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To go over and cover a fence

tsptsp Posts: 16
Hello all
I’ve got as far as I can with the thinking on this and wondering if anyone has any other ideas please.
The problem: my fence runs parallel with a public footpath. I have replaced around a dozen wooden panels with a few more left to do. I want to protect the panels from unwanted attention (vandalism, graffiti). I am not able to plant anything on the public side of the fence, confirmed after lengthy discussions with the council, so a hedge is off the table as an idea. I can also not plant any climbers on the public side of the fence. 
The solution: My current idea is to plant, on my side of the fence, climbing plants and hope that over time they will go over the 5ft panels (+ 1ft gravel board) and I can train them to run down the other side of the fence, thus covering them. So around 10-12 ft of growth needed 
The plant options: I don’t want to dry the panels out so ivy is not an option. I’ve got as far as star jasmine or clematis Montana mayleen. Would these work? Would they dry out the panels? Would they be too heavy?
Any ideas are much appreciated. I’d really like to get plants in this year if there are options. Otherwise I’ll have to hope the panels aren’t damaged (and there is evidence that this has happened before I moved into the property).
Thank you.
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  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,536
    I think clematis montana will do the job.
    My neighbour used to have one.
    It went up their fence, over the top, all the way down my fence, across the border and onto the lawn! - in one season
    Star Jasmine is lovely but needs lots of sun to flower well. Also it's not hardy throughout the UK, but may be an alternative if your conditions are right - it is also evergreen.
    The stems of both are quite tough, so they support a lot of the weight themselves.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,280
    I'm not sure what you mean about ivy 'drying out' the panels?  :)
    Any climber will prevent some rain getting in - depending on where you live and what your climate is like. Is that what you mean?
    It's easier if there are gaps in the fence to allow stems to go through to the other side, so it also depends on what kind of fence you have. 
    The montanas [any of them] will cover and grow over, but they won't just drop down to the ground and cover everything. You'd have to attach the growth to the fence. 
    It will also take several years for that to happen. Even with a vigorous climber like a montana, I'm afraid it's not an instant solution. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 1,701
    My first thought is that if some passing pedestrians damage the fence then might they pull down or damage the vegetation growing over the fence tsp? I don't want to put a dampener on it but you could be on an expensive hiding to nothing. 
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 6,429
    Uff said:
    My first thought is that if some passing pedestrians damage the fence then might they pull down or damage the vegetation growing over the fence tsp? I don't want to put a dampener on it but you could be on an expensive hiding to nothing. 

    That's the first thing I thought about too Uff. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,280
    Indeed. It's why thorny plants are better, but it's easier if they can be planted on the outside, or as I said - if there are gaps in the fence, you can allow, or train, stems through it. 
    I have pyracantha planted on the inside of part of my long boundary, and the bulk of it is on the outside.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • EustaceEustace OxfordPosts: 812
    Clematis Montana will grow over the fence; but at the same time it is capable of bringing down the fence too. At my son's house, his neighbour has a rampant clematis that has brought down almost 20 feet of fence down. He is now putting a new fence with concrete fenceposts instead of the wooden ones.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,629
    We have used Prikka strip on fences where we though there was a possibility of unwanted intruders. It's legal to use, and makes trying to climb over a fence very uncomfortable. It's also cheap and easy to install.

    The main issue with growing plants that train over fences is not drying out; it is that they create a damp environment in Winter, and that can increase the speed with which the fence rots. The weight of the climber can then increase the possibility of the fence collapsing, but that usually takes a long time to happen in our experience (think a decade or more).

    Jasmine officiniale is hardy, evergreen and grows very quickly. That might be a nice solution. Pyracantha is great for security, but it is not a plant that would trail over the top of the fence, it's mature stems are too rigid for that.
  • tsptsp Posts: 16
    Fairygirl said:
    I'm not sure what you mean about ivy 'drying out' the panels?  :)
    Any climber will prevent some rain getting in - depending on where you live and what your climate is like. Is that what you mean?
    It's easier if there are gaps in the fence to allow stems to go through to the other side, so it also depends on what kind of fence you have. 
    The montanas [any of them] will cover and grow over, but they won't just drop down to the ground and cover everything. You'd have to attach the growth to the fence. 
    It will also take several years for that to happen. Even with a vigorous climber like a montana, I'm afraid it's not an instant solution. 
    Thank you. I should have said it’s a slatted fence, your standard DIY shop sort of thing. There is ivy on some panels already, and they have dried out and are brittle from the ivy clinging on to them. 
    I like the idea of gaps in the fence.
    I should have said as well that on the inside of my boundary I have a very long row is rugosa Alba roses - seriously thorny so if anyone ever got through a panel (which are screwed in place anyway) they wouldn’t get too far.
  • tsptsp Posts: 16
    Pete.8 said:
    I think clematis montana will do the job.
    My neighbour used to have one.
    It went up their fence, over the top, all the way down my fence, across the border and onto the lawn! - in one season
    Star Jasmine is lovely but needs lots of sun to flower well. Also it's not hardy throughout the UK, but may be an alternative if your conditions are right - it is also evergreen.
    The stems of both are quite tough, so they support a lot of the weight themselves.
    Thank you. The position is full sun and it’s never too cold. Evergreen is better I think. 
  • tsptsp Posts: 16
    Uff said:
    My first thought is that if some passing pedestrians damage the fence then might they pull down or damage the vegetation growing over the fence tsp? I don't want to put a dampener on it but you could be on an expensive hiding to nothing. 
    You are of course correct. If I don’t plant anything then painting the panels is an option to ‘hide’ them a little. The path is quite wide but regularly used, and a lot of school children use it and they are likely to grab whatever is hanging! I’m a bit lost why the previous owners didn’t plant a hedge when they installed the concrete posts for the panels decades ago. Anyway, I could take the posts out but thats a huge job and if I put hedges in I’d need an instant impact so it would be root ball territory which will be expensive.
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