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Help, my neighbours extension has spoilt my garden!

Hello. the before and after pictures should illustrate my problem. I am devastated by this but that's a whole other story. Time to move on. How do I disguise that horrid fence as quickly as possible? All the windows of my house look straight at it.imageimage. thanks in advance x



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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,112

    I understand your horror at the moment but I think it will be much better when it's finished - after all there'll be less of the windows showing. 

    At the moment the newness of the roof timbers and fence really dominate, but once the roof tiles are on (presumably dark to match existing) and you've painted your fence and got some climbers up there it'll all recede a bit image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Torg22Torg22 Posts: 302

    Yes in agreement. I think once its had a lick of paint and the extension is finished it should look nice. Perhaps a nice pale blue or eggshell colour. Make a focal point of the fence and have plants growing up and around it.

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,198

    The fence would disappear a lot if it was stained black but both sides need to be done as it will weep through the gaps.

    Presumably this is your neighbour's fence. If so, can you talk to them about it and get their permission to do the work on your side. You will need their permission because you will effectively be 'damaging' their fence. You might also need to offer to pay for the stain for their side and even do the work to get your own way.

    You can obviously plant some more shrubs in front of the fence and I would put some climbers in as well - but attached to trellis panels set about a foot in front of the fence. You wouldn't need to trellis the whole length just some strategically placed ones.  If you're clever you could also make the panels hinged at the bottom so you can fold them down to restain the fence as necessary. I'd consider using evergreen climbers such as ivy and trachelospernum so the fence is not exposed in winter.

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,645

    It's not a disaster.  It's a planting opportunity.

    You will have to ask permission but a simple solution would be to to screw vine eys on the vertical fence posts at 12"/30cms intervals and at teh same height all along and then stretch and taighten (special fixings available) green or aluminium coloured wire along the fence.   This then provides support for climbers.  

    There's space for a lovely big rambling rose or 3 to provide colour and perfume for several months if you go with plants like Malvern Hills, Lady of the Lake, Snowgoose all from David Austin but other rose growers probably have some to offer too.  Just make sure they're repeat flowering.

    Climbing roses would be good too - all sorts of colours and perfumes and sizes available but agian, make sure they repeat for extra interest.

    Honeysuckles will quickly cover the space and can provide creamy yellow flowers, pinky purple and also coral depending on variety chosen.  Certain clematis will grow rapidly over a few seasons to cover the fence and give a glorious display of colour for 3 months or more if you choose well.  I would suggest Etoile Violette as  very good doer but there are many more colours available.

    If yo do go for roses or clems, prepare teh soil well with plenty of good slow release feed and a top up feed every spring.   Keep well watered in their first season and be patient.  They may well want to concentrate on root growth first.  I find both take a couple of seasons to establish before they take off.  Go for group 3 clematis as they have the easiest pruning régime and won't go mad like a montana..

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,476

    My immediate thoughts were the same as those in Doghouse's first paragraph.  It looks as if the roof timbers currently overhang your garden.  It may just be a case that they haven't yet been cut back properly, but you need to ensure that the fascia and guttering doesn't come over your property line.

    Is the new fence along the property boundary or within your neighbours property?  If it's all within their property you certainly can't do anything to it, including attaching vine eyes, without their permission.

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,198

    I'm glad I don't live next door to you DHR...

    As one who spent a not inconsiderable sum refencing the whole length of our boundary I would be very upset if our neighbours did anything to the fence without approaching me first. I certainly wouldn't just say 'No' if it was a reasonable request - but I would want to know how they were going to go about things. 

    I have found (also from a lifetime of experience) that if you approach people in a friendly way and explain the problem, explain what you would like to do to make things better and what reasonable steps you will take to not do any damage - then people usually say 'Yes'. They often don't know there was any problem at all.

    My suggestion of putting up some free standing trellis in front of the fence means that the OP is doing stuff in their own garden without any need to approach the neighbours. I was sort of reading between the lines in the OP that perhaps there has been some tension around the building of this extension and IMO it never pays to aggravate a fraught situation with neighbours.

    Even putting climbers against the fence could cause problems if there are tensions. Stuff like ivy, hydrangea even roses could push through gaps in the fence and eventually damage it.

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
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  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,476
    Doghouse Riley says:

    "Speaking from a lifetime of experience,"

    I've found that people will often say "No" if you ask them if you can do something, where if you just go ahead and do it, few will have the courage or interest to say you shouldn't have done so.

    I wouldn't give it a second thought, but then that's just me.

    They're hardly going to take you to court over a few eyes screwed into what is effectively now a "party fence."

    Last edited: 25 January 2017 14:00:55

    See original post

     Maybe not take them to court, but my mother's neighbours tried your approach.  Mum's garage wall was about 9" inside the boundary line.  The new neighbours ripped down the fence along the side of the garage and started drilling the wall to fix trellis etc to it.  Mum told them to stop as (a) the boundary fence was mum's property and (b) she didn't want holes drilled into the garage which was on her land.

    She also made them reinstate the fence.  Relations were a bit frosty after that, but they didn't stay long anyway.  Had they had the courtesy to ask before they started, the answer would have been "No" but they could have saved themselves the expense of reinstating the fence.

    The fence between me and my neighbour is my property and my neighbour asked if I would mine him painting it.  We agreed on the colour and I supplied the materials whilst he did the work.  He had expected to buy the materials himself so he was well chuffed.  Two very different attitudes, and two very different outcomes.

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