Overlooked Garden solutions....(7 Posts)
Anyone have any ideas or advice to offer here???
We have recently bought a new cottage style house with a good sized garden that we love. However, we are situated next to a community centre (on a mixed tenure estate) and the fire escape overlooks the garden.
We did not consider this to be an issue as were informed it was only used as a fire escape but during the hot weather, centre users have been opening the doors and sometimes using the balcony area.
does anyone know of any solutions to help us screen the balcony altogether? We have also contacted them to ask that balcony access is restricted. I realise it will only be occasional (hopefully that this will happen) but feels very invasive knowing that all sorts can look straight into our garden and indeed front room!!!
Any ideas greatly appreciated so that we can go back to enjoying our quiet garden?!
Thanks in advance
You need something tall and evergreen. Obviously avoid leylandii because it's bonkers, but there may be tame versions of this. Make sure you plant any tree a reasonable distance away in order to avoid your neighbours chopping away at it in order to preserve the view.
All this can be avoided with a good clump-forming bamboo. Go to a specialist and be prepared to spend money on what can look a bit unpromising. Lavish it with manure and lots of water in the early days.
In the mean time, approach the community centre's management and say what's happening. It is very likely that no-one is allowed to stand on a fire escape as it is meant to be free of obstacles at all times. The ladder is case in point.
You could put up some kind of structure and let a hefty rambling rose climb all over it, but it wouldn't have leaves in winter. Ivy would do the same job but be evergreen. But it would be quite an undertaking, wouldn't it?
I love bamboo, but this might be one place where I would use leylandi, a few feet away, so they could get properly bushy.
In the meantime, a garden sail in the right position might afford you some privacy. You could also try a seating area with lollipop trees between you and them so eyeline is blocked when you're sitting down.
Beech would work, it retains its old leaves during winter so you'd still have cover. Like any hedge, it will grow up quickly if you feed/water it well in the early days.
I would definitely follow this up with the management though - that balcony with all the obstacles doesn't look very health and safety compliant! It would still be good to screen it - not the most attractive thing to look at from your house/garden.
Laurel would work there too and it's evergreen and grows quite vigorously.
If it were me though, I think I would want to put up a physical barrier so there was no option of peeping through the leaves/branches.
I would be tempted to put up overboard fencing to block it out completely.
I agree about the physical barrier. That would be my preference too and then grow something from it so it is not just a giant fence. I was thinking maybe a taller fence then with trellis on top. The garden expands quite a way in the other direction so it's not the main focus point, but hard to avoid when there are people and rubbish strewn on it!! Starting to fret a little that it is a big issue but you have all reassured me there are some options.
I have emailed the centre management and will call them on Monday if they don't respond as I too am pretty sure that is not the purpose of a fire escape!!
Thanks again (other suggestion always welcome however!!)
Now I just need to find someone who can put up a good sturdy fence/ structure and trellis.......
Depending on your budget and access to the garden you could buy a few pleached photonia ( red robin) at about 4-5m tall that should provide an instant screen. You're probably talking about £1000 for ones at that size though.
They could be underplanted with other shrubs that would add some density to the screen as it all matures.
I think when it comes to garden decoration we don't value significant costs in the same way as within our homes but if you've spent a few hundred thousand on the house and are using the garden less because of this then £1000 investment if you can find the money may be worth considering.
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