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How to hide neighbours house

Hi, I've not posted on here before and I'm relatively new to gardening. My garden was a blank slate 3 years ago when we moved in and I am slowly trying to make it more interesting. The house is a Victorian terrace and the garden is 16ft wide and 85ft long with gardens either side. My neighbour on the left is a keen gardener so I don't want to plant anything that would upset her borders. The problem I have is that at the end of the garden they built a house side on to us and from our patio it looks like a giant tombstone! In an ideal world I would love some tall trees to cover it up, but between the end of our garden and there house is only a pathway width. So big trees would probably ruin their foundations. I would be very grateful for any advice, thank you.


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,794

    It's a common problem Laura. I'd say that if you want to plant trees - go ahead. It would only be an issue if there's anything in your deeds saying you can't. Alternatively, if you create some interesting planting, further forward from your boundary, perhaps around 15/20 feet, it can take the focus away from the wall.  It would leave you room to put compost bins, sheds and all the other stuff we gardeners need room for, at the back of the garden out of sight. You would be creating a false end to your garden without sacrificing the space. 

    Hope that's of some help image

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thank you, that's a nice idea I hadn't thought of. I do love hiding all the ugly things too.

    Would you have any suggestions for trees?
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,574

    New houses are usually built on concrete rafts. Trees are much less likely to disturb the foundations than the old method of building.  I wouldn't plant an oak, but things like flowering cherries, or even a big apple tree on a vigorous rootstock such as malling 106 will hide a slab of wall, if you plant it say 20ft away from the building, leaving some room behind for compost heaps etc.

    Or maybe you could get the owner of the slab to grow a climber up his wall to soften  the view?

  • I love ornamental cherries! Which would you suggest for growing the quickest, being hardy to the wind and spreading up and out?

    I have also been considering a Katsura tree, but I am worried about the wind here as my garden is not very sheltered and all the gardens on the left have low fences. I tried placing my acers (in pots) in the middle of my garden when we first moved in and they got terrible wind burn. I now have to hide them up by the house for a little shelter.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,574

    If you want a flowering cherry, I would have a look here.

    Chris Bowers is very good for fruit trees.


  • Thank you! I love the sound of this one!
  • Just bear in mind that some Cherry have a lifespan of 15-25 years and few if any are suitable screening trees.

  • What would be your suggestion instead of a cherry?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,794

    Birches are always a good bet and there are different types available.  Sorbus are lovely and give autumn colour and berries if you pick the Mountain Ashes types, but there is also  a Sorbus called Whitebeam which has lovely silvery green foliage and is a lovely 'tree' shape naturally. There are loads of different ornamental flowering Malus (cherries and almonds)so it may be a case of picking blossom colour to suit your taste. Apple trees are a lovely idea.  All these are pretty tough.  I don't know what your boundary is made of but, if you have a fence or wall, you could grow evergreen climbers along that and you could add some extra height to it by way of trellis etc to extend the greenery. That might be an easier solution than looking for evergreen trees for the boundary, as many of them can dominate a bit too much and will also take  a  fair bit of time to get to a decent height - conifers, pines etc. If you decide on deciduous trees, they could also be mixed with other evergreen shrubs so that it won't be bare in winter, especially if you decide to go for the 'island' area further into the garden.

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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