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Tall and fast growing, need advice on blocking an ugly view!

LuchadorkLuchadork North WestPosts: 4
Good morning all! First time posting here but I am sure if anyone can help me it will be here!

Firstly a short back story...
So we have recently moved in to our first home and we have a great size garden, it was very overgrown and a huge mess but we have started to get it under control. Unfortunately we had to cut down a conifer (something had all but killed it and it was looking very sorry for itself) in the garden which was blocking a fairly ugly office type building across from us. 

Now we see this ugly building every day and I am desperate to get something planted that will quickly hide it again!

So here a little criteria....
  • We would like something that will grow tall and will grow quickly!
  • We are both massive lovers of Japan and would like to bring elements of a Japanese style garden in to ours BUT something evergreen would be preferred for this space so we have constant cover to block this view!
  • I quite like black bamboo and japanese privet, perhaps a pine?
  • There is a brick outbuilding close to the area we'd like to plant so ideally something with roots that aren't going to spread too wide and damage the building
  • I currently don't know the soil type we have, the house is a big renovation job and we have been focussing our energy on the house so other than tidying the garden I don't know much about it right now!
  • It is a west facing garden
My gardening knowledge is very basic so any help or thoughts would be very much appreciated! Thanks a lot in advance

Posts

  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze I garden in South Notts on an improved clay soil Posts: 3,095
    edited 5 January
    @Luchadork Do you have some photos you could upload as it is always helpful. As I have explained on another thread this morning gardening is a waiting game no such thing as a rapid fix when it comes to planting. Shrubs and trees that are fast growing  don't just stop at a required height they keep going. I love how enthusiastic you are more advice will follow. Welcome.

    Just to add if you are interested in Bamboo you will need to find out more about your soil as they do take up alot of moisture.You will probably need a clumping or Pachymorph variety.
    The most serious gardening I do would seem very strange to an onlooker,for it involves hours of walking round in circles,apparently doing nothing. Helen Dillon.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,086
    • We would like something that will grow tall and will grow quickly!
    I wish I had a fiver for every time we get asked that on the forum  :)
    Anything 'fast growing' won't conveniently stop growing, as @GardenerSuze has said.
    Pines get very very big, so you'd have to be prepared to prune. 

    Perspective is key for this kind of site though- something smaller, planted nearer to your house will block an unsightly view far better. A screen with climbers, or a pergola with them, are good solutions too. 

    Photos are necessary so that we have an accurate idea of the space available.  :)  
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • LuchadorkLuchadork North WestPosts: 4
    Thank you @GardenerSuze and @Fairygirl, totally appreciate my questions have probably been asked a million times so thanks for your polite replies, I imagine it gets tedious at times dealing with the same, slightly reworded questions! I am not at home right now but will upload some photos as soon as I can and you will soon realise why I want to block the building I am talking about!! It's a very unsightly part of the garden!

    I am very excited to get going on the garden, it's the first non-yard garden we've had!

    Your responses have also made me think I should plan the garden a bit more rather than trying to quickly solve a problem, I hadn't considered screens or pergolas and they are some great ideas
  • LuchadorkLuchadork North WestPosts: 4
    In the mean time here is a photo of what we were greeted with once we had finally completed on the house! There are paths and a pond buried in there!  :D To the right is the conifer that had to come down!

  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,690
    Wow, That's much better than I was expecting! It's clearly been loved and cared for until relatively recently. Most of what I can see is decent garden plants, not weeds like brambles and suchlike, but possibly the more dominant ones have spread a bit. I appreciate that not everyone loves dense mixed planting though, and maybe it's not your style.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,086
    Thanks for that interim pic  :)
    It's been a lovely, tended garden at some point. 
    Conifers are always a problem, and there are loads of them which have succumbed to the difficult weather conditions in the last few years. They can cope well with drought when well established, but it can still be a bridge too far for many. Even round here, we had horrifically dry, hot [for here] weather long term, and a very warm dry winter last year, and that saw off a lot of them. There are some truly dwarf varieties sold by specialists, but most folk are buying them from nearby GCs etc. 
    If they're in good sites, their eventual size becomes a problem instead! They need trimmed from early on to keep them right. Most won't cope with hard pruning.  I often laugh at the amount planted near front doors. They don't get correctly maintained, and then either get chopped and look dreadful, or the owners have to have their lights on all day....
    It's worth taking a few measurements, and drawing a plan. To scale if possible, as that can also be problematic when trying to fit in everything you'd like. A wee list of what you need, and what you don't need, or like, is also useful  :)

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


  • LuchadorkLuchadork North WestPosts: 4
    JennyJ said:
    Wow, That's much better than I was expecting! I appreciate that not everyone loves dense mixed planting though, and maybe it's not your style.
    I actually quite like the dense planting, (Which I am aware semi-contradicts my Japanese style garden comment!) it's a concrete fence to the right hand side so the dense planting hides all that and love the wildlife it brings in! 

    Fairygirl said:
    Thanks for that interim pic  :)
    It's been a lovely, tended garden at some point. 

    Yeah it was lovely when we originally viewed it, it only took a few summer months to get to this overgrown state, there are some very nice plants in there but unfortunately nearly everything is potted because they were renting and some are pot bound or roots have pushed through the pots and in to the ground below so it's going to take some careful work to try recover everything. But yeah, some beautiful stuff in there! There's some fruit trees at the bottom too which I was delighted with!! Used to have an allotment and it's been a dream of mine to have some fruit trees in my garden!

    A recent episode of GW made me reconsider conifers but being honest with myself there is a lot of work on the house, we have a toddler and we're both working full time so I just don't think we would have the time to keep on top of it and keep it looking how i want.

    Thanks again everyone for your input....watch this space I guess!
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze I garden in South Notts on an improved clay soil Posts: 3,095
    edited 5 January
    That has been a beautiful garden and will be again with your care.

    Understanding your soil is a good starting point.  We have had alot of rain so if it is difficult to work at present it could be that your soil is clay? You could dig some holes in various areas down to the subsoil fill with water and see how quickly it drains. It is so important to understand this before you invest in any plants. Also if you live north of south of the country needs considering.

    I am wondering if the brown seedheads are Rosebay Willow herb which most gardeners would consider a weed. It is these shapes that give the atmosphere and tie the garden together. In time you could repeat ornamental grasses throughout the space to give the garden the same rhythm. Grasses can also be used to shut out an ugly view but most are cut to ground level end of February and then regrow. A look at Knoll Gardens web site will give the general idea.

    In the foreground you have a silver leaved plant which thrives in soil that is well drained. Also Crocosmia which is happy in soil that is a bit more retentive. Added to that I think you may have a Hellebore which if you look closely may have buds it prefers more shade so a real mix of plants. 

    If photos load upside down don't worry it happens. The more of your garden forum members can see the more help you will get. Suze
    The most serious gardening I do would seem very strange to an onlooker,for it involves hours of walking round in circles,apparently doing nothing. Helen Dillon.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,086
    Yes - I know how much work it is to move in to a house and need to do work in there with new babies/toddlers etc. Been there, done all that. With gardens, blank canvases are generally much easier!  
    If you can get it cleared well enough, that gives you an idea of what to do and where. At least if there are plants in pots, that helps a bit. If you like/hate those, you can just bin them or keep them aside for replanting/re potting. If you need help with IDing anything, take pix and post them and folk will help. Bit tricky at this time of year, but in a month or two it'll be easier. Hard to see those seed heads that @GardenerSuze mentions, but a close up of one plant may help. If it's willow herb- it isn't very desirable in a small residential garden.
    A place for kids to play safely is ideal, so that might be hard to work into a Japanese style garden. Kids aren't renowned for being very Zen like  :D
    Do a little at a time, but if you need hard landscaping, or structures,  do all of that first, then the planting bit. Always the best method  :)

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


  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze I garden in South Notts on an improved clay soil Posts: 3,095
    Not sure it is Rosebay willow herb, a weed that you will have come across on your allotment I am sure. Pic too far away to be sure. It does create atmosphere as I mentioned which can be created with more ornamental plants. The fact that your garden faces west is an opportunity to plant with the evening light in mind.
    The most serious gardening I do would seem very strange to an onlooker,for it involves hours of walking round in circles,apparently doing nothing. Helen Dillon.
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