Are you thinking that your garden is too small to use or look good? Well, before you dismiss your garden entirely have a look first at the latest trend innovation in garden decoration, green screens. They can provide an instant, practical and environmentally friendly – not to mention striking – hedge, immediately changing the look of the garden and allowing for space to sit and relax.
These noise and air pollution-absorbing screens are perfect for urban gardens. They are constructed from a galvanized steel mesh which houses a bio-degradable coconut-fibre trough, planted with ivy, a plant that has been shown to have major effect on reduction of noise and cleaning the atmosphere from pollutants. The tough job of planting the ivy in the screen is made two years in advance of sale, in the nursery, so you get the screens green already. Prices may get high for the work done prior to sale, but the benefits way outweigh the cost.
The screens are easily installed, in fact they can be the weekend’s diy. Just dig a 30cm deep and 30cm long trench for the posts, fix the timber posts in concrete, and slot-in the screens. Decisions you yourself have to make are only those concerning the height of the screens (1 – 3m), and their positioning in your garden.
It would be hugely pleasing to wake up or relax to a fabulous green sight, but be aware that ivy is heat, drought and sun-sensitive; therefore it is best positioned in mostly shaded areas, or areas where sunlight will not hit it directly for lengthy periods of day time. This in fact is the reason why ivy is a favourite internal house plant too, since inside areas can be controlled in terms of heat exposure.
If your garden is northern-oriented then, you are in favour; your green screens will not only add beauty and give you all of the above rewards, they will also last longer in the absence of too much sun. The same can be told about areas like basement concrete exit patios and basement entrances or sidewalks. Space allowing, all can be ‘dressed’ with green screens, instantly changing views to the better and creating ‘living walls’.
Be it early morning or evening in summertime, just imagine how gratifying it can be unwinding and sipping that tea, coffee or drink sitting next to a sea of green. In the cold winter time the mood will certainly lift if facing a healthy greened garden rather than the neighbour’s grey wall or a neglected patio.
The beauty green screens help bring in a property adds value to that property, increasing its saleability. So many properties remain unsold for such long periods because they cannot offer potential buyers beautiful views, or at least hide less advantageous surroundings. Rather than planting and waiting for plants to grow to sell your properties, take faith in green screens and the numerous returns they will help you get by investing in them.
The screens’ length is 1200mm, narrower than a typical hedge, thus adding to extra space in your garden. The screens do not necessarily have to be planted with ivy; other plants which may give seasonal flower can also be used. But ivy and its varieties (at least 25) are almost always chosen because it is extremely robust and keeps its leaves all year round. Also, in time, the screen trough will degrade, and allow the roots to grow in the soil.
Another reason ivy is mostly used to create the green screens is that it doesn’t grow much above the height of the wire fence of the screen. This makes its maintenance easy by keeping it at controlled dimensions, and, very importantly, it remains within UK planning regulations for evergreen perimeter hedging. You don’t need planning permission to have green screens (or hedges) in your garden, and there are no laws concerning their height. You are responsible however, to make sure that they are kept in good order and do not cause any nuisance to anyone of your neighbours.
General maintenance is really easy; all you need is regular watering during the first summer. After that, the ivy takes care of itself, creating a green perimeter that maximises garden space, hides unwanted neighbouring views, enhances security and is a magnet for wildlife.