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Suggestions for a bit of privacy...

Hi, Brand new to this forum and gardening, so I hope I've popped this in the correct place.

I would be so grateful if anybody could suggest a shrub/bush that would provide some privacy for our front yard.  It's tiny (only 4m across), but gets the evening sun and is much more pleasant than our back yard, so we'd like to use it for sitting out in the evenings.  The problem is that we live in a cottage row on a track/lane with plenty of walkers and a road approaching the front of the house.  The front garden is raised about 1m from track level, and I just haven't a clue what would be in keeping, thrive with little expertise and provide good all season coverage from the walkers and the road.  I don't know the soil type, but it's North Derbyshire (i.e wet!) and the front garden is west facing, and very exposed with pretty harsh winds and winters. I'd want something rather dense all year, and up to 1.5 metres high max - just for some extra privacy.

Any suggestions very welcome - thanks!



  • CalendulaCalendula Posts: 69

    But wouldn't anything planted there shade the garden behind it and so prevent you enjoying the evening sun? For me the warmth and sun would trump any need for privacy. A cheery "good evening!" should prevent the starers.

  • Thanks for the reply image

    But not really - we've some trees and a hill to the west, so anything up to 1.5m wouldn't make any odds in terms of the sun we'd get. By adding the hedge/shrub where we plan to we won't be totally blocking the walkers off - it's rather nice to have a chat with them occasionally.  But the garden feels really exposed because it's elevated, so we definitely want to add some privacy to make it more useful to us.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,194

    What about some fence posts with rigid square trellis between, then you can grow anything from runner beans to honeysuckle/roses/clematis up there - it will filter any wind and you won't be totally 'walled in' just 'obscured from view' - and if you grow annuals up there (runner beans, squashes, nasturtiums, tropaelium, canary vine whatever) the plants won't be there in the winter so you'll still get light in the house in those dark months.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Thanks for that Dove - I'll have a look at those plant suggestions.  The problem is I've pretty much ruled out trellis or fencing as I'm not sure it would 'look' right in situ - of course for us it'd be perfect, but I'm keen to maintain the appearance of the row.  The 1m elevation is a supported by a natural stone wall, and for some reason (though admittedly I am a *total* novice) I can't envisage either fencing or trellis looking appropriate above it.  Mainly because all but one (other than us) of our row of cottages have gardens level with the lane, but with the same stone wall dividing and just a selection of plants for their privacy, only at a lower level - so aesthetically I can't imagine a trellis or fence fitting in too well.  Hope that makes sense!

  • Janet 4Janet 4 Posts: 63

    Wow where do I start.So many plants/shrubs/climbers to choose from. A bit of advise someone gave me. Go and look around an establshed garden, National Trust,RHS place at all seasons, and see what appeals to you.What colour do you like? purple, silver green lime foliage even variagated. Does it flower and when. Do you want to encourage wild life/birds, so look for berries and leaves all year. Scented or not. Ask gardeners at these places any questions you may have. Don't be in any rush, enjoy the looking and buying. Buy them at a well established place, beware online, as you can't see the quality of plant or whether they have a disease or insects on them.

  • Janet - thanks!  I am definitely looking for something that encourages wildlife as much as possible, and scented would be lovely but not such a priority (we have honesysuckle against the house so it's not a necessity) - to be honest my main concerns are privacy for us and maintaining the 'look' of the row - I don't want the hedge/shrubs to look out of place or overly private (no 6 foot fences!).  You're dead right - a local garden centre is probably my best bet for the conditions we have locally.  It's just the appearance that is leaving me in a quandry given the elevation of the garden compared to rest of the row... There's none silimar locally, and I've googled to find pics of raised gardens with privacy hedges, but have found nowt appropriate image  I have wondered if a mixed range of 1m-1.5m plants might be best, but I've not a clue where to start nor do we have any gardening experience so it's all a bit daunting.

  • Janet 4Janet 4 Posts: 63

    So you're not thinking of just a single shrub as I have visualized. A mixed hedge woud be lovely. Again mix the shrubs.Holly, beech, berberis,Sloe (vicious thorns, but berries to add to gin! But never tried it myself, before you visualize a lush!)Hawthorn, white and/or pink flowers, favourite of all the birds. BUT rather sharp and prickly if and when you prune it. Moss roses, choysia the list goes on. Please DON't put Leylandii in. Nightmare scenario and will block everything out including any view.

  • KoalagirlKoalagirl Posts: 225

    Roses sound like a good idea.  Across the road from me there is a hedge of Rosa Rugosa and it looks lovely.  The scent would be appreciated by you and the walkers.

  • Thanks both Janet and Koala.  The Sloe idea sounds fabulous! I'll plan a trip to a decent centre and have a look for those.  I'm not fixed on either a mixed border or a simple single bush, however the latter appeals because we're such novices, yet I had thought it might look too imposing and that a mixed hedge might blend in more to the surroundings.  Your suggestions are a great start anyway!  Thanks very much for your help - really want to enjoy the garden more next summer whilst not ruining the view for others.

  • gardeningfanticgardeningfantic Posts: 1,019

    @threecliffs.. you could go roundand see what is growing in other gardens.. to get an idea of what woul dbe happy in your soil.. that is what i did wheni moved house from clay to sandy soil and salty sea winds..

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