Gardening expert shares best plants for ‘instant screening’ in an overlooked garden

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An overlooked garden can make sunbathing and enjoying your outdoor space difficult. Even if you have a great relationship with your neighbours, everyone deserves to have their own privacy. Rather than getting tall fences fitted, which can be costly, choosing screening plants is a great way to add privacy while maintaining a natural look in your garden.

Owner and founder of Gardening Express Chris Bonnett has shared the best plants for “instant screening” in an overlooked garden.

Chris, who established Gardening Express in the late 1990s, exclusively told Express.co.uk that “climbing plants” are a great way to add screening and privacy to a garden.

He continued: “If you get that high trellis and you’re able to get that on top of a fence as well and train climbers along there.

“We have seen quite an uptick in sales on larger, more established plants to give people that instant screening – a lot of hedging too.

“Suddenly, people have realised they’re overlooked a bit and they’re putting in hedges so they can go out and enjoy their gardens.

“Screening plants and climbing plants are ideal to put in.”

However, Chris said it’s important to consider what type of plant you’re putting in your garden.

Most importantly, the gardening expert said you need to consider if the plant is “evergreen or not”.

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An evergreen plant has foliage which remains green and functional throughout the year.

Chris explained further: “If you want evergreens, you’re probably looking at things like laurel and privet. They’re quite popular.

“If security is a concern and you still want evergreen, it’s going to be pyracantha which has thorns on it and has foliage all year.”

Pyracantha, also known as firethorn, is a shrub that produces red, yellow or orange flowers in spring and mid-summer but likes to be planted at any time of year, ideally autumn or winter.

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Most pyracanthas are fully hardy which means you don’t need to worry about them when the weather gets cooler.

However, pyracanthas and hedges in general also provide shelter for wildlife and can help encourage wildlife into your garden.

Chris said: “It’s also quite good for wildlife because birds like to nest in there as well.

“Hedges are quite beneficial in gardens for wildlife because they provide that shelter and nesting places for birds.

“Even if they’re only small, low hedges they’re still a bit of shelter.”

Attracting birds can be beneficial to your garden in a plethora of ways.

Birds can help keep pest populations down by eating the critters that feast on your plants.

Approximately 30 species of bird are regular garden visitors, according to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

But there are more than 140 bird species that have been recorded in British gardens.

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