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Screening needed

I have recently moved into a new build with a small/medium sized garden. The rear of the garden has a fence which is overlooked by the neighbours (see photo) and I was thinking of using plants as a screen, I am considering a line of trees but after some research I am still unsure which to use. I hope to get screening quickly so they should be relatively fast growing but as the garden is small i must be aware not to plant anything too large. I am not concerned whether deciduous or evergreen as we only plan to sit in the garden in summer months. To the far right hand side behind the fence there is a retaining brick wall, so nothing with invasive roots that may damage the brickwork would be appropriate. many thanks in advance! I have been pondering this for weeks and hope to get the trees in while it’s still winter!!




  • Have you considered using structures such as pergolas and arbours with climbers to provide screening, rather than using trees?

    Trees, even smaller ones, rarely stop growing when you want them to, and may well cause problems with drains, service pipes, foundations etc not to mention suckering roots invading lawns etc.


    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • LoanaLoana Posts: 427

    Hi Mike, i was going to suggest the same as dove, could you make a pergola feature, with trellis at the back, which you could grow climbers up, some evergreen for extra privacy, they could grow across the roof beams too? You can get climbers of various heights, colours, flowers etc ?

  • Thanks for your advice. I will look into the pergola idea, how about some fast growing shrubs which may not be as invasive?

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    If you are thinking about shrubs, fast growing usually means chopping back very soon. Is this something you are prepared to do? How tall do you want the shrubs to be and are you looking for a uniform look or an informal shrub to just add height.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,762

    Putting something smaller (pergolas etc as suggested) round your seating/dining areas is a simpler, but usually more effective solution.That would be a far better idea than trying to put trees along a boundary - they'll take ages to be effective, unless you can afford the price of mature specimens and have the knowledge to get them established. 

    The shrubs - as  explained - will take a while to screen that fence too, although you can always put a few shrubs in place anyway to get rid of the bare look and having something attractive to look at. There are loads which are easy to work with and readily available. We can offer plenty of suggestions for those if you like image

    I made a simple timber screen which also acts as a support for climbers etc. You can tailor these things to suit and it isn't difficult or expensive. Some posts, timber battens, a few bags of quick set concrete, a spade and a spirit level  image

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • I wouldn’t have an issue with having to cut back shrubs as I have enough free time and enjoy pottering around in the garden. I’m hoping to get a greenhouse one day! I was thinking shrubs like photinia, or forysthia. I used to have a buddleja at my old house and it was a great privacy screen but did need a lot of maintenance to stop it from going crazy. The wood screen sounds interesting though, could you post a picture? 

    Many thanks 

  • Hi Mike, if you are thinking of getting a greenhouse in the future, then think very carefully about any tall plants and plot the shadows that they would cause across your garden as the sun moves from morning to evening and at different times of year.  You may find that tall plants would cause too much shadow in your greenhouse, especially in the winter when it is most needed to keep the greenhouse at a reasonable temperature. Then there could be fallen branches causing damage.

    Sorry to be so negative, but it is now, whilst your garden is new that you should perhaps draw a plan on graph paper of all the additions you would like to make to your new garden. 

    Good Luck.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,762

    As requested Mike image

    It's basically two posts, a horizontal top and bottom,and then battens attached. I used ones at about 2 inches wide  (50mm) but you could use roofing battens which are slightly smaller. The front facing horizontals were then attached. The containers were built first, with the end posts   (which the screen is attached to ) built in, forming the corners of those. Obviously, they aren't necessary if you only want a screen. 




    It's been slightly altered this year as I made the pond bigger, but the screen is the same. I still have a piece of timber to put along the top as well, just to finish it off. 

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thanks for all your responses... that screen looks great. In fact my original plan was a patio outside the French doors at the back with seating but you may have inspired me to put a pergola up at the back with seating there. I will have to do some thinking and planning. Many thanks, I’ll post pictures if I ever get round to implementing it!! 

  • Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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