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Garden design advice and ideas to resolve my wooden prison (trellis) nightmare!

kawa_starkawa_star Posts: 16
edited June 2021 in Garden design
Hi, 

First time posting and its a long one!
Really really hoping for some garden design advice.

We have a Victorian house in town, so the garden isn't huge as you can see. We've recently put in the path and patio at the back and built a garden room/summer house. We've also done some planting as the garden only had grass and an old garage. 
Unfortunately our neighbour decided to erect a GIANT trellis decorated in fake ivy, which stands over 2mtrs above our fence  (see pics). In an attempt to hide it, we've added our own trellis, as shown. 
With the garden not being  very wide and now having this ridiculously tall fence, plus a wooden garden room, I feel like I'm in a wooden prison!! 😂
We have planted shrubs and planters to eventually disguise it! (grow plants grow) but right now I'm struggling with how to make it feel less overwhelming. 
My questions are... 
1) Do we paint the fence and the summer house to break up the wood? Or just one? I'm leaning towards grey or black.
There's conflicting advice about dark vs light colours on forums. Some say black is muting and makes the plants pop and garden look bigger. Others say it dwarfs the garden. 
2) Do we paint the decking near the house perhaps until we scrap it. 
3) I'm stuck with what to do with the patch in front of the summer house ?? I like the idea of a water feature or flower bed but we don't want anything tricky.

 I want to make the space more interesting by creating areas. We have a corner sofa on order for the patio on front of summer house and I'm thinking potted plants and flowers down there. I'm currently in the process of painting a bistro table at the other end! I've made a flower bed to the right, shrubs and climbers left and a tree at the back. 

Excuse the state of the garden. Everything is work in progress 🙈

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Posts

  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    edited June 2021
    I would see the high trellis as a great opportunity to grow climbing roses and green beans. Odd as it sounds, I would suggest matching the trellis on the other side. I would go for wider side borders, and put trellis to grow climbers up and over the shed.

    The upside over an open garden is a sense of spaciousness and sky. The upside of a more enclosed garden is a sense of privacy and cosiness. I would make the best of what you have.

    What is the orientation of the garden?

    Hopefully it can be a green, floral and welcoming space not a 'prison' or 'nightmare'. Most of us have aspects of our gardens that we'd rather change.
  • kawa_starkawa_star Posts: 16
    Thank you, that's a nice way of looking at it. I have my up days and down. I guess where the plant growth feels such a long way off and I'm on maternity leave I tend to focus on the fence too much. 
    I think we're south east facing, but we're not over looked at the back which is good. 
  • Wild_VioletWild_Violet ScotlandPosts: 137
    Hi, I just wonder if your neighbour put up the trellis on top of the fence to screen off your summerhouse which looks higher than the original fence?  Even though you probably can’t see into their garden or house from it, it can feel like that when a new window is suddenly facing in the direction of your property. People, including myself, can get a bit obsessive over garden privacy! 
    Whatever the reason, I think that your garden will look really nice with climbers, shrubs and smallish trees to break up the wooden wall effect.  A black fence would look lovely behind plants but as you say it will take a couple of years for the plants to grow and perhaps there would be too much black until then? Why not paint the original fence and leave the trellis as it is to break things up a bit?
    Where I live (central Scotland) back garden fences including trellis attached are not supposed to be over 2m high without planning permission.  It generally doesn’t end well though going down the reporting to the council route... I’d agree to make the most of what you have - it’s a great space.  :)
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    I would say that you have space to grow a more vigorous clematis like a montana or a rose like a Malvern Hills. They grow quite fast and can cover a lot of ground. Also maybe a solanum on the west facing fence. Trees could look great  beside or behind the shed. Maybe consider a bin hiding structure if the bins permanently sit near the decking. Maybe think of growing a rose up the face of the house, if there is space to put it in the earth there. I can imagine silver birches in your garden.
  • ElferElfer Posts: 329
    I am going to share a couple of pics from @Loxley that he posted in the Garden gallery page 72 as well as a couple from @Ffoxglove on page 84 to give you some ideas. I hope they don't mind as I wasn't sure how to link to their actual pics as opposed to the respective pages.





    You have a proportionally long narrow garden, making the fence higher by adding trellises has the potential to make it look even narrower, I think to some degree blanket climbers can have the same effect. What I like about the above garde is how low & medium height plants of various textures and shades on either side break up the height, perhaps you could incorporate that design element. The dark grey fence adds a modern touch too, a good alternative to black?

    Another key feature is how the gravel path has been broken up by crosswise slabs again adding visual width. I see you have a long narrow path on one side, If your budget allows then I would replace it with a wavy gravel path with intermittent crosswise slabs. The reason i would go for a wavy path is just to break up and soften the straight lines, it would also allow you to plant something other than climbers and small plants alongside the path.





    Above pics give you an idea of how to turn your patio into a cosy and magical space through the use of Rose's, shrubs, pot plants and low key strategic lighting not to mention the furniture.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,298
    Always interested in a fence (was going to put post wasn't meant to be a pun) am confused,you said neighbour put giant trellis 2mtr ABOVE your fence,is that a misprint? I can't see any posts his side in-between trellis. Agree with previous posts,you have to tread carefully. Do you own the property,is that side definitely your responsibility? Law (England,) says you can't have fence higher than 2mtr facing a road, but people do, often by adding trellis and nothing happens,no authority is interested.We have opposite problem, neighbours fence completely Rotten falling down ruining our garden, always fell OUR way, solicitor told me to put up a fence MY side, inside HIS told her that was impossible, partly because of structures,big trees,the posts were Rotten,if it had been viable,he old fence would have pushed over the new one. We ended up replacing the whole lot, unable to put 6ft, which was on 5ft posts,flapping about,had to use 5ft, mean they can see over!
  • kawa_starkawa_star Posts: 16
    Thank you, that's helpful. I like those colours. Are there any particular plants you recommend? 
    Unfortunately, we need the straight path as we basically use the back of the house as access, the front is on a main road with a narrow pavement and our drive is on the back. So with 1 kid and baby the practicality really helps. Plus my partner would kill me and he just laid the patio and path  😂
  • kawa_starkawa_star Posts: 16
    Always interested in a fence (was going to put post wasn't meant to be a pun) am confused,you said neighbour put giant trellis 2mtr ABOVE your fence,is that a misprint? I can't see any posts his side in-between trellis. Agree with previous posts,you have to tread carefully. Do you own the property,is that side definitely your responsibility? Law (England,) says you can't have fence higher than 2mtr facing a road, but people do, often by adding trellis and nothing happens,no authority is interested.We have opposite problem, neighbours fence completely Rotten falling down ruining our garden, always fell OUR way, solicitor told me to put up a fence MY side, inside HIS told her that was impossible, partly because of structures,big trees,the posts were Rotten,if it had been viable,he old fence would have pushed over the new one. We ended up replacing the whole lot, unable to put 6ft, which was on 5ft posts,flapping about,had to use 5ft, mean they can see over!
    This us what we're hiding by putting trellis on our side.. 
  • kawa_starkawa_star Posts: 16
    Hi, I just wonder if your neighbour put up the trellis on top of the fence to screen off your summerhouse which looks higher than the original fence?  Even though you probably can’t see into their garden or house from it, it can feel like that when a new window is suddenly facing in the direction of your property. People, including myself, can get a bit obsessive over garden privacy! 
    Whatever the reason, I think that your garden will look really nice with climbers, shrubs and smallish trees to break up the wooden wall effect.  A black fence would look lovely behind plants but as you say it will take a couple of years for the plants to grow and perhaps there would be too much black until then? Why not paint the original fence and leave the trellis as it is to break things up a bit?
    Where I live (central Scotland) back garden fences including trellis attached are not supposed to be over 2m high without planning permission.  It generally doesn’t end well though going down the reporting to the council route... I’d agree to make the most of what you have - it’s a great space.  :)
    Yes it was the summer house, we offered to insert a screen and regular sized Trellis within regs. Unfortunately he said no as he wanted this. We also found out later from neighbour the other side, that hed tried to erect this previously. I think we just moved in and I'd given birth and he just saw it as a good opportunity to do what he wanted.

    I'm defo trying to make the best of the space, I'm just a bit scared of getting it wrong in the space we have and the high fence / big garden room 
  • HomemadeLookHomemadeLook North EssexPosts: 16
    I'd be careful about painting the fence if you hate the trellis on top. A dark colour will make the fence recede but since you can't paint the trellis this would stand out even more. If you want to paint the fence, a brighter colour might be better to make a feature of it and draw your eye away from the trellis.
    Might be best to leave it and concentrate on the planting.

    Putting in a focal point such as a water feature would also help draw away your attention from the fencing.
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