Any ideas of shrubs or climbing vines that I can either train up a fence or plant a against a fence that I can either keep trimming to keep thin or will grow against a fence. I'm reluctant to plant ivy as it can damage the fence and become invasive.
Hello cairnsie. You don't say how thin is thin but Clematis armandii might do the job. It is quite thin, maybe a couple of feet thick if looked after. It grows rapidly and can easily cover a fence of say five metres in length. It has the most wonderfully fragrant flowers. Not totally hardy in every part of UK. I grew it successfully in London but had no luck half way up a hillside in Yorkshire.
Clematis? Solanum Glasnevin? Honeysuckle?
What aspect does the fence face? does it get sun all day or none at all? Where you thinking of something evergreen or deciduous?
Evergreen and it gets about 8 hours of sun. Thanks for the reply
Clematis Armandii is rampant - mine has taken over the fence and a small tree in less than 2 years!! You do need a tall fence or additional trellis height for it though.. mine now has nowhere to go so I'm having to hack it back to keep it in order.
I also had a Solanum Glasnevin but again was too rampant for my fence so had to come out in the end.
Pyracantha might be an option - you can keep trained but some protrude up to 3ft beyond the top of a fence.
Fruit trees trained up a fence on wires can look really good and provide privacy but not evergreen. Also a climbing rose.
Wish I could find the perfect solution to this problem myself as my neighbours windows directly overlook our garden (sigh). I've resorted to planting cherry laurel for privacy and I'm slowly reducing the branches lower down so I get a standard shape eventually without losing too much border.
Thanks for all the replys I may try a clematis armandii