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To hide fence and dead leylandii

This is our back fence and neighbour’s vandalised leylandii. We have only been here for a month so early days. It faces due West and is rather dry. Recent rain didn’t touch the bottom of the fence. We would like to cover or disguise it all. Open to any ideas. Don’t know the history of the vandalism yet. 


  • AngelicantAngelicant Posts: 130
    edited August 2022
    As you can't raise the height of the fence and probably don't want to, you could install 3-4ft trellis panels on their own supports just inside it to cover the dead wood. I would then dig a nice deep border in front and plant some small trees or tall shrubs, my favourites are Photinia and Ceanothus, both evergreen so they still shield in winter but some on here really don't like them. Photinia particularly is very adaptable to chopping back so it doesn't become too overbearing - one of mine is now a lovely multi-stemmed tree that gives dappled shade. I much prefer the natural look rather than the pleached trees that you can buy.
    You could paint the fence and trellis black so that they disappear into the background or climbers at the back such as ivy or climbing hydrangea would soon cover the fence and trellis.  

    Edited to add, you may need to spend some time improving the soil in front of your fence before you start planting as the conifers will have and will continue to make it very dry. I removed 30ft of very mature Laurel 3 years ago and it's finally looking better this year.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,909
    @Angelicant has made some very good suggestions,  l like the idea of the trellis and painting the fence black or maybe dark grey if you feel that's too dark.
    I would bring the border out at least four or five feet from the fence and agree with adding well rotted compost or some other kind of soil improver before planting anything.
      Leylandii are notorious for sucking as much moisture as possible from the surrounding area.

    Your forum name may provide a clue @enfrance2003, but whereabouts are you (a rough location will do). This may help with additional advice. 
  • McRazzMcRazz Posts: 288
    edited August 2022
    I'm not sure on the planning implications, but a trellis exceeding 2m may qualify as an oversized fence so you may want to check the rules concerning that.

    A floating hedge would be acceptable though. Carpinus or Pyrus 'chanticleer' would work. Try Deepdale trees.

    The management on here may suggest a pretty border to cover the fence.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 4,991
    I assume you own the fence and not your neighbour. Perhaps you could speak to them before making any commitment. Perhaps they are waiting to see what your plans are.
    Building a garden is very personal. It's not quite the same as installing a boiler.
    James Alexander Sinclair 
  • I love a black fence!! Adds depth and plants look amazing against it. 

    Removed some leylandi from my border and the roots are tough to dig out. If you can hire a mini digger it’ll make creating a new border much easier! 

    I grow Ceoanthus against my fence and it’s really fast growing compared to other evergreens and looks beautiful late spring.

    Jasmine is an evergreen climber so you’d need trellis for it. Smells lovely though. 

    I’d also second digging in as much farm yard manure as you can before you plant.

  • Wow, that was quick. Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I am a carer so it might be a couple of days until I can answer but I have food for thought as they say. Regards Mike. 
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,316
    The next door neighbour could’ve been forced to chop back his hedge due to complaints by the previous occupier about it overhanging/blocking light, or maybe they just got bored of the maintenance. In the UK the maximum height of an urban hedge or fence is usually around 2m, here, anything goes. I don’t think you would have any problem with the trellis on legs idea given the bare trunks of the trees look to well exceed that.

    I put a new raised bed around 3ft (narrowing to 2ft at the end) in front of the tall, neglected and overgrown Leylandii hedge I inherited and everything in there is growing fine. I did chop back encroaching roots, installed a root barrier at the back and dug over and improved the soil with loads of organic matter. You don’t need a full border or a raised bed, but I think a tree planted about a metre or so out from the corner (conveniently hiding the telegraph pole) would look good. Depends what you want to do with the garden, if anything, and how much time you want to devote to it.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Angelicant; Raising the fence isn’t possible despite the height of some of the hedges in the older properties round here. Photinia Red Robin is a strong possibility. We had some Photinia hedges in France - we have just returned after 18 years - which were shared with variegated Euonymous but not allowed to grow above a metre. They would obscure the views. Hence we never imagined them as trees! Nor did we think of climbing hydrangeas. Ivy, Paddy’s Pride might be useful as well.

     AnniD; We appreciate the lack of fertility in the garden - even the grass struggles. We now live in NE Lincolnshire and judging by gardens around us hydrangeas do very well and quite a few other shrubs like forsythia.

     McRazz; Looking at the Deepdale website our tongues were hanging out. Again we hadn’t really thought in terms of trees.

     GardenerSuze; We have some details of fence ownership and there is a history of a dispute, not in our garden, but we are assuming that the fence belongs to the neighbour as we have the ‘good’ side. If we decide to do anything dramatic we will of course have a word just in case. Actually I don’t think they are aware of anything that goes on in the world around them. Their property is surrounded by the enormous Leylandii which must take a big chunk out of their garden.

     Dinnerplatedahlias; Love the name especially as they are very popular around here. A mini digger, what bliss! I have had to sell my articulated mower so perhaps a digger might help my withdrawal symptoms. Yep, Ceoanothus would be great. we have already planted jasmine, honeysuckle and some climbing roses to help obscure the garage.

     Nollie; Only one other neighbour is affected by the same problem - we have yet to chat to her - but you could be right. Most of the properties behind us are in non-registered roads so they are each responsible in some way for anything encroaching onto the paths or roads. Apparently this has caused some problems with fences in the past but hopefully we will get there. By the way, we hadn’t even noticed the the telegraph pole ;))

    We sincerely hope you are not affected by the storm in Catalonia. We had one in 2013 which was devastating but not like the awful tragedy of the little girl.

     Once again, thank you all for your advice.


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