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Screening help

Hi Everyone,

I’m new to gardening and have just finished installing an L-shaped raised bed that runs along the fence of our small garden.

I wanted some advice on what to plant. 

I would like tall plants to provide a dense screen that hides the fence. My preference would be for U.K. native plants to support birds and insects.  

I’m open to a single plant that would create a formal hedge or a mixture of plants that I could plant alternately but height and screening is the goal. 

The garden faces south east and the beds get sunlight for at least half the day.

The planting space inside the raised bed is 40cm wide and about 50cm  deep. The height of the fence above the raised bed is about 150cm.

Any ideas would be much appreciated as I have no idea what to plant!

Please ignore the stones on top of the raised bed. We put a thin layer to cover the soil while we decide what and when to plant.


Posts

  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,601
    Are the raised beds open to the soil underneath? Do you want a formal look or something more loose? There is a range of plants you could use if you have the planting depth so this is quite important. I was thinking of clematis, solanum, wisteria for a quick fix.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,135
    Hi @darren.m.willis0MO9c7oA  -if you're picking trees or shrubs, there isn't a huge volume of soil available, so you'd need to be quite careful with your choices, as some will be better suited than others. Some of the bog standard hedging shrubs, like Eleagnus or Portuguese laurel  will be ok, but aren't terribly exciting, but you could intersperse with spring bulbs and some taller perennials :)
    The climate in your area is also a factor, because raised beds drain more rapidly, so if you already have a fairly dry climate, that would be a consideration.
    Climbers would be better, but if you don't own the fence, you'll need permission to attach wires or trellis. 
    I take it you've put soil in the beds, not just compost?
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • edited October 2021
    Posy said:
    Are the raised beds open to the soil underneath? Do you want a formal look or something more loose? There is a range of plants you could use if you have the planting depth so this is quite important. I was thinking of clematis, solanum, wisteria for a quick fix.
    Thank you for your response. I installed a weed membrane which I could take out to give more planting depth if required. Id be happy to look at both formal or more loose planting schemes. I’d ideally like to avoid climbers as I don’t own either fences and would need local authority permission to attach anything to it. I imagine this would take a very long time. I would also like to look at U.K. native plants if possible. 
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,601
    Difficult. Perennials and grasses die down and would not make an effective screen all year but most shrubs need more root-room to thrive. I imagine you would prefer evergreens but I can't,  personally, think of any that would make the height in that space. See what others say.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,135
    Limiting your choices to native plants will also make it harder.  :)
    Escallonia would probably be fine, and so would Genista in the conditions and aspect.

    If it was mine, I'd plant Amelanchiers and Genista, but I'd add perennials and bulbs to extend the interest. 
    Or just have hedging - Beech would be ideal.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • StephenSouthwestStephenSouthwest Southwest EnglandPosts: 428
    I'd be tempted to take out the weed membrane, and plant whips of a mixed native hedge, though I would have concerns about rootspace. Another option would be an edible hedge - quite a wide range of possibilities - hazel, cob, crab, dwarf apple, and many others, or put in some posts and wires for espalier fruit trees or to train climbing or rambling fruit - grape, thornless blackberry...
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,135
    I just remembered something which might suit. I haven't been that way for a while, but there's a house near me which has a cotoneaster on a wall. It'll probably be C. lacteus [which I have here on a fence] as they're suited to growing that way. This one is shaped/pruned so that it forms a very structural shape, while still having all the benefits of the plant itself. It looks stunning. 
    They need very little care, evergreen, and will also provide food for wildlife. 
    If you paint the fence a dark colour - green or grey for example, it will also help it to recede into the background more. Black is also excellent for a backdrop to planting   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,976
    Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster' & Verbena bonariensis would make a great visual screen, complementing the timber fence. There would be a couple of months between cutting the grass flower heads down in spring, and the new flower heads in early summer. I like the greyed timber of the fence and sleepers.

    See the source image
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