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Privacy Screening


I moved into a new-build a couple of years ago, and I'd like to start creating a privacy screen between ourselves and the house over the road (pictured).

So far I've got a Lilac (Beauty of Moscow), a Magnolia Grandiflora (dwarf version), and a camellia (nearest the camera) which I hope will provide a degree of privacy in a few years. I also plan to plant a small tree to the left of the bench. Unfortunately the California lilac, as well as the lavender next to it, will need to come out as it's simply not going to grow anywhere near tall enough.  Any advice on what I can put in its place?  Something 3-4m, ideally Evergreen but it's not mandatory. 

Aspect wise this is a southerly facing wall, and whatever I plant along this wall will get the sun pretty much all day long.

Your insight, as always, will be gratefully received.


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    Be mindful that evergreen taller shrubs and trees of that height will eventually cast some shade into your border and garden eventually. If you are thinking about growing something that tall, also think about the scale to your border too. Even though shrubs/trees grow tall, they also need root space too, so if you are planning on planting so close to the wall, think about widening your borders a bit more.

    For something of that space and for what you want, take a look at Ligustrum Japonicum. In extreme cold weather, they can be semi evergreen which I think is useful since a dense cover can cause too much shade. There are variegated versions if you want to add contrast. 
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    If you are trying to grow something that will extend up over the height of the walls in your garden you have a few problems.
    1. Your borders are narrow. If you plant shrubs of any kind which will grow tall, they will also encroach a lot out from the wall and onto your lawn. You need to be prepared for that.
    2. If you plant trees instead, then you will need to look for trees with a columnar shape - any other and they will encroach on your neighbours gardens. I would also be wary of the roots impacting on your walls. And they will take many years to make any kind of screening. 
    The long and the short of it is: you bought a house which you knew would be surrounded by other houses - privacy is in short commodity in that situation.  The best idea is as suggested - to build a pergola over your seating area or to have your seating area against the party wall. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,323
    I might also be tempted to make the border a little wider.
    And another option along the lines of though not a pergola, some very large sturdy posts with maybe a rope swag with climbers.
    Coming into the garden rather than close up to the boundary, you don't need such tall stuff to screen or break up that view.
    With well placed simple big poles or a tall chunky obelisk. or a cross topped pole or three. You could use climbers to good effect, more controllable, and unlike trees if cut back when too big they often look better and recover.
    You already have the lovely big clematis montana underway, just give it something to climb on to train it further into the garden away from the wall. If a montana needs to be cut back do it immediately after flowering they will grow new flowering shoots for the following year.
    It may turn out to be too big in the long run I think they look best growing up big tree or along that whole wall it would be quite capable and fantastic.

    And do remember that although we often feel like we are being overlooked, in reality most people are too busy with life to stand staring out at you. Unless you love sunbathing nude and don't want to scare the neighbours  (Tongue firmly in cheek ).
    Good Luck
  • All,

    Many thanks for your input, it's much appreciated.

    I'd love a wider border, but the challenge with a small garden is that the wider the border the less lawn there is! Believe it or not this is actually double the size of the border that the contractors left me with!

    As for being naked in the garden, I'm afraid that is simply not an option for least not now anyway! I'd hate the locals to think that Twycross Zoo had lost one of their boa constrictors....

  • ZeroZero1ZeroZero1 Posts: 577
    edited September 2018
    Some very good advice above. Have you considered a good quality trellis? If you fixed this up above your wall and encouraged your climbers along it you could extend your privacy upwards. Using vigorous climbers like your montana the gaps would soon fill.

    Other alternatives:

    Passion Flower grows quick and once established works well, Russian Vine is  called "mile a minute" for good reasons.
    Virginia creeper is another type = wonderful reds in autumn. All these can be kept in had with a pair of shears.
    Lastly a Vine. Vines can be useful as screens and can give fruit. Personally vine would be my choice. If it is trained  correctly it can give wonderful fruits and will obscure views during the summer when you are out in the garden, it also gives good autumn colour. They grow very well and long if allowed.
    For any of these options, and for the one's you have established, if you get a stout plastic garden netting and attach it to the walls, any climber could also cover some of the brickwork in between the trellis's you have.
  • sabeehasabeeha Posts: 344
    You are quite overlooked! How big is your budget? How about Pleached trees? You could always add plants underneath.
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    The walls already look as though they are the allowed 6feet so adding trellis to the top of them is a no-go.
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,161
    I didn't think trellis counted? 
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,886
    You’re growing too different types of trees there, Magnolia and Camellias like acid soil, the lilac has to be in Alkaline, whatever you plant in big trees needs to be much further away from the wall, think of when the trunks grow to full size, they’ll be pushing  onto the wall. 
    Lots of things to think about before you start planting. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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