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Railway Sleepers with Bamboo v Trellis on top of wall with creepers


At the back of my garden I really want to cover the unsightly mismatch of my various neighbours fence panels in various states of repair. I have thought of two possibilities.

Option 1: Put some railway sleepers (vertical so I can have a curve). Something like this:

Then have an incline going up at least halfway up that brick wall. Then plant bamboo and other stuff to grow another 2-3 metres to cover the fence panels.

Option 2: Put a trellis fence (height to match neighbours fence) on top of my brick wall and grow clementis (and maybe some other stuff up it).

Which option do you think would look better? Any idea on which would be cheaper (thinking of employing someone to do the sleepers or trellis fence).

I know the front of the flower bed needs more plants too.

It's fairly sunny but more shady closer to the left side near neighbours garden.

I am a gardening novice so looking for low maintenance but looking reasonable year round.

Feel free to throw another option into the mix.

Thank you!


  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,556

    plants would be much more exciting. A selection of shrubs and climbers to hide the various fences

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,041

    Have you priced up the costs of railway sleepers plus the men needed to wield them into place and cut them to size?   I also think ramming them in behind your wall might just weaken it.

    Trellis panels don't curve very easily and also don't last many years - the flimsy cross pieces rot or break in strong winds in my experience.

    For a cheaper and more flexible option, I would suggest erecting tall posts to the height of your neighbours' fence panels with about 18"/45cms to 2'/60cms buried in concrete for stability.  Fit them round in front of the wall at intervals of 5 to 6'+150cms to 180cms.   Before you do that, drill horizontal holes thru them from side to side and at 12"/30cm intervals starting from the top end and working down.

    Once the concrete has set leave it to mature overnight and then stretch and tension wires thru the holes.   You can then use them to train climbers such as honeysuckle, clematis, roses, campsis; jasmine etc depending on soil, aspect - light levels - and exposure to cold and whether or not you want perfume as well as colour.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Ivy2Ivy2 Posts: 16

    Sounds like a cheaper option that I could do myself......wonder if the poles themselves would look conspicuous What sort of wood would you suggest? Would you drill them to the wall as well or would the concrete in the base suffice do you think? Thanks again

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,041

    Ordinary 4" fence posts.  You could sand them and paint them first if you don't like their colour but it will soften over time and be covered by the climbers.

    Nut's suggestion of shrubs is good too to break up the line of the base of the wall.   

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Ivy2Ivy2 Posts: 16

    Thanks again, sanding and painting sounds good - Just looking at Fence posts that are high enough....seems like 3 metres is the highest fence post sold at most places. Think I would need 4 metres plus to go up to the height of the neighbours fence (this is assuming am sticking them in the ground with concrete).

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,041

    You'll be looking at the new screen mostly from below so perspective would help take car of the extra height.  Alternatively, you can buy metposts which are a metal spike with a special cup thingy for holding posts securely.  In my experience they get blown over in strong winds and wet soils but you could maybe sink some in concrete to gain extra fence posts

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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