Forum home Garden design

Still can't decide what to do with this border.

This is our sunny border: approx 4m long. I can't decide whether to plant shrubs and flowers or just flowers and climbing plants.

One one hand, I think I'd like a sense of privacy, so thinking of evergreen shrubs that'd help with a screen from the flats opposite. Is there anything that grows tall but spreads very little? Ideally something that might grow to 180cm/ 6ft + but spreads to 0.6m? Paranoid about losing too much width as we still want flowers and sunlight.

The two young plants there are a winter Jasmine on the left and a Jasmine tracheleospermum on the right, which need support. On the other hand, I was wondering if these plus a climbing rose and bedding plants/ wallflowers will do enough?

Ideas and plant suggestions welcome. The man at the garden centre suggested a photonia and keeping it strictly pruned to stay skinny, not bushy.




  • SandTSandT Posts: 70

    Forgot to say that the far right horizontal fence panel is pretty much where a garden table will sit, so I guess nothing too bushy should go here. Husband made me plant the Jasmine to the left of it so it didn't get in the way of 'his' seating.

    Last edited: 01 April 2017 14:15:20

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,580

    What about a small tree? Then it's trunk will be in the lower bit and you could plant something like hardy geraniums under it. I see the neighbours have a silver birch, something like that with a light canopy would provide dappled shade. Amelanchier? Rowan. Or a crab apple would help block the view and have blossom in spring and coloured fruit in autumn. A climbing rose would be lovely too.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • MrsGardenMrsGarden Posts: 3,951

    Looks a nice plot SandT. You sound just like me - so many choices, want a bit of everything, cant decide, full of sensible pro's and cons. Ive planted trees for privacy (bigger plot though), my only slight regret was not to look at which trees got their leaves first and lost them last to extend the season and provide privacy as long as possible. Amelanchier ? (pics of mine and Dove's on garden gallery),  Magnolia? 

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    How deep is the border going to be? It is not clear from the photos exactly where your border is going.

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • SandTSandT Posts: 70

    The fencing wasn't expensive. It's actually treated pine which has been sliced down the middle.

     Don't worry about the raised beds, I have plans for those. Think we will put a smaller flowering cherry near the top left corner to obscure next door's arbor. 

    The border in question is the one right at the back where the bucket is. I don't know about the width yet. The rest of the garden will be turfed so I might try and keep it 40-50cm as  only the last third of the garden gets sunlight so I don't want to lose too grassy garden space either!

     I wonder if I should get some small spreading/ dwarf shrubs as well as tall climbing things?

     Any suggestions welcome! Thanks

    Last edited: 03 April 2017 08:08:59

  • You could plant a simple hedge right along the back. Your garden is linear, and a straight line hedge along the back will create a strong green back-drop for your side planter boxes. I would recommend to keep it simple because of the space Also, the horizontal fence style you have chosen, lends itself well to a simple, but elegant planting style - strong, yet with a touch of softness, created by a flowering hedge, and the tree flowers and form. 

    You could use a flowering hedge like Camellia, which will add both structure and softness, and create seasonal interest. One small tree to the left, about 800mm from the back and side would add a featured vertical aspect. A crab-apple or similar would look exceptional, and perhaps you could put your table and chairs under it. Aim to buy a bigger tree if you can, as it will add instant maturity to the garden, and character. A lighter green tree against a darker back-drop of the hedge would make for a striking appearance.

    Additionally, you could have a small area of paving for your table and chairs in a semi-circle layout to mirror the shape of the tree, or use concrete strips to give a more contemporary look (see diagram), in keeping with the fence style. The strips don't need to be as long as I've drawn them, it's just to give an idea.I'm not sure what you have in mind for the planter boxes, but that would need to be considered in the overall appearance, and in what you're trying to achieve. Hope this helps :)


Sign In or Register to comment.