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Screening garden from neighbours when it rises up from the house



  • flipjangoflipjango Posts: 13
    edited December 2022
    @zugenie the neighbours on the other side are lower than us and have a very overgrown garden which is why we can’t see them, nothing to do with garden design. But also their garden is just very mature whilst ours is bare. I’m afraid I don’t have the patience to wait 20 years to have some privacy  
  • @Plantminded that could work very well  we could easily have a raised bed. It’s a lovely looking plant. 
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 1,933
    edited December 2022
    The raised bed will also give your bamboo extra height.  Try to buy well established plants that have been well cared for, from a specialist nursery if possible.  A pot or raised bed will of course limit the ultimate height of the canes (they won't grow to 7m, even in the ground in the UK) but this arrangement could provide interim privacy for you while you wait for a specimen tree to grow to full height.  If you decide to plant a tree also, away from the sewer and to achieve privacy for your office/gym, I'd recommend going for a multi-stemmed tree to get width as well as height.  There's a selection here to consider, but aspect and soil type will be important for your choice:  Buy True Multi Stem Trees | Ornamental Trees Ltd (
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,143
    flipjango said:
    and maybe some suggestions of tall fast growing plants that can be grown in pots. 
    This is something we get asked about on a regular basis. Anything tall and fast growing doesn't conveniently stop growing.  :)
    It's quite difficult to achieve a good outcome in a small space, and again - the choice depends on your location, and climate, plus how much time you want to devote to maintenance. You will still have the factor of shade, so bear that in mind in summer. 
    No plant in a container can just be left to it's own devices. Bamboo is no different, and the containers will have to be well built.

    I wasn't meaning to have screening at the patio - I also meant further down along the grass. As @Loxley indicates - anything around the height you mention can create more problems than it solves, so you'll need to be sure of the end result before you start.
    I'd suggest placing something in the various sites - just a pole [or two taped together] and then see how the shadows would work, and how far they'd extend. If you add in a canopy, as you would have with a plant, you might find it's far too much. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • If you use potted bamboo /other other tall plants next the patio area, could you then screen the lawn area with shrubs and trees? What about turning your planned new garden building so that it runs parallel with your wall/fence and its door and windows face away from your neighbours? If the slope wasn’t too steep at the back of the garden, would this be a possibility?  (I know there are some regulations about heights and distance from boundaries of garden sheds etc although most people in my experience seem to ignore such rules…)
    Your neighbours don’t seem bothered about privacy otherwise they could easily have put up screening which would have helped you a lot. Or maybe they relied on the tree and are now a bit sore about it being taken down? It’s difficult when the neighbours aren’t too friendly but they might be worth approaching? Sorry I seem to have more questions than suggestions but wish you good luck in finding a solution. 
  • @flipjango Most people use these rooms in your neighbour in question's house as bedrooms and bedrooms are normally used in the evening. If your neighbour is one of those who use CCTV (doesn't sound like he is), I would be careful, but otherwise I would ignore him. Being grumpy doesn't mean also being snoopy.

    When our neighbour moved in and cut down the trees, I saw him shortly later standing on that window that overlooks my garden. All he saw was a woman doing gardening and decided after 1 minute he had seen enough and never appeared again. It turned out that he is a nice chap with a landscape company, and told me he got inspired seeing my garden to change his garden.
    Over the years, I learned that people with a less cared garden (nicely put), are not interested in looking out of windows.

    I my garden.

  • TBH @Simone_in_Wiltshire it bothers me more that I can see so clearly into their garden to some extent. Like you, I love my garden and do stand in the window looking out at it. Both my husband and I work from home and my office is in an upstairs room, and I'd like to have the desk in front of the window looking out. But I'm so self conscious every time I look out of the window and see their kids in the garden. So this is as much about screening them from us as it is about screening us from them. 

    Sadly @Wild_Violet the only place we could use for a garden building would be at the end. The garden is very long and reasonably narrow in terms of relative proportions, so the garden building serves multiple purposes, one of which is to improve the proportions of the garden by making it seem wider and less tunnel like. Running a garden building down the side would make it seem more long and narrow which we'd like to avoid. Also it is quite sloped and the hardstanding is already there at the end.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,143
    The problem is - you'd need screening of a very significant height if you want a situation where you can't see the neighbours' children from an upstairs window! It would mean something like the pleached hedging mentioned earlier, or just a very large hedge, and there are height restrictions on those anyway [2 metres in most areas].

    Your garden will be very, very dark if you do that. There's only so much that can be achieved in a narrow space where there are significant limitations.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • NollieNollie Posts: 6,742
    Metre high planters/troughs would give you a good start in the height stakes but ultimately I think you are going to have to decide what is more important - light into your downstairs rooms or screening you from them/them from you - because it will be extremely difficult to fully achieve both apart from in discrete zones.

    Sail shades do actually let a significant amount of light in if a light/cream coloured fabric is used and you could also explore pergolas with semi-translucent corrugated sheets above and on the exposed sides. That would need some design thought to detailing so it doesn’t look cheap and flung together. If you think of frosted windows, e.g. in bathrooms, they also let a lot of light in. I have a pergola with a cream coloured fabric roof and it’s very light under there. I also have outdoor venetian blinds hung on the sides which allow complete control of the screening/light levels within.

    For screening from your office there are various designs of frosted window film that your could apply, some solid frost at the bottom (which still lets light in) to graduated and clear higher up, so your eye is drawn to the sky rather than below to their garden. The benefit of such films is that they are inexpensive and temporary, plus it might be really useful to cut down any glare on your computer screen!
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,082
    If the neighbours aren't bothered that your upstairs office overlooks their garden and you can see their children playing when you're working, then I don't think you should worry about it. If they are bothered, then they could put screening on their side, which would be easier as their ground level is higher. From your upstairs window I think your only sensible options are net/voile curtains, or blinds, either of which would obstruct your view of your own garden as well.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
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