Privacy from neighbours

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So we bought our semi-detached house a year ago picture taken when we first moved in (ours on left). It’s on a ten year old estate that is very open plan particularly on the frontages of most of the houses. I have slowly been planting front and back to add privacy.

We are at the top of a shared drive, pretty open to the elements as we can see right across a small valley. The wind blasts right up the valley and across the front of our house.

We also have a public cut through right outside our driveway on the other side of a hedge line- I have recently planted a very junior privet hedge to gain some eventual privacy from the path but the neighbours hedges are still all low box hedges (I ripped ours out for the privet) - will this look too weird when my privet kicks in and grows to 3, 4, 5 ft?

Also, there is a foot and a half  wide spit of land between our front door and path and my neighbours front path and door. ( please see picture). Each of us Have gravel areas with pots and planted beds either side. Now, the bit in between runs right down the split line of our semi detached houses but is in their colour gravel and has been since we moved in. How can I go about reclaiming my side of that bit of land? Really, I want to put a 3ft brick wall and separate our half from theirs. We don’t get on, the litter it with cigarette butts and they don’t take care of the plants in that patch  of land which I presume are theirs. Next best thing would be a fence that slopes away as you walk away from the doors or a couple off small trees that divide the space. How can I get them to agree to any of these or don’t they have a say if I don’t technically encroach on their boundary? Obviously whatever I do I don’t want it to cost a fortune.

I want to make our house look nice and visually separate from our neighbours and provide a bit of shelter from the wind also, sometimes the letterbox flaps it’s that windy. (High up in county Durham so it’s cold too!) 

Note: I’m going to replace the door with a different coloured composite door next spring So that will help with the visual separation but I want a physical barrier too!

 

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  • You need to check your title deeds for covenants as there may be something that says you cant have any separation or the height might be limited. I know on my house we are not supposed to put up any form of boundary on our front garden to separate from the path.

    if there is anything in the deeds it will then be a decision if you think there will be complaints or someone who might enforce the covenant.

    Our house it 15 yrs old and people on the estate have started to put in boundary walls and hedges with no issue.

    Previous house was a semi and we put up a piece of trellis at 90 degrees to the wall as this was a temp structure but had just enough privacy at least when we walked out of the front door.  A lovely honeysuckle also made itsmell nice when I left the house.

    Last edited: 14 November 2017 19:18:58

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 3,178

    With only a foot and a half of space between the two houses, there will not be room for a wall, as the footings would be need to be on their half as well.

    Instead, the easiest option as someone else has suggested, is a trellis fence, with the posts on your side, on which you could grow something like an evergreen climber, which could be trained sideways along the fence. I would also think about redoing the front path as a dogleg outside your front door and then going diagonally across your front garden which would take you physically away from your neighbours a bit. You could then plant slightly taller plants in the triangle nearest to them. What I would say is  don't get all uptight about the 18" of ground which is on your side, it's not just worth the hassle and unpleasant neighbours could get even worse.

  • On a ten year old estate you can almost forget any chance of covenants being enforced so ignore that concern.

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,771
    glasgowdan says:

    On a ten year old estate you can almost forget any chance of covenants being enforced so ignore that concern.

    See original post

     Wouldn't be too sure about that if the neighbours complain!

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Lizzie27 says:

    Instead, the easiest option as someone else has suggested, is a trellis fence, with the posts on your side, on which you could grow something like an evergreen climber, which could be trained sideways along the fence. I would also think about redoing the front path as a dogleg outside your front door and then going diagonally across your front garden which would take you physically away from your neighbours a bit. You could then plant slightly taller plants in the triangle nearest to them. 

    See original post

    I just Don’t see them agreeing to anything as they already have their gravel down  and dying plants across this middle bit. Just want a bit of a division between properties and some shelter from the elements when getting my keys out for the front door. 

    Ideally I want to put two 4ft trees in big pots and just have it at that but probably no convincing them as they hate us 

  • I think the diagonal path is the way to go. You could then even attach some trellis to your porch and plant an evergreen climber in the soil on your side, for both privacy and shelter.

    If you also wish to plant a small ornamental tree a little further down your own garden, then though the neighbours might not like it, they can do nothing about it without resorting to criminal action.Juniper 'Skyrocket' or the Irish juniper both make very slender trees, like exclamation marks, and they do not have large rootballs. You could grow cordon fruit tees or any one of a number of decorative trees of small size. Many of these can be grown in pots, though preferably not the junipers.

    Alternatively you could plant some suitable shrubs. Berberis come in a variety of colours and sizes, some evergreen, some not, but all are very prickly and antisocial in a good wayimage Pyracantha is another good one, good flowers and berries, very thorny, a larger shrub but can be pruned to size. Hollies too can be kept manageable. None of these have to form an actual hedge to present a deterrentimage, but can be planted for decorative effect.

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 3,178

    I like Buttercups suggestion of trellis on the side of your porch, I hadn't thought of that but it would be a brilliant way of giving you shelter and privacy. A 2ft x 6ft panel would probably fit although you'd have to check the measurements and trellis is comparatively cheap and easy to put up.

  • Although hawthorn hedges on all sides make our small garden quite private with no houses overlooking it, the disadvantage is that it is very shaded and this, combined with a heavy soil and lack of drainage, means that most of the lawn is now moss rather than grass.

  • Dog-legging the path is a bit more drastic than I’d hoped for. I do like your suggestion, Buttercup, of Junipers. Wouldn’t want them too big anyway so maybe I could suggest I put  a few potted ones buried in the gravel in a line and offer the upkeep of them and they can keep their gravel colour down. Bonus- it gets rid of the unsightly dead low level plants.

    Would the junipers grow much more than 2 feet at the base? Are there dwarf varieties? Obviously potting would natrually restrict growth!

    Not a fan of traditional trellis to be fair and no one else has done anything similar in surrounding houses. One bloke has got potted bamboo and I covet that dearly! 

    Ive also thought about a modern ‘trellis’ screen 6ft high by 2 feet wide with a lower portion extending to the end of the paving entrance ways. Would justify it more on my side of the dividing ‘patch’ and fully reclaiming my half of it. Was thinking of cladding both sides in cedar timbers or similar - something  the image below but obviously down the split line of the houses. Sprinkle some blue slate down so it matches other side where my main planting now is. 

    image

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 13,230

    With only 9inches of space I think you’re a bit optimistic. won’t a long panel from door to gate, just free standing there look a bit odd.  It will be touching your door frame.

    If you plant anything there and don’t move the path, you will be brushing against it, getting clothes hooked up on it, no chance of putting anything prickly there. 

    Is it really worth it, the neighbours will still be there, and how often do you come in front door. 

    Could you use a side door, or go through the garage so as to avoid the area altogether. 

    Another one to put on the ‘requirements’ list when you buy your next house, doors way apart. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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