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DIY FILE: The green divide


You may be able to pick your apartment, but you can't always pick your neighbours. And whether they talk too much or stare too often from their nearby balcony, once you sign that lease, you are stuck with them.

But fret not, urban dwellers. Patios may not come with privacy partitions, but you can easily and affordably grow one yourself.

In the first segment of this two-part series, we've got the green goods to put between you and your weird neighbour. And with these suggestions from the Art Knapp garden centre, privacy has never looked so good.


- These blooming beauties ($20 and up) are the perfect choice for adding privacy to the patio as they come in a ridiculously wide variety of colours, and can grow up to nine metres. From the girly to the sophisticated, there is a bloom for every personality.

- The "Snowdrift" clematis (bottom right) is the only evergreen clematis Art Knapp carries, so unlike the other deciduous plants, this one doesn't lose its leaves in the winter ($25).

Virginia Creeper

Virginia Creeper

Block the view of any creeps with this $20 creeper. Miss Virginia is a unique, deciduous vine, turning a fierce crimson in the fall (seen left) after a full season of green (seen right). This aggressive flora can also grow up to nine metres. Take that, neighbours!

This pre-trellised, pre-grown shield of shrub ($100) is for those who need balcony privacy, like, yesterday. A deciduous shade lover, this bushy bombshell yields big white blooms, can grow up to nine metres and will definitely send the message 'leaf me alone.'

Notes on trellises

- Trellises in cedar ($10 and up), metal ($5 and up) and bamboo ($4 and up) are available at Art Knapp in varying sizes.

- The great thing about a trellis is that it can be revamped the next year with a new coat of paint.

Do you DIY?

Every week, Julia Dilworth's DIY File will feature do-it-yourself projects, big and small. To submit a project or send photos of your DIY attempts, email julia.dilworth[at]

You can also find her on Twitter at @JuliaDilworth