Is your garden open and exposed? If so, you'll want to buy screening plants. They're great for literally 'screening' your garden from the street or nosy neighbours, and they also help block out the wind and sun.
They're not just practical, they're also gorgeous green additions to any garden. You can create your own private, beautiful oasis with the right kinds of screening plants.
At All Green Nursery and Garden we are experts at landscaping with plants for privacy and screening. We stock a wide range of hedging and screening plants all carefully selected and bred to thrive in Victoria’s unique climate conditions.
Top 10 privacy plants for Melbourne gardens
1. ‘Goodbye Neighbour’ plant
Lilly Pillies are highly popular privacy plants. People love these Australian natives for their colourful flowers, glossy green leaves, crimson new growth and edible maroon berries.
- Acmena smithii minor is a variety so ideally suited to formal or informal garden screening that is commonly known as the ‘Goodbye Neighbour’ plant.
- It grows rapidly to a height of 6 metres or more, perfect for screening even if you live in a two-storey house.
- This plant enjoys full sun and fertile, moist soils that are well drained and mulched.
Birds also like to eat the berries of the Lilly Pilly and their resulting red droppings can stain some paving and decks, so consider whether this may be a problem for you before planting. This is the most commonly reported problem for most of the Lilly Pilly species used in hedging, but these effects can be reduced to acceptable levels by following a few simple rules.
The simplest and most environmental friendly way is to trim your hedge trimming when the plants are in full bloom, or just after the flowering is over. This will reduce the amount of the fruit produced, and even if there are some left on the plant, it will not have a huge impact.
The Backyard Bliss variety of Lilly Pilly (Syzgium paniculata), commonly known as Neighbours-Be-Gone, is a fast-growing plant that reaches approximately 3-4 metres in height, depending on soil conditions, and is low-maintenance.
- It is often grown in containers for topiary, but really excels as a hedge or dense screen around the pool or courtyard areas.
- It grows best in full sun but also performs well in part shade conditions. It prefers well-drained soil, and has proven to be frost tolerant once it is established.
Viburnum Tinus is a durable evergreen plant that produces little clusters of tiny pink buds which open out into white flowers. It makes a great hedge or screen up to 3 metres high.
- Viburnums are not overly fussy about soil type and can tolerate wide range of conditions provided they are kept moist enough.
- A prune in spring will help to encourage new shoots and keeps the plant compact.
4. Mock Orange
The dense, fast-growing Mock Orange (Murraya paniculata) has glossy dark green foliage and pretty white flowers, and is one of the most popular screening and hedging plants across Australia. Note that these are not frost tolerant and might suffer damage in the open areas prone to frost.
- It responds well to pruning and trimming, grows up to 4 metres high, and produces abundant orange blossom-scented flowers in spring and summer.
- It loves sunny positions and prefers warmer gardens with rich, moist and well-drained soil.
Grey Box (Westringia fruticosa 'WES04' PBR) is a beautiful low-growing compact plant that is ideal for attractive low hedges of up to half a metre.
- With its grey foliage and small white flowers, it provides a great colour contrast when placed in front of other taller screening plants.
- Gardeners love that fact that it is so frost and drought-tolerant.
6. Sacred Bamboo
Despite its name, Sacred Bamboo (Nandina Domestica) is not a true bamboo. This shrub’s green and red leaves becomes brighter red in autumn and winter.
- Sacred Bamboo is not just pretty, it's also durable. It can handle harsh and dry conditions, and is often used to provide an interesting and colourful hedge of up to 1.5 metres.
- Mulch and water well, prune as required to promote new growthand fertilise in spring.
The Green Pillar variety is an evergreen shrub with pale green leaves that contrast beautifully with its black twigs and bark. Its small, brown flowers are produced in spring, and have a distinct honey scent.
- Pittosporums are native to Australia, and a bit tougher than Lilly Pillies.
- It grows to 4 metres, makes a great hedge and responds well to pruning. This plant prefers full sun and well-drained soil.
Polygalas are popular ornamental plants also known as milkworts or snakeroots. The Polygala x Myrtifolia Oppositifolia hybrid is stunning compact shrub with green foliage and cute pea-shaped purple flowers.
- Ideal for borders and hedging up to around 1 metre in height.
- Grows well in coastal areas and is also frost-tolerant.
Bamboos are tall, quick-growing and hardy screening grasses that add style and privacy to your garden.
- The bright yellow and green Alphonse Karr is a great screening plant option that responds well to pruning and reaches around 4 metresin Melbourne.
- It’s very important that you choose a clumping bamboo variety, as running varieties can spread quickly, even under fences.
Climbing plants can work their screening magic along walls, pergolas or fences in no time, giving you lush and effective coverage.
- Suitable for Melbourne gardens, Hardenbergia is a purple, pink or white flowering native creeper that likes sunny or semi-shaded positions.
- It can grow up to 6 metres and features abundant pea-like flowers.
If you don’t have time to establish a screen of green in your garden, consider instant yet attractive alternatives such as bamboo panel screens, feature panels and weathering steel panels for garden screening solutions up to 2.4 metres high.