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I'm moving to a house that has lovely mature shrubs on three sides of the back garden and a bare six foot fence spanning about 30 ft on the fourth side. Its overlooked by three  houses so I'm looking for very very quick or instant ideas for screening to about 2/3 meters high with plants/ trees /shrubs etc 

I've looked at mature trees and nearly choked at the price :-/ , I've bought loads of small shrubs ( red robin hydrangea )  that I'll keep small but need something to stand behind them. 

Any help appreciated for a not so greenfingered novice 

Thanks in advance 


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,011

    The problem with something that grows 'very, very' quickly is that it keeps growing. It won't conveniently stop at a couple of metres. It also depends what you mean by quick growing. Eucalyptus will put on several feet a year, but it quickly reaches twenty feet. 

    Mature shrubs are very difficult to get established unless you know what you're doing, so they're a false economy. Far better to buy them at around two or three feet as those will get away quicker.

    Having said that - buddleia will grow several feet in a season and provide a screen, but they need pruning back hard each spring so you'd need to be able to access them. Most shrubs take a year or two to get their feet well down and put on growth. You would probably be better with some climbers to run along the fence - assuming it's your fence and not the neighbour's. They'd need some support for climbing on - wires on vine eyes, or trellis.

    Alternatively, something like a beech or hornbeam hedge, which will get to decent height, but can be kept quite tight. They keep their foliage over winter as long as they aren' allowed to get more than about ten or twlve feet in height. 

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Dave HedgehogDave Hedgehog Posts: 377

    Brilliant advise by Fairygirl (as always!).

    If you want something that grows very fast, Clamatis Montana or Russian Vines (hehe) will do the trick very quickly but cause you a major headache for many years to come after they've reached the desired height.

    There are Willow, Reed or panel fence screens that will give you a degree of privacy while nice shrubs, hedges, trees etc mature... but please spare a thought for your neighbours about how high they are going to be and how much it will affect their sunlight image

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,614

     Instant, as in big, is very expensive, as you have found out,Native hedging rugosa or dog rose (I have them along my back fence took 2 years to reach 2 mtrs.) or buddleia as fairygirl says, or the lavatera, all quick growing, can be cut hard back in spring to make them behave.

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  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    For a short term thing whilst you have other plants underplanted, you could sink some large pots of Bamboos at intervals to create a naturalistic barrier. This stops them creeping and you could always dig them up and move them once your other plants have matured.

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