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What to do here?

A friend asked for advice tonight and I don't have the knowledge to help her, but thought you clever lot on here might be able to. 

They need to get rid of the bamboo that has been planted in their garden because it is shooting up all over the garden. Not planted by them I might add. However as you can see from the photo the bamboo is hiding a whole of lot brick from the house behind them. They are looking to plant something low maintenanc, that looks nice and will hide the house without being too in your face. She was wondering about pleached trees, but they would need to be evergreen. 

She also said the soil is rubbish literally and they are wondering whether to excavate it for two reasons, 1) to get rid of the bamboo shoots and 2) to clear the poor soil and put some decent topsoil back in. 

So far she is wondering whether to get some rendered raised beds put in along the back wall and whether to plant some non invasive clump forming bamboo, and if so what variety should she get, or would pleached trees be an option, but she needs year round cover. 

does anyone on here have any suggestions for what they could do. I get the feeling she is looking for something nice and sleek, clean lines and modern rather than a wildlife hedge. 


Any advice gratefully received. Thank you. 


  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,972

    It's a pity bamboo does that... it's doing the job of screening that house superbly, but as long as there is bamboo in the ground, there will be runners popping up here there and everywhere. (Which they will do, for years, even if the main plant is dug up and taken off site). Perhaps it could be replanted in large container such as a zinc cattle trough?

    You can allegedly control it in the ground by digging in plastic root barriers, or digging gravel filled trenches which you regularly inspect and clear of roots. Most members here will say the only real option is to plant in a container though.

    Whatever they plant, it will be easier in the long run if they wait until they are sure the bamboo has been successfully got rid of.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,991

    If your friend is keen on the idea of pleached trees, you could suggest Hornbeam or Beech. Not strictly evergreen of course, but they retain their foliage over winter, so you would always have a screen there. However, pleached trees are not a low maintenance option.

    A row of columnar yews would do the job. Easier than conifers, although there are plenty of those that would fit the bill, but you have to be vigilant with correct pruning.

    Nothing is going to quickly fill the space either, but anything evergreen will need pruning and shaping at some point, and regularly,  to keep a more contemporary look, so that will need taking into account.

    A classic solution is white stemmed birches, which, although deciduous, are very striking and eyecatching because of the trunks. The idea is to use the wall as a backdrop, rather than seeing it as something you need to hide or cover up. There would also be the option to put something underneath to help detract from the wall. Something with a structural shape like the rounded Hebes would  be ideal, and would give a good contrast. It would be most effective if taken along the full length of the boundary too. and would be much lower maintenance and more interesting than hedging or bamboo. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687

    There are no quick fixes. The mention of poor soil. I gather it's a bit dry? If they're prepared to work in compost etc then I think Escallonias can grow quite fast. Also, planting for temporary fix, Solanum Crispin 'Glasnevin' can quickly shoot up with a little of support and grow to about 6-7 feet in one season. You can train them to go upwards and then sideways. Again, there is no such as no maintenance. But both are evergreen. Solanum may lose some of its leaves if the areas is exposed, but looking at the pictures, that is not an exposed area.

  • thank you for your responses.

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