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Soften Fencing

Hi all, our neighbour had chopped down their hedge which has left an area of our garden looking very hard with fencing and a climbing frame. We also now see a lot more rooftops than we did before. 
We have added an extra gravel board to lift the fence and have considered a trellis as well but would need to come up with a solution to support it as the fence posts don’t extend that high. 
We can’t grow anything in the ground as there is a concrete slab there. 
I’m looking for suggestions for trees or climbers that grow well in pots, or any other ideas to soften this area please? May fence mounted planters?
Photos of before and after attached. 


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,910
    edited February 2022
    When you say concrete slab, what exactly do you mean? A solid bed of concrete, or just some slabs?
    What direction does the fence face?
    Your containers will need to be sizeable. Most climbers and trees aren't easy to manage in them unless you know what you're doing, and they need a lot more care than they would in the ground. A purpose built raised bed would be more suitable.
    In theory, you can't add trellis to the fence if it makes it more than 2 metres. That's generally the height limit for fences, but you could check with your council. If you wanted extra height, you'd need a separate screen inside the fence, but I doubt you'd have the room, or the inclination, for that  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 2,711
    Just a thought, do you know the neighbours who have removed the hedge and why they have done so?  If it was unhealthy they may be planning to replant with a new hedge so your worries may be over with time!  They may also have a desire to shield the view of your play area, impressive though it is 😊!
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

  • Sorry, this is the before! It didn’t post before!
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,910
    Maybe they felt it was taking up too much space - understandably.
    The problem with many conifer hedges, especially leylandii [looks like that] is that they need maintaining from the start to keep them at a decent size and width. Very few can take being cut back hard too - thuja is about the only one.
    Maybe worth asking them in case they're intending replacing it as @Plantminded says. 
    If they're looking for suggestions, you can send them in this direction  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Windways137Windways137 Posts: 18
    edited February 2022
    Yes they felt it was too big and was also taking up about 2m at the end of their garden so completely understandable. They're not replacing the hedge but putting a rockery in.

    We're on a hill and they're lower so thankfully they can only see the very top of the play area - we literally built it the week before they chopped their trees down and we had previously said, nobody can see it so it doesn't matter that it's huge and has a palm tree! I'm sure they would appreciate some sort of screening or trees even just to hide it a bit!

    The play area is on a solid concrete slab - an old garage base (don't worry there is rubber matting down!) so nothing will grow there. I was thinking maybe a raised planter too or I was looking at fence mounted herb gardens but not sure the fence is strong enough!
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,910
    In that case, raised beds are a better plan. They'd give you more scope, and any plants would be easier to maintain. They can be made of whatever suits your budget, and skills if you do them yourself. Just make sure they have some drainage - weep holes if they're block or brick, and gaps at the base, or slightly raised off the ground, if they're timber./sleepers etc.
    The main drawbacks are that they take a bit of filling- and you need soil, not compost, and they also need regular topping up, but they give you some instant height, which means you can plant smaller specimens. You also don't need them to be too wide [front to back] as long as the height is decent, as that gives a good volume of soil.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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