet Peas in the fall and winter. Both with thrive in full sun to partial shade.
  • Chamaedorea Palm is a good plant for shady balconies. I bet a couple of these palms, with their large fronds, would block out a good bit. You could combine them with hanging tropical plants or Ferns to create a lush screen of plants.

I’d love to hear your ideas on this topic. Which plants have you used to add privacy to your small outdoor space?

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