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Light screening - hedge, shrub, small tree, help!

(9 Posts)
Tumtetum Fri 03-Jul-15 17:45:51

I would like to put some plants for screening along the side of our garden, about 5m worth of fence I think. I don't need it all to be covered but want the space between us and our neighbours to be broken up a bit. The fence is only 5 foot high and belongs to our neighbours, so I can't put any trellis on it obviously. I don't mind if it's deciduous (evergreen is fine too) as long as there's enough stick/twig cover to break up a direct view if you see what I mean. As it's fairly close to the house it can't be anything huge and I don't want a massive wide hedge that takes up half the garden either. I've looked and looked but am struggling to find something that would do. Possibly buddleia if I keep it well trimmed to stop it getting too wide. Any suggestions?

wizzler Fri 03-Jul-15 22:31:00

we use Californian lilac ( ceanothus).. it does a reasonable job of screening and flowers prettily from time to time. .. I think you might find Buddleia grows a bit too fast and takes over!

CuttedUpPear Fri 03-Jul-15 22:38:52

Not buddliea. It gets very big very quickly and you would be pruning it every week.

Beech is a very good hedging option, it retains its leaves over the winter and requires just one cut a year.
You can buy it very cheaply as well - 25p per bare root plant - and you should plant it between November and March.

Ferguson Fri 03-Jul-15 22:40:20

Yes, you need to be careful stuff doesn't take over.

We have black bamboo, which is attractive, and can be easily controlled, unlike other bamboos. Some ornamental grasses might do the job, and we have a STIPA GIGANTEA which is splendid at the moment, and flowering for the first time!

Look on line for grasses, (there are hundreds), and I'll look back sometime to see how you get on.

Tumtetum Fri 03-Jul-15 23:15:51

Maybe not buddliea then! Thanks for the suggestions. I don't think grasses would work as they all seem to have vicious sharp-edged leaves which are not ideal with children. I like the look and sound of bamboo but am too nervous about the risk of it spreading.

Ferguson Sun 05-Jul-15 23:22:55

OP - We have had our black bamboo for years; it does get taller and send up new canes each year, but this sort doesn't spread. Any canes that do come up where you don't want, can be cut off at ground level with a sharp spade.

The edges of some grasses leaves can be coarse and rough, but I haven't found any really 'vicious'!

echt Mon 06-Jul-15 08:45:23

Have you thought about free-standing trellis, with the posts on your side? I've seen this done very effectively in Au where the law says all fences are mutually owned, but one side was reluctant to augment the existing fence.

Tumtetum Thu 09-Jul-15 11:18:23

I'll have a look at the bamboo you linked, thanks. DH really wants bamboo but I am worried about straining our already fraught neighbourly relations if we put in something that ends up colonising next door. It does sound nice when it blows in the wind though perhaps distract me from next doors dog barking . To be fair, we have lots of small saplings growing in our garden that I need to dig out that have spread from our neighbours' tree (it's that one with lovely soft antler-like young branches and big red fluffy cones, spreads like anything and at last count I've got 10 all growing in very inconvenient places) and I've never complained about that, so maybe bamboo isn't much different.

I remember frequently getting very painful cut fingers/arms from a friends great big grass thing that she had in her garden, I don't know what it was but you only had to walk past and it would slice you. But maybe I can get over my prejudice and look at some grin

Free-standing trellis - hmm, maybe, but we would have to do the whole lot and that would be fairly expensive. Having said that, it might be worth the money in the long run if I got some nice evergreen climbers going up it. We have a section of fencing at the bottom of our garden that we put in recently that's 6' high and we could continue the line from that on up the whole garden but using trellis instead of fencing, next to our neighbours fencing. Thinking about it, that might be the best option and then we could plant in front of it as we wanted.

DayLillie Thu 09-Jul-15 11:38:42

We have a mixture of evergreen and deciduous shrubs. We also have buddleija - it has been there 25 years. We just cut it down to a tall stump each March and it flowers beautifully. We give it a trim in Autumn, to stop it breaking in the wind.

We have leylandii (kept in a pillar shape), Thuja, Pittosporum, Cotinus (palace purple) Deutzia, a small philidelphus, Eleagnus (variegated) Cherry laurel, Winter flowering cherry (Prunus autumnalis) Pyracanthus (to cover an insecure bit of next doors fence) Evergreen Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) Clematis (not the Montana sort - the sort you can cut down to the ground in spring) Also thinking of replacing the old leylandii with ligustrum and Viburnum tinus, which has flowers in January.

Also, lower things in front of them - Euonymus of various sorts, geraniums of various sorts, fuchsia, Phormium, Japanese anemones (a bit rampant)

I like things that you can trim to shape and hack back into shape when they get overgrown. The trouble with getting things that grow slowly is that they do not form much of a screen.

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