A trellis can completely block your windows from view.

Trellises for Window Privacy

by Jennifer Blair

Homeowners usually feel more comfortable when there's plenty of privacy for their home. However, if your house has windows that face a neighbor's home or the street, prying eyes may have a choice view inside, especially when the curtains or blinds are drawn to allow natural light in. Using trellises in front of the windows outside your home is an ideal way to take back a little privacy and add some charm and visual interest to your landscape. The key is knowing what kind of trellises to use and where to place them so your windows are effectively shielded.

1. Types

When you want to shield your windows for increased privacy, choosing the right type of trellis is key. Wall-mounted trellises are commonly used to decorate bare fences and walls, but you don’t want to install one over your windows and prevent access to them. Instead, opt for freestanding trellises, which usually come with attached stakes to mount them in the ground. However, some freestanding trellises actually have a platform base that doesn’t require staking and that allows you to place a planter or container for vines and other greenery on the base.

2. Placement

You don’t necessarily have to install your freestanding trellis directly outside the window that you want to hide from view. While it will provide privacy, it may also block your view of the surrounding scenery. Instead, try placing the trellis so it is parallel to the window but a few feet away so you can still see whatever plants or other landscaping features might be in your yard. As long as you place the trellis directly between the window and your neighbor’s home or the street, you’ll have plenty of privacy. You can use individual freestanding options and place them in front of smaller windows that need privacy, or you can use several trellises placed beside one another to form a wider screen for larger windows.

3. Installation

If you’re using a freestanding trellis that doesn’t require staking outside your window, there’s no installation involved -- just place it in the desired location. With a trellis that has stakes, you’ll need to use a post-hole digger to make holes for each stake in the desired location. The depth of the holes can vary from 12 to 24 inches based on the size of the trellis, but keep in mind that you don’t want the bottom edge of the trellis to be in contact with the ground or it may rot or warp more quickly. Once the holes are ready, set the trellis in place and fill in the holes with dirt so it’s tightly packed around the stakes. If you live in an area where there is a problem with standing water, you should also add cement to the post holes to anchor the trellis in place.

4. Plants

While the lattice design of your trellises may provide sufficient privacy for your needs, they are designed for climbing plants to grow over so you can create an almost solid screen to block your windows. If you plant climbing vines at the base of your trellis, they will eventually grow up the structure and fill in the gaps in the lattice. You can choose from several attractive climbing plants for your trellises. Black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia alata), hardy as a perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 to 11 or as an annual in cooler climates, can climb up to 8 feet in full sun. It provides orange-yellow or white flowers with a black center. Climbing roses (Rosa spp.) are another classic option. Hardy in USDA zones 4 to 11, they can grow 6 to 12 feet in height and produce flowers in all the traditional rose-blossom shades, including pink, red, white and yellow.

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