The deck was part of a major renovation project we did a few years ago, something we had started fantasizing about almost as soon as we bought our house in December 2000, and we've enjoyed it on many an evening ever since. I've already done several blog posts about the deck so no need to go into a lot of detail.
It can be a challenge to find privacy in a city, especially outdoors, but we're fortunate to live in a neighborhood with many mature trees that block views of most neighboring houses. A few carefully placed containers of plants further block any undesirable views (and viewers).
Another challenge has been finding plants that will hold up to the summer's full blazing sun, heat, and wind. By the end of the growing season, as the plants grow larger and become potbound, they have to tolerate a certain amount of drying out as well. Grasses like Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum' have always done well, gaura (Oenothera lindheimeri) did well for several years but finally froze and died in its pot during the 2013-2014 winter, and this year I'm enjoying Verbena bonariensis that seeded itself into a pot that held an elephant ear last year (bad idea because it needed so damn much water). Despite a bit of mildew, it's blooming its head off and looks great. Also doing well are cannas, which take well to container culture and don't even mind drying out a bit (although this time of year I water them twice a day if it's hot and sunny).
Perhaps best of all, every morning I step out on the deck, admire the pennisetum catching the morning sun, and get a view of the garden. After my losses of the last couple of winters (especially my windmill palms) it's not quite the view it used to be, but I can always dream about next year.