Advice required



I have recently moved into a new house and have a square lawn garden with earth borders on two sides next to fences. I would like to add more screenage and plant trees, or shrubs, climbers, in those earth borders in front of the fences. What sort of trees or shrubs would be ideal to plant, possibly those that are fast growing. And what's sort of trees/shrubs can be planted in the next couple of months?





  • Hi Babs,

    Why don't you get hold of some garden catalogues and see what catches your eye and then you can ask about the suitability of specific plants, there are a lot of experienced gardeners on here (not me I'm afraid) who will be happy to help you, I've only recently started using this forum and I'm learning something new everyday. It would be good if you can work out how the sun moves over your garden - or would if it ever stops raining - Also what you want from your garden, fruit and veg or flowers, or both, how low maintenance you want it to be, colour schemes you like, formal or cottage garden etc. Try putting beautiful garden into an image search and see if inspiration strikes, happy gardening image

  • image





     Hi, thank you for your responses. I have attached three photos of the garden. As you can see it is a blank slate. Behind the concrete panels at the back is a cemetery, so no  neighbours there then!

    The width of the earth borders by the fences are approximately 60cm. I would quite like trees, fruit trees would be good, ones that can grow fairly quickly and provide privacy for us. Obviously at  the side of the house I have to be mindful of neighbours, so perhaps climbers or shrubs. I am also planning to put up a small trellis fence on top of the fences you see, to provide more privacy. The garden does have a slope and as the garden comes down to the house the fencing gets smaller. At the end of the day I would like to create more of a private garden. 



  • iGrowiGrow Posts: 183
    There appears to be a lot of trees at the bottom but it is not clear how close they are to the boundary, it is possible that roots from these may determine how successful your efforts will be.

    It is also noted that your neighbour has a greenhouse and, presuming he uses it, as a gardener he would be able to give advice as to the suitability of the soil etc. You could ask him which could be an ice-breaker and the beginning of a friendship as gardeners like to talk...

    Of course any gardener next door could be a "she"! image
  • Oooooh Babs, a massive blank canvas to get your teeth into - how exciting! There are free garden design programs online now, that you can play with to see what sort of designs you may like. 


    amongst others.

    Agree that the best thing is also to browse books, magazines, websites...can give you loads of ideas. 

    Visit gardens too (RHS to a great membership), as well as parks and anywhere with a bit of green - write down what you like the look of and take photos. You can ID things later on.

    As iGrow says, ask next door about their garden - find out what exposure yours has, what the soil is like etc - really important for deciding what will grow best and thrive, rather than thrashing it out with plants that may be unhappy in a particular spot or soil.

    Go to garden centres as well, just to look at plants you may like and read the labels!  I used to do that loads and also chat to the more knowledgeable plant staff, who gave me tips and advice.

    Above all, don't expect for a minute that you'll create your dream garden in one season and leave it that way. It takes time, loads of mistakes and lots of love and attention. It's a process, rather than a task to be finished. And above all, it's loads of fun - so enjoy!


  • Mrs GMrs G Posts: 336

    The first thing I would do is widen those borders to at least a metre.  You will still have plenty of lawn. image

  • iGrowiGrow Posts: 183
    There may actually be something in those borders that are yet to show themselves so a bit of patience may save you some cash. Again your new neighbour will possibly know something.
  • Thanks everyone for your help.

    In response to some points made, the trees at the bottom of the garden behind the fence are actually in a cemetery and there is a public footpath between them and the concrete fence, which is why I would like some privacy as it is possible to see into our garden from the footpath, I suppose that is the more important area and the most suitable area for trees. If the borders up there are about 60cm would it be necessary to extend them to 1 metre? I have actually been in this property since July but have just not had the time to do anything with the garden, apart from get a gardener in to clear the weeds where the borders are. The gardener did give us some ideas of what trees to put at the back, but I just don't know where to start! And how many trees would start to give us some privacy at the back?

    Thanks for your help.


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 13,561

    You could fan train fruit trees along the concrete fence.  They will act as a storage radiator for heat, and so you could probably grow apricots as well as apples and pears and  sweet cherries. Morello cherry would go on a north facing fence.

    I would increase the depth of the borders as well, and then you could grow some veg in front of the fruit trees.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • First thing I would do is find a spade and have a dig! See what state the soil is in. New build houses unfortuately sometimes use garden as a dumping ground, cover with 6" of topsoil n turf. 

    Most important thing to do is get the soil right, then you won't waste money and get fustrated watching plants struggle.

  • Bamboogie


    The house was built in 1959 and I did do some digging in the late summer, mainly weeding. How would I know when the soil is right?

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