Garden Photo of the Day

Growing Some Privacy

Vines screen a pool area

Today Dave Lincoln in Webster, New York, shares the approach he and his wife came up with to add privacy to their garden.

The winters here are bone and root chilling. Summers can oscillate between sauna bath and Sahara drought. If you can take 10 good days for the beach you’re fine, or keep jumping in the pool. With our backyard, staycations are the rule, since our travel budget gets used up pretty quickly with remote family.

My wife and I came up with the idea of using clematis as an impact feature and privacy element while looking at plant catalogs. I think I bought the clematis varieties from White Flower Farm; the two varieties are sweet autumn (Clematis terniflora, Zones 4–8) and ‘Sweet Summer Love’ (Zone 4–9). The sweet autumn is more profuse, with five hours of morning and/or afternoon light. ‘Sweet Summer Love’ is not as profuse, with three hours of afternoon light. The soil is rocky clay-loam in nature with slight acidity. I do not water these vines.

I have mixed in an English climbing rose, but it is not doing that well. I like David Austin climbers in general and have numerous climbing varieties.

As you can see, the privacy element has been achieved.


sweet autumn clematis

Close-up of the flowers on sweet autumn clematis.


In containers is Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’ (Zones 10–12 or as an annual). They love containers with occasional water and a biweekly application of fertilizer.



And the beautiful leaves of an Aglaonema, sometimes called a Chinese evergreen. These plants are most popular as houseplants, but they can be used in shaded spots outside during warm weather as well.


red and green peppers

The garden also yields a harvest of beautiful and delicious peppers.


More about gardening for privacy

Podcast: Plants for Privacy

Beyond the Green Wall: Naturalistic Hedge Ideas

Creating a Private Haven


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 10/09/2019

    It must be amazing to be lolling about in your pool at the time that the sweet autumn clematis is in full bloom. The impression that is gives is of dancing ocean whitecaps and added to that , it provides a delightful fragrance...sigh, a perfect combination for total relaxation. Pretty sweet deal for a family staycation!

    1. davlinkun 10/09/2019

      Many thanks and you write so well

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 10/09/2019

    I love autumn clematis. I had it at my previous home and still miss it this time of year.

  3. btucker9675 10/09/2019

    Boy- your autumn clematis is happy and healthy! I had it in my northern NJ garden where it performed like a champ, but haven't been able to find the sweet spot for it here in NC. Yours makes for a beautiful fence!

  4. User avater
    simplesue 10/09/2019

    Great idea! The best smelling fence ever!

  5. davlinkun 10/09/2019

    Many thanks to all.
    This year was a very good year for Clematis and Euphorbia

  6. jennymccoy67 10/10/2019

    This is beautiful! I have a question about autumn clematis -- I have planted it as well but mine does not smell. Is that because of the variety or is there another reason?

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