Lilly Pillys have been a common choice for privacy in Australian gardens for decades. The Syzygium smithii (formerly Acmena smithii) grows up to five metres tall relatively quickly. It also produces small pink berries that can be used in jams. It prefers cooler climates over harsh or tropical conditions.
A bit tougher than lilly pillys, with a little maintenance they can thrive in the majority of Australian gardens. Pittosporum tenuifolim varieties such as Silver Sheen, Tasman Ruffles, Green Pillar or James Stirling feature small leaves, different colours and are a perfect screening plant due to their density. They grow from three to five metres.
If you’re looking for a hardy plant that will grow anywhere, the large leaf Photinia Robusta is a great choice. Able to provide you with the privacy you’re looking for, it grows up to five metres tall. Its attractive red growth can also make it a good focal point for your garden.
Viburnums have been popular in Australia for decades as a screening plant. A good choice is the Viburnum tinus, a small leaf evergreen that grows to about 3.5 metres. The larger leaf Sweet Viburnum has large shiny emerald leaves and produces white fragrant flowers and small red berries. It enjoys milder conditions but not heavy frost and also reaches a height of around three to four metres.
Bamboo is a hardy choice if you want to fill in a small area and increase privacy. It’s very important to choose a clumping bamboo variety, which is easier to keep under control than the running varieties, which spread quickly. A moderate grower, it will take one to two years to start maturing but once established it will grow up to four metres.
Little Gem Magnolia
With its glossy green leaves and pretty white flowers, the Little Gem Magnolia is a popular screening option that grows well in most parts of Australia. Little Gem can grow up to four metres high and 2.5 metres wide, provided it is planted in well-draining soil in either full sun or part shade.
Callistemon (Bottle Brush)
Known for their hardiness, bottlebrushes are a popular Australian native that can work well as a screening plant. Depending on the variety, bottlebrushes can grow up to 10 metres high and thrive in most areas.
With a longer flowering season than most types of roses, climbing roses can provide your garden with a pretty screening option. However they will become sparse during the winter months when their foliage drops. Growing two to four metres tall, floribunda and hybrid tea varieties have large or clustered flowers and prosper in medium to hardy conditions.
Climber – Jasminoides
Climbers grow vertically in your garden so dense varieties can be trained to become an effective screen with some support, attention and care. Types of Jasminoides such as Trachelospermum flower early spring and then throughout the summer months with very fragrantwhites star shaped flowers.
Climber – Hardenbergia
Suitable for growth all over Australia, the Hardenbergia is a purple, pink or white flowering native creeper that likes sunny or semi-shaded positions. Being an evergreen climber, it can grow up to six metres and features an abundant amount of pea-like flowers.