Forum home Garden design

Privacy Planting - Recommendations please :)

simonmolssimonmols Posts: 6
edited March 2022 in Garden design
Hi everyone,

I'm hoping someone can help me with some appropriate planting reccomendations please.

We're in south Cornwall, the main garden is South facing (see attached satellite image), on slightly acidic clay soil. 

The area i would welcome advice on is the Eastern edge of the garden, which retreats into a sharp corner. The southern edge of the corner is bounded by a low cornish hedge and the northern boundary is marked by a 1.5m white washed wall.

As you can see whole garden is currently overlooked by houses to the east and as part of any design I would like to provide suitable planting (trees or otherwise) to provide a privacy screen.  This is our forever home so we definitely have time on our side to allow any planting to mature :)

The Eastern corner is quite exposed so any planting would need to be able to be able to tolerate the wind we get down here. During the summer the spot gets plenty of sunshine all day long. 

Thanks in advance for you contributions!


  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 9,552
    How much planting space do you have? Is it just the narrow raised bed in the last pic, or is there a deeper space behind the shed? For trees or tall shrubs you'll want to plant them far enough within your boundaries so that they won't overhang when fully grown, otherwise the neighbour on the other side would be within their rights to chop off anything overhanging. They might not do that, but best not to take chances.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • Thanks @JennyJ, good question! The space behind the shed is up for grabs as is the top of the cornish hedge. The long term plan is to relocate the old shed from behind the summerhouse to accommodate planting and a dedicated outdoor eating and entertaining space. Sorry should have made this clear in the OP!
  • Space-wise behind the summerhouse is a triangle approx 5m on the edge.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 9,552
    OK, that will help with recommendations.
    I'll leave it to people with more similar conditions though. I have light soil and a drier and colder climate than you so my recommendations probably wouldn't be up to much, and I don't know whether you could grow anything large in the top of the cornish hedge - is that a double-faced wall with soil in the middle? Local folks in the south-west will be able to help.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • Thanks @JennyJ, the hedge is double stone faced, filled with soil but has a boundary fence running down the middle. Depth of planting area is between 60cm and 80cm depending on section. 
  • AstraeusAstraeus Posts: 335
    One of the best tips I ever heard when it comes to privacy planting is to bring it closer, not make it taller. So, pick where you want privacy the most (patio?) and bring something which is 2-3m tall close to it, which will give you the same privacy as something close to the boundary that is very much taller. Once you think like that, a world of options opens up to include small trees, shrubs and even tall grasses.

    By applying that principle, we're 'hiding' our patio behind an amelanchier and several calamagrostis Karl Foerster.
  • Tanty2Tanty2 Posts: 221
    I used Griselinia Litoralis for privacy planting cos it grows super fast and is evergreen.  I got mine from Trevena Cross Nursery in Cornwall :)  Also, what about Buxus Graham Blandy (also evergreen) or maybe some pleached fruit trees?  All of these would be upright, no overhanging the neighbours :)  I confess I haven't checked to see if these would work with your soil, sorry!  Also, Pittosporum give good height - some of them are pretty slow-growing but others get a bit of a wiggle on :)  Also, I planted Ceanothus Trewithen Blue for privacy which is a tree-form California Lilac, it grows at a ridiculous rate, is very pretty and tolerates all manner of pruning (I cleared the trunks to make mine look like trees so I could underplant them).  Another fastigiate (upright) gem is Sambucus Nigra either Golden Tower or Black Tower.  Very speedy to grow, about a metre wide, again, no overhanging the neighbours.
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,183
    edited March 2022
    Astraeus is quite correct that the rules of perspective make a big difference when it comes to privacy planting. For example I have a crab apple tree maintained at 3 - 4m high. When I'm within 4 - 5m of it there is complete screening from next door's upstairs windows. 6-7m away and there's much less screening.

    You could consider a medium to tall but light and airy tree (such as one of the amelanchiers or a silver birch) in the apex with some large shrubs along the other sides. 

    If the shed is going you could consider a pergola type structure to grow climbers up and over which could give a lot of screening to your entertaining area. You could even have a slatted screen type arrangement to the side which faces your neighbours. If I have my directions right that would only interfere with morning sun - not the evening.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • FireFire Posts: 17,307
    After seeing it on GW last night, I have been swooning over Populus deltoides 'Purple Tower'. Fast growing, gorg leaves can be pruned back every year back to the stool (like a hazel). basically prune it how you want it. I'm itching to try it in a columnar manner.

Sign In or Register to comment.