The view from my balcony would not be considered by most to be the most picturesque or serene. The back of a village apartment complex and a parking lot full of cars stand in direct contrast to the tranquil environment that I am attempting to create on my balcony. In addition, the months of the year that we are blessed with warmer weather bring with it nosy and noisy onlookers. Some of this may be my innate paranoia, but this did however get me thinking about how I could create a little more privacy on my balcony. Lastly, Although I do thoroughly enjoy spending time on my balcony, I have to admit that I have a small fear of heights. I actually declined a 5th floor unit in my building prior to my unit on the 2nd floor becoming available when I was looking to purchase a home. This decision to live closer to the ground has created a great degree of comfort for me, but adding a privacy screen to the balcony has exemplified this comfort. My first attempt at creating a bit of privacy last year was purchasing a Natural Reed Fence and attaching it to the guardrail using steel galvanized wire. This was extremely successful but I have revamped the idea a bit this year to incorporate the privacy screen with the garden, rather than using it solely as a way to block out the view and ease my fear. This year the screen has become an intergral part of my garden, not only addressing all of my original reasons for creating it in the first place, but actually developing more room to enjoy a variety of plant life. I will discuss both ideas below. This way you can choose the method that will work best for you and your garden. Please feel free to comment on these ideas, indicate ways to enhance them and/or share other ways to create privacy on the balcony.
Privacy Screen (Natural Reed Fence)
Materials: Natural Reed Fencing Roll, Steel Galvanized Wire, Wire Cutter, Scissors, Steel Tape Measure
1) Measure the width of your balcony (or the portion of the balcony that you would like to cover) and the height of the guardrail with a steel measuring tape.
2) Jot down these measurements on a piece of paper.
3) Based on measurements determine how much Natural Reed Fencing you will need to cover your desired area. You measurement for the width of the balcony will accurately reflect the width of the reed fencing that you will need, but you will have to determine how high above the guardrail you would like the screen to go. Natural Reed Fencing Rolls are sold in a variety of sizes and you may need more than on roll and have to cut it down to obtain your desired width and height. If you can find a roll that is close to your measurements that will save you some additional work.
4) Jot down how much Natural Reed Fencing you will need to cover your area.
5) Purchase Natural Reed Fencing from the Home Improvement Store (usually in the garden center/nursery), Local Garden Nursery, Online Garden Supplies Store or Discount Shopping Store (Walmart, Target, etc.). Natural Reed Fencing may be thin depending on the brand. Doubling the thickness by using double the measured amount is an option.
6) Open the Natural Reed Fencing Roll and align it at the one end of the area that you are going to cover.
7) Use steel wire to attached the fence to the guardrail at the top, middle and bottom for maximum security. This will really help on more windy days.
8) Continue to roll the Natural Reed Fencing along the guardrail securing every foot or so at the top, middle and bottom.
9) After the fence is attached use scissors to cut fence to desired height.
Materials: Natural Reed Fencing Roll, Steel Wire, Wire Cutter, Scissors, Steel Tape Measure, Rectangle Planters, Potting Soil (Formulated for Container Plants), Roll of Black Twine , Trash Bags
1) Measure the width of your balcony (or the portion of the balcony that you would like to cover) and the height of the guardrail with the steel measuring tape.
2) Jot down these measurements on a piece of paper.
3) Purchase enough rectangle planters to cover the width of your desired area. I used six 12″ x 27″ rectangle planters to line the length of my balcony and left about 15 inches on each side for 2 other containers.
4) Purchase enough Natural Reed Fencing to be able to fit a double length of fencing in each planter.
5) Open the Natural Reed Fencing Roll and roll out a length of fence that is as big as the planter, then double it.
6) Cut this length and then using a small piece of steel wire, wire it together at the top, middle and bottom.
7) Place this length of bamboo in a trash bag and place in the planter.
8) Hold the Natural Reed Fencing upright and as close to the back of the planter as possible.
9) Add dirt to the front of the planter ensuring that the soil does not get into the trash bag.
10) When finished filling up the front with potting soil, lean the Reed cut forward against the soil and add soil to the back of the planter, again ensuring that the soil does not get into the trash bag.
11) When the cut seems anchored, you are ready to move to it’s position on the balcony.
12) Anchor the top of the fence to the guardrail with the steel wire.
13) Repeat these steps with the remaining planters.
14) Although the spaces in between create a rather unique look, if you would like to minimize the gaps between the screens use steel wire to combine tie them together. This will make the screen appear as one cohesive unit to onlookers. Tying them together is a more fashionable option.