Forum home Garden design

Major privacy issue - Stop me before Leylandii

I'm practically out the door to the nearest garden centre, and I'm going to do it I tell you!

I've just been thinking non stop about what to do about the privacy issue due to the angles of our house. The neighbours have a better view of our garden than we do. Unfortunately for them they don't see much of their own garden either. I wonder if any of you fine garden lovers would have a better idea of how to create at the very least an illusion of privacy.

I don't want to get a Leylandii, but the main idea was the rapid growth, but my brother in law is a arborist so I thought he could keep on top of it for me.


- Gnomes represent windows/neighbours looking out of them. (n.b. I like my neighbours)

Main points - 

- Their window is practically up against the fence. The living room is in the back of the house so it's that window.

- They have various (90% of the garden filled) buildings/sheds etc so I don't want to put trellis or hedge right against the fence because I don't want to block what little light they have left.

- I do want to put something up against my wall in between their house, and mine as the neighbour opens their back window to look past our house and into the street through the gap if there's any activity going on out there and it winds up my dog.

- Money is an issue, so I'm afraid pleached trees and instant trees would take some time saving for.

Yes a bit of a difficult one, or maybe I'm the difficult one. I thought a few strategically placed trees away from the fence to the left of the top pergola (that isn't actually there yet. It wouldn't provide complete privacy but would create a sort of illusion? I'm just not sure which trees and if they will grow at a decent rate without being a nuisance to our neighbour.

Thank you so much for any help/suggestions you may be able to give me!


  • 4thPanda4thPanda Posts: 4,145

    Have you thought about bamboo? I know people talk about it spreading but clump forming type should be ok image They use it as screening at our local zoo image

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,457

    Lighter canopied trees would probably be the best solution, and some which are classed as shrubs would also do the job. I'm assuming your fence/wall is around 2 metres so something like Amelanchier lamarckii (Snowy mespilus) would give you some height  and has an airy feel so doesn't cast too much shade. It's classed as a shrub but you can treat it like a tree by removing lower branches to create a trunk. Nice autumn colour and small white flowers in spring which become berries. The other suggestion I'd make is Eucalyptus - they grow quickly the downside is that  you'd need to keep them pruned as they can make a metre a year once established. It benefits them anyway as you keep the younger foliage which has better colour. They're evergreen too, but they can be less hardy in certain areas.

    A group of three of whatever you choose will give the best look too, and if you  have the room, it would be best to bring them forward, away from the boundary which will block the view more quickly without creating too  much shade in your own garden. A few photos from different angles would be handy as without knowing more about your view and the aspect etc it's always a little tricky to make suggestions but hopefully that gives you a start image

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

  • 4thPanda4thPanda Posts: 4,145

    I'd forgotten about eucalyptus Fairy. At the RHS Q&A we had at work this was one of the suggestions of the experts as it responds well to 'coppicing' and looks good following a cut back.

  • Mck1984Mck1984 Posts: 8

    Thanks for the reply 4thPanda! I did think about bamboo because I had it in a previous garden. I'd be in the garden, go in to get a glass of water, come back out and it would have grown 2 foot image  It's insane! I don't know if it was the clumping kind.
    I would use it if there is no other option but the only problem I have with it is that I wanted an English walled garden theme (without the wall). I have just googled 'bamboo uk' and it might be ok, I just thought it might clash with the rest of what I'm going to put in. Maybe I could plant something in front of it to blend it in?

    I have to say, I did think of bamboo a while back but forgot about it, so thank you for bringing it back to my attention it might just be the thing if there's not a more suitable look! Thanks again!

  • Mck1984Mck1984 Posts: 8

    Hey FairyGirl, You've got my attention with the 'group of three' It's all about balance isn't it, and you're spot on with that, it's what I had in mind. I am going to get on and google these plants for sure. I will add some pics if I have any on my phone. The angle might actually be a bit more severe than I had in the mock up picture. I don't want to get caught taking pictures. I hope they don't come on the forums as I don't want them to get the wrong idea that I am trying to offend!

  • Mck1984Mck1984 Posts: 8

    Sorry to post again, but here's a very, very bad photo of out very, very weedy back garden (we moved in 3 months ago and are still just removing rubble so we're going to rotovate it and lay turf). It was dark out and I had to do a major edit to it. I hope you can make it out. 



  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,457

    Just take a few pix from different angles Mck and especially one showing the spot in question, taken from your house and  the areas you might want to sit in.  I'm sure you can do it without raising any suspicions ! image

    If questioned, you can always say you're just making a record of 'before and after' pix. We love those on here anyway! image

    You might need quite a few groups of nice specimen shrubs to disguise the plot next door. Bringing some attractive planting forward, and having a really strong grouping at eye level in particular, is a good way of focussing attention in to your own garden and distracting you from what's on the other side of the fence, rather than just sticking up a big hedge for instance. It depends what other plans you have though, so get as much info on here and you'll get plenty of help and suggestions. image

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

  • I have to say that I wouldn't worry too much about blocking the view for someone who's filled their own garden with sheds!

Sign In or Register to comment.