Tip of the Week: Using Annuals as Screens

The majority of gardens have something that needs screening from view—an oil tank, a compost bin, a neighboring house. Quick screens using annuals are particularly necessary in new gardens to provide privacy and much appreciated color until permanent plantings become established. Long-term screens using perennials can also be used to divide a garden into smaller areas, or simply to serve as a living backdrop for other plants.

There are two ways of using annual climbers to make a quick and colorful screen, and the choice will depend on how advanced your planting is:

1. If your garden is brand new and you haven’t set up a permanent trellis, you can place stout rustic poles at 6 to 12 foot intervals and staple cheap plastic bean netting to the posts. At the end of the season, when your annuals begin to die back, you can simply cut the netting and the plants down in one pass.

2. If trellises are already in position and you’ve installed a permanent planting of climbing roses or other perennial climbers but they have not yet climbed very high, you can run annual climbers up the trellis. It takes a little more time to clear away their spent growth at the end of the season, but in the meantime they’ll look so good you may be tempted to keep growing annuals even after your perennial climbers are established.

Read about recommended annual climbers

Read more tips


Crazy about Annuals? Check out Annuals for Every Garden , the guide Annuals,  and Horticulture’s very special  Gardener’s Essentials: Annuals CD

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2 thoughts on “Tip of the Week: Using Annuals as Screens

  1. Pingback: How to Make a Climbing Rose Look Fuller - All About Gardening

  2. Regarding climbing roses, we have planted two at opposite ends of our pergola which is in our courtyard, They were 5 ft high when purchased, one last Oct and the other in April. The first rose planted is now on the roof of the pergola but I’m wondering how long it wlll take before we have much needed shade. We had Wisteria growing since ’92 and we had wonderful shade but had it removed because of it’s high maintenance.

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