You can prepare your terrace, pergola or balcony so it looks its best when the good weather comes. A good way to ensure privacy is to use climbing plants to create a natural screen between you and your neighbors. These are the best climbers to try...
Honeysuckle, the most resistant to winter
This climbing plant sends out tendrils that curl naturally around the top of a pergola or along balustrades. It can reach up to 5 meters high when staked. Its decorative qualities make it perfect for brightening up a terrace or veranda. Plant between May and September in a sunny but semi-shaded area. Honeysuckle is highly frost resistant and can withstand temperatures of up to -25°C. Maintenance is limited to regular watering (more frequently in summer) and a regular trim with the secateurs.
Star jasmine, the most fragrant and easy to grow
Star jasmine, also known as false jasmine, is an evergreen shrub with beautiful flowers. It grows rapidly up to 5 meters high, requires very little care and no pruning other than an annual “refresher” at the end of winter to encourage flowering. This shrub can cover a fence, wall or arbor when securely attached to a support. Positioning it near a house window will give you the full benefit of its wonderful fragrance. It can be planted in the fall or in spring (excluding periods of frost and very high temperatures) in well-drained soil.
Clematis, the most attractive
Clematis, nicknamed Queen of Climbers, will cover a fence beautifully and give privacy too. Flowering between March and October, it adds months of color to the yard. This climbing plant can grow between 2.5 and 10 meters in height and requires deep, fresh soil comprising a mixture of earth and compost. It’s important to keep the base shaded by planting other flowers around it. The more you cut a clematis back (at the end of winter, in February), the more it will flower next time! In terms of maintenance, it’s highly resistant to cold and doesn’t require much water. But be careful not to let it dry out or be attacked by aphids.
Bamboo, the most insulating and exotic
Ideal for creating an exotic screen, bamboo is also a great sound insulator. You can plant an opaque bamboo curtain which will grow very quickly in the soil but needs a root or rhizome barrier to contain it. Keeping it in a pot is easier and will be less invasive. Bamboo needs lots of fertilizer and should be watered when the soil is dry on the surface. You could also consider mulching it in winter to prevent the roots from freezing. Trim your bamboo with a lopper or saw but don’t forget that cut canes will not grow back.
Elaeagnus or Russian olive, the most suitable for a hedge
The elaeagnus is an ornamental, evergreen shrub that can reach 3 to 5 meters high. One of its varieties, Elaeagnus Angustifolia, also called the Russian olive, forms a very effective privacy screen and a wonderfully attractive hedge—thanks to its golden tints—if each shrub is spaced one meter apart. It is best planted in the fall, before any frosts occur, in a sunny spot in well-drained soil. A hedge trimmer can be used to easily prune and shape it as you wish. It blossoms from May to June, with beautiful fragrant flowers.
Buddleia or butterfly bush, the most abundant
This is known as the butterfly bush because its long scented flowers are particularly attractive to butterflies. It will grow rapidly (from 2 to 5 meters) in a sunny spot and in average soil, as its water and nutrient requirements are fairly low. As a hedge, it offers privacy while adding color to the yard. Simple to maintain, all it needs is an annual trim. You may like to mulch the base in summer to keep some moisture in the soil.