Patio Screens, Walls, and Enclosures
For vertical screens to work efficiently in any patio, they need to be planned well, and placed with careful thought.
A careless offhand plan may end up resulting in a patio screen that's far from solving any problem and one that creates a feeling of discomfort.
Patio screens also work as definers or dividers of space. For example, they can be used to decoratively demarcate the outdoors into a special garden, a busy play yard, a vegetable patch, swimming area, outdoor games area, etc.
There is a good number of patio screen materials and design ideas on the market and on-line patio galleries.
The design ideas are vast and prices may range from the inexpensive, to the more expensive tempered glass and aluminium patio enclosures, and it's good to know that there is always one that will fit well into a home-owner's wallet.
Some of the most popular outdoor privacy screens are made from:
- Treated canvas
- Safety glass
- Plants and trees
Tempered Glass, Canvas, Reed, Bamboo or Aluminium Patio Screens?
What works for patio canopies also works well for vertical patio screens.
Canvas screens look colourful and modern, they work beautifully as tie back covers or as roll down shades. Bamboo on the other hand will modify the temperature of a patio and serve well as a patio screen to guard against too much wind or too much sun.
Translucent white fibreglass panels can be designed to resemble Japanese screens (shoji type screens), and clear plastic or tempered glass is good for 'cutting' the strong winds whilst still allowing a clear view of the garden and possibly the whole landscape.
Aluminium screened patio enclosures are also good because they act as protection against the heat of the sun, with an added plus of being insect free. Aluminium patio screen enclosures are good for guarding against wind-borne litter and flying insects.
Wood Screens Or Fences?
Wood patio screens are classic and very popular and can come in form of latticed trellises, low picket fences or higher vertical screens. They serve a more substantial purpose than the roll down canvas screens or the bamboo and reed screens.
For a garden that doesn't need much privacy, but needs attention paid to aesthetics, vertical latticed screens or lathed louvres punctuated with evergreen plants will give controlled privacy and ventilation.
Where seclusion is required, maybe on a street side patio, enclosures can be created using wood framed translucent panels, solid finished board fencing or basket weave fencing. The translucent plastic panels will admit light into dark areas of the patio without a view from outside. These can also be used for screening off outdoor work areas.
Having a high fence (higher than 180cm or 6feet) may pose a problem in many localities because building regulation disallow this without a permit. Additionally, neighbours may frown at its erection and it may generate ill will in the neighbourhood. A better solution to fence height issues is using screens that have plants trained to grow high above the fence. This will be acceptable to most.
Which would you prefer to have for your patio's privacy ?
Natural Patio Enclosures - Plants & Trees
Lively and interesting screens can be made with plants and trees, and they are known to make the best deck and patio screens because they give a soft breezy look and a totally natural feel to an outdoor room than manufactured materials do.
Where manufactured elements can be imposing and sometimes blunt, patio screens 'derived from' plants or trees are always pleasant features in any garden and patio design.
Other forms of beautiful patio enclosures are vines trained onto unfinished wood lattice trellises. Another great feature is having the vines trained to grow on decoratively attached wire frames.
They will both offer privacy, and block excessive winds and heat, while at the same time give an airy open feeling to the patio. Its great to use vines that will produce colourful and fragrant blooms of flowers and probably some fruit. Its good to know that most of these type of plants require minimum care, as long as they are kept tidy with frequent pruning.
Trees are striking features when used as visual screens for patios and the landscape generally. Planting the right trees in the right positions, remembering to give room for sideways growth when mature, will add sculptural value to a patio's design.
Trees will break brisk winds and keep the heat away in the hot summer months.
Careful selection must be made for ultimate size on maturity, growth rate, texture, shape and colour. Its good to avoid trees that will cause untidiness to a patio through frequent shedding (some trees can cause a mess), so careful selection is important if they are to serve as patio screens, because trees are planted to stay.
© 2011 viryabo