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Plant / Tree with no invasive roots

lavsterlavster Posts: 6
Hi, we've got a front garden with 2 bay windows and we get quite a lot of footfall, so i'm looking to plant some shrubs / trees that will stop people looking in our windows when the pass by. Can anyone recommend a tree / shrub that wont grow too tall (maybe 4 / 5 foot max) that doesn't have an invasive root system.
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  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 12,374
    Hello @Lavster, could you give us some more information please and perhaps a photo?
    It helps the advice giving if we know whereabouts roughly you live, which way the front garden's facing (i.e. north or south etc) and what type of soil you have if you know it. 
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • lavsterlavster Posts: 6
    Lizzie27 said:
    Hello @Lavster, could you give us some more information please and perhaps a photo?
    It helps the advice giving if we know whereabouts roughly you live, which way the front garden's facing (i.e. north or south etc) and what type of soil you have if you know it. 
    Hello, thanks, I live in South Wales, the front garden is north facing , mainly shaded. I’ve attached 2 photos of the windows I’d like to have something in front of, the clearance to the fence in the image is about 9m so I was thinking of planting nearer the fence than the house? I’m not sure what soil we have sorry, I know it’s poor though, a lot of clay.
  • What about a tall hedge?
  • lavsterlavster Posts: 6
    What about a tall hedge?
    I did suggest that but my wife said shed prefer some sort of tree / shrub in front of each window, nearer the fence that would actually make the front garden look a bit nicer
  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    It would make sense to plant a tree in the centre of each lawn area and then you could have decent tree without too much concern over roots.
    Even in winter the bare branches break up the view.
    Not many trees in stock online at the moment but have a look at some supplier such as ornamental trees or mail order trees for inspiration.
  • lavsterlavster Posts: 6
    K67 said:
    It would make sense to plant a tree in the centre of each lawn area and then you could have decent tree without too much concern over roots.
    Even in winter the bare branches break up the view.
    Not many trees in stock online at the moment but have a look at some supplier such as ornamental trees or mail order trees for inspiration.
    Thank you, yes this is the plan. Are you able to suggest such a tree that will only grow to around 5 / 6 foot max?
  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    Very few trees will stay that small but they do take 10 to 20 years to mature though.
    https://www.mailordertrees.co.uk/collections/ornamental-trees/dwarf+semi-shade

    The other option is blinds!
  • An evergreen shrub might be the answer. No plants stop growing at a specified height. You would eventually need to prune what ever you plant to your chosen height. Clay is hard work but an excellent soil for growing trees and shrubs. Mix grit and manure into the planting hole.
    An evergreen shrub with interesting flowers and perhaps a good perfume might tempt your wife. Do not be tempted to buy anything described as vigorous, spreading or fast-growing, you will be forever hacking it back. Avoid any plants needing acid soil or needing well drained sunny conditions. This will help you sift through which plants to choose.
    Another possibility would be to put a trellis up along the fencing and grow an evergreen climber.
    Variegated hollies are useful as a hedge but are slow growing
  • didywdidyw Posts: 3,524
    I would definitely create a border along the fence - which will be south facing so you will have quite a lot of choice of what to plant there.  And perhaps a dwarf apple tree in the centre of each lawn.  You could plant low growing shrubs against the house walls, which won't grow higher than the windows - but by that time passers by will have something to look at. At the moment there is nothing to look at but your windows!
    Gardening in East Suffolk on dry sandy soil.
  • Mary370Mary370 Posts: 2,003
    I would put a couple of tall ornamental grasses there.......
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