Screens made from lattice, shutterlike louvered wood panels, or sections of ornamental iron with anchoring posts can be set into the ground to enclose a cozy corner or make a U-shaped structure that preserves desirable views. For maximum flexibility, consider placing the post ends in lightweight planters with wheels; to anchor them, add concrete plugs to the feet or set the posts in gravel. That way, they can be moved around to create more open space when you’re entertaining.
Semitransparent structures may not provide complete privacy, but they add a lot of visual interest to a landscape and allow natural light and breezes in. “They create a comforting sense of containment and a psychological buffer,” says Stephanie Hubbard, a landscape architect in Boston and TOH TV regular.