Climbing up houses or over fences, English ivy is a historic staple when it comes to coverage and privacy. Ivy is an evergreen plant with dark, glossy, green leaves. When mature, it can produce white balls of flowers and black seeds [source: Klingaman]. Ivy can withstand lower temperatures if planted in a sheltered spot, which makes for a good year-round living privacy barrier [source: Glattstein]. It can grow to more than 30 feet (9 meters) and if not properly pruned, can become overwhelming instead of an accent plant in your garden [source: Grey-Wilson & Matthews].
If you're searching for a slightly different look with similar coverage, there are a variety of cultivars with different shapes and colors of leaves, from white-tipped to heart-shaped yellowish green foliage.
For more color, yet still a historic feel, try the next vine, a morning glory.