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Garden Screens: a guide to what's available

You can completely transform the look of your garden with the simple introduction of garden screening. We talk you through the options.

Peble Grey Composite Battens form perimeter of garden overlooking estuary view.
A boundary fence given a lighter feel with open slatted Pebble Grey Composite Battens in a design by 3D Garden Design.

How to use a garden screen

There are so many uses for garden screening. They can simply be used to mark the boundary of your property. Alternatively, they are a great way to subtly hide an unappealing view or disguise an area of your home whilst creating an interesting feature.

Garden screens offer privacy that does not compromise on style. Using these panels, you can section off areas of the garden to produce separate zones, just like inside your home. Position the screens around garden furniture and create a secluded outdoor living room. Using the screens to create separate areas in this way is particularly useful if you have an exposed garden as they act as a buffer against a breeze or create shelter from prying eyes.

The wide choice of screens on the market allows you to get truly creative. Create feature walls and unique focal points that make the most of your vertical space. When space is limited, garden screening offers the option to create, for example, mini vegetable gardens, without taking up vital ground space.

Metal garden screens are perfect for creating an interesting focal point.
These metal garden screens by Stark and Greensmith create the perfect focal point in this scheme.

Metal garden screens

Decorative metal screens are ideal as focal points. Panels can be used individually or as part of a modular system, as in the picture above. While they're expensive, they will stand the test of time and make a stunning backdrop to vibrant planting. You'll find designs in weathering steel, pre-weathered, or in powder-coated aluminium.

Artificial green walls will transform a dull space to a bright and inviting space.
An artificial green wall completely transforms this space creating fun design.

Artificial green walls

Artificial green walls are a practical alternative to living walls in places where live plants won't thrive. This garden screening can enrich an otherwise dark and dull space, adding colour and texture for year-round displays that need very little maintenance. Check out Vistafolia for panels that mimic the natural growing patterns of real plants which can be given a your own personal touch with the addition of the colour boxes.

Timber battens for cladding and fencing

Use wooden fence battens to create screens, fencing and cladding with clean, modern lines. Place battens tightly against each other to create complete privacy, or leave a small gap between each to create slatted screens that allow a flow of light and air and emphasise horizontal lines.

Timber battens generally come in one of three options:

  1. Cedar battens are a firm favourite of garden designers, thanks to their natural beauty and tonal variations. Don’t forget that after two or three years cedar weathers naturally to a silver-grey colour. Many people like this effect; alternatively you can opt for a more contemporary look using an oil stain to retain the golden-brown colour.
  2. Siberian larch battens are increasingly popular for external cladding and fencing. Strong and sturdy, larch is one of the hardest commercial softwoods available. This is partly because trees are slow-grown to give them a high density that allows battens to last for many years outdoors. Kiln-dried, these battens can be painted, allowing you to add your own personal touch to this garden. Like cedar, if left untreated, the wood will weather to a natural, handsome silver-grey.
  3. Treated softwood battens are ideal for those on a budget. Stain the battens to improve their durability. You can also paint them with the right colour liken their appearance to red cedar or larch.
Dark Ash Composite Battens as tall screen with plants and paving. Design by Thouvenin Landscapes.
Dark Ash Composite Battens screen a wall with a natural wood appearance in this design by Thouvenin Landscapes.

Composite battens

For an altogether more modern and practical approach, you can’t beat composite battens. Hard-wearing, warp-resistant and rot-proof, they are cut and constructed in the same way as wooden battens. Subsequently they require no maintenance.

As with timber battens, these lightweight slats can be fitted together to build height on existing structures to increase privacy, or used on their own to create stylish garden screens. Their length ensures a sleek appearance to screens and fences and the range of colours opens up design options without the need to apply stain or paint.

A bonus is that these composite battens complement our Brushed and Grooved DesignBoard Decking options, allowing you to design matching detail and colour into your garden with ease.

Published 3rd June 2021
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