outdoor cutains pergola sculpture garden
Buffalo Garden Tip

Garden curtain calls

12+ ways to add drama to your garden...

We have curtains around our hot tub on the back deck. They never get closed, it’s already pretty private back there.

I’ve had curtains in my own garden since the day the deck was built, about 16 years ago.

We’ve had to replace them once. I’ve always like the look of breezy curtains outside – softening the look of anything they attach themselves to. They also make any outdoor room look more cozy and roomlike. They also help separate areas in a yard, and enclose more personal spaces.

Outdoor curtain hanging is no more difficult than indoor curtains.

Except finding pre-made outdoor curtains to suit your size/color/taste can be difficult. Big box stores do sell them, so do fabric stores. Bed, Bath & Beyond; Target and other stores do sell them seasonally or online.

The best fabrics for making them are not the cheapest; and unless you have the skills to make your own, the cost can be high for bespoke curtains (I’ve always wanted to use the word bespoke in a sentence!).

They’re called performance fabrics – the most popular brand is Sunbrella, but there are other options too. The better the fabric, the longer they’ll last.

My wife made ours. We ordered the fabric through JOANN Fabrics. Actually, when it comes to sewing projects like this, it’s team effort. I cut, she sews, I hang.

Our first set of curtains we left out in the wintertime.

The new set we bring in for the winter and we’ll get many more years out of them. If you live in the south or southwest, they probably don’t last as long as up north here. Scorching, constant sun is tough on fabrics, and none last forever.

Where would you put curtains in your own garden if you were to add some?

Here are some favorites I’ve found over the years in Buffalo-area gardens.

garden curtains outdoor curtains
Around a pergola/arbor structure in the DiMino garden in Lockport, NY
Adding more greenery to a garden on the Ken-Ton Garden Tour in Kenmore, NY
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Stage like curtains in a Kemore garden.
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Beefing up a structure providing some privacy from neighbors in Steve Muscarela’s garden in Buffalo’s Parkside neighborhood.
Temporary awning with curtains and luxurious valence in Anne Gareis’ garden in Buffalo’s Johnson Park neighborhood.
Contrasting the house and trim colors, undoubtedly brightening up the porch on Buffalo’s Richmond Avenue.
Also seen in the opening photo, Beth & Brian Kreutzer’s pergola gets a shot of color with sheers in their Cheektowaga garden.
Easy way to add color on Buffalo’s Westside.
Kevin & Ricardo’s garden retreat would have a completely different feel with out the curtains in their Buffalo garden.
Whose garage doors couldn’t use some bling – like in this Kenmore garden.
Pretty and utilitarian, this shower curtain hides garden tools and other unsightly garden necessities in Connie Kreuger’s Williamsville garden.
Looking plantation-like in the Macciaccio garden in South Buffalo.
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One of my favorites. A handsome use of custom exterior drapery. Around the corner from my house on Lafayette Avenue.
Another favorite – gauzy and breezy in Annie Lands’ Kenmore garden.


I have a long-time garden blog, a popular garden on America's largest garden tour, and have co-written a book on garden design titled, "Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs" When I'm not doing all that, I am an advertising designer always out looking to design things to promote your business. Look me up at #jcharlier.

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