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Best way to obscure unsightly sheds next door...


I need some advice please!

My neighbour recently built not 1, not 2 but 3 sheds. They're all 2.5m tall so believe they're allowed but nevertheless they're unsightly. Must be even uglier from their side, but each to their own!

I am looking in to ways of obscuring them, when viewing from our garden and our bedroom window (which offends me the most!). I should add the boundary they've built alongside is East facing for us. 

The only thing stopping me from going for pleached trees along the whole way, is that my garden will look very unbalanced as my west facing currently a work in progress and looks very bare. I've grown some climbers along this west facing fence and will add some more ornamental trees ie. multi stemmed pear & acers etc over time. I should probably add that eventually I do plan to add a line of pleached hornbeam at the back at some point.

Back to the problem! I have looked at evergreen screening trees and I really don't know what's best. I think I need one to put where their first shed starts, which I believe will obscure the view the most. I want something evergreen which covers a wide area. Everything I look at online is immaculately pruned in to a standard shape and I'm not sure what coverage that would give us. I did consider buying a Red Robin or magnolia pleached tree and taking out the canes, or is that a strange thing to consider? I was also then considering adding a trelis to the top of our fence and growing jasmine between this new tree and the tree already there.

Does any one else have any other tips for this problem area and/or the west facing fence? Just to add I'm not a fan of conifers or holly.

Thanks so much! 



  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 2,669
    The area is close to the house so you want something nice to look at. The jasmine sounds good but also a honeysuckle or maybe an evergreen clematis. 
  • AmyMholzAmyMholz Posts: 13
    Yes, those are all things I've considered but definitely want at least one pretty evergreen, mainly to give the height to obscure view from window. 

    Many thanks for your response! 
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,150
    A trellis panel at the bbq bit, set at 90° to the fence, would provide an instant screen for your patio area. Plant a climber of your choice up it.

    I'd make a proper border on the other side and remove all the grass around the base of the plants there. They will struggle to get established with the grass taking away water/nutrients from them.
    Must be a pita to mow and you risk damage to the base of your plants.
  • MrsGardenMrsGarden Posts: 3,951
    I like the idea of climbers through trees (esp if deciduous ones) but will your neighbours complain if they (inevitably) climb over their sheds? (the climber, not the neighbours!). Magnolia sounds nice, pleaching it sounds great fun! But do you have time to wait for it to establish, or funds to buy large enough? Consider what can be planted under or nearby - will the rain reach it, irrigation system instead? Any remaining nutrients from the large tree? I have a similar area and have managed to grow lavender and a few geraniums only. (You could consider a eucalyptus - it will grow super quickly, look pretty - but it  will be huge within a year and subsequent years you may regret it). Another difficult option to consider is a tall bamboo (clump forming may be ok), some are semi evergreen but can look tatty over time.
  • AmyMholzAmyMholz Posts: 13
    Thanks both

    yes i need to pick out that grass, it is supposed to be a proper border with bulbs in front of the box hedging by husband got a bit heavy handed with the grass seed when we were repairing the lawn after work! 🙈
  • AmyMholzAmyMholz Posts: 13
    edited June 2018
    I should probably add that I’m willing to spend money on something mature so we get instant impact. Ie. A magnolia already pleached which I can take canes out of. 

    Thanks for rising points about climbers on sheds, is here an evergreen climber that is easy to control? X 
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 4,070
    Whatever you plant is going to take a long time to obscure the view from the upstairs windows unless you can afford to purchase mature trees.  If the fence belongs to you I would just attach trellis to it.  That alone will go some way to breaking up the view of the shed.
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,975
    I don’t think you will ever be able to obscure the sheds from your upstairs window regardless of what you plant. 
    Concentrate instead on obscuring them from the garden. A small length of trellis at right angles to the fence will do the job for your seating area. And have lots of interest in the garden lower down so your eyeline is always down rather than up at shed height. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 19,988
    edited June 2018
    If you go to a builders' merchants you can find metal grids used for reinforcing concrete that make excellent, indestructible trellis.  It comes in lengths 2m high by 4 to 5 long.   If you bought a couple of sheets and attached it firmly to tall posts just inside but well above your fence it would provide excellent support for climbers and give you height.  

    This clematis will grow large enough to hide the sheds and give you perfumed flowers from March to May - - and would be good planted up near the house.   You could add honeysuckle or other clems further down the garden to extend the season of interest.

    Something else to consider would be a row of pleached hornbeams if your soil is moist or beech if it is well drained.   Copper beech looks good done this way and will be easier to maintain and cheaper than a magnolia and less prone to damage from late frosts.

    Agree about that left hand border - remove the grass to at least 60cms deep and wider if possible and maybe curved for interest then feed and water those plants to give them a boost.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • I’ve (hubby and me coz they are big wobbly things) just put up one of those builders mesh things at the side of a pergola to grow clematis. It was literally only hours before the clematis started to wind their tendrils around the mesh - amazing! 
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