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what would you do with these spaces?

Hi all, 

I've been tinkering with the back fence of my new build garden for a little while now, but can decide what to do with these two spots:

1) this sizable stretch down the side of my neighbours house. I have planted trees either side of the image where the they can benefit for some direct sunlight, but this stretch is in the shade for almost the entire day (looking out from a South facing garden). I'm leaning towards conifer (no idea what type though), yew (slight concern as I have a pre-schooler) or pleached Hawthorne here, but remain open to ideas. I'd like something to cover the fence about 7/8ft high that is very narrow (I don't want to lose too much garden space here)

second image shows a small gap between a neighbours gazebo, I have a magnolia and another evergreen either side but torn on what to do in the middle. again, the gazebo will shade the area, but plenty of sun once it gets to 7/8ft. I've considered a small birch, a yew, a trellis (with jasmine, rose, honeysuckle which could grow on to the roof eventually?) or simply some high bamboo wicker screening.

your thoughts are most welcome!



  • *sprry for the typo right at the beginning there (i can't decide!)
  • BigladBiglad Posts: 2,893
    edited October 2020
    Just FYI, you can edit posts for an hour after posting them. Just click on the cog (?) in the top right corner of your post.
    East Lancs
  • B3B3 Posts: 25,219
    Can you go upstairs and get us a picture of the whole garden?
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • jamiewells1980jamiewells1980 Posts: 28
    edited October 2020

    here's a view from upstairs as requested. it's quite an expanse of fence as you can see! unfortunately my neighbour is 6'2 so his head sticks over the top of the fence when he's walking down the path at the side
  • B3B3 Posts: 25,219
    What's that fairground game when you whack things with a mallet?
    I can't help you with your design, but the full garden pics will help those who can😊
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    Would you be able to add a low trellis on top of the fence and grow some climbers. Honeysuckle, some roses, and clematis will cope with shade.
    If that's not possible you could put in support posts your side and put up trellis in front of the fence.
    I think in  a small garden although a couple of trees are nice but they have a tendency to not only grow up but spread so anything planted close to a fence will end up over your neighbours garden and won't be welcome if it casts shade.
    Rereading I see you mention honeysuckle but I certainly wouldn't want next doors growing on my gazebo roof or don't they mind?
  • Thanks, I had looked at a long stretch of fence top trellis, but the fence type makes it problematic, so I would have to put up support posts our side if I were to take that option. I honestly don't think the neighbour would mind if a climber started to encroach on his gazebo, but I can always offer to cut it back for him if it becomes an issue.

    I think might try a couple of trellis panels and perhaps a tree or two to break up the space. 

    Could anyone recommend a conifer that is nice and narrow and not too tall?

    I'm not sure if pleached trees might be a bit too much of a job for a complete novice like myself.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,081
    edited October 2020
    Forget conifers would be my advice.
    They're slow growing, and then they don't just stop, so you'll need to be sure of how to prune and manage them from the start. There are better plants to choose - yew for example. Several are columnar, and they can be hard pruned without killing them, unlike most conifers. The columnar cherry- Amanagowa, would also be better. 
    Pleached trees are very expensive - and again. you need the knowledge to get them established, and  keep them thriving.
    If you want to go down the pleaching route, it would be much cheaper to buy a suitable young tree and train it yourself. Beech and Hornbeam are ideal, and as we're virtually in bare root season, this is the time to buy.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • thanks @Fairygirl; helpful as always ☺. I think I'll probably opt for yew as the pleaching sounds a bit daunting. I am slightly concerned about the poisonous nature of yews, but from what I've read my kids would need to eat a good portion of the needles/leaves which seems highly unlikely. 

    The varieties are slightly confusing though. I have Taxus baccata 'Fastigiata Robusta' in my basket. is this columnar in nature do you know? it looks to be from the images.

    as for the cherry, I think I'm going to make space for that somewhere. Perhaps in that gap in centre of  the gazebo, or in an existing border if it won't work there. it will need to grow 7ft before in gets direct sunlight in the former.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,174
    @jamiewells1980, I believe the berries on yews can also be problematic, although you might want to check on this online.
     I had that cherry several gardens ago and thought it beautiful but brief in blossom. It's a very slim tree which should fit your spot well
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
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