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Another thread about screening advice with photos. HELP!!

(27 Posts)
Honeyandfizz Sun 24-Apr-16 15:45:21

I am going round the bend with indecision on this. When we bought our house 2 years ago we had a fruit tree at the bottom of the garden and on the neighbours side which screened us well from their house. New neighbours moved in and pulled down the tree and are now in the middle of a big extension which will have 2 large windows to 2 bedrooms and the loft room window over looking us.

I HATE being overlooked, problem is i cannot afford to spend a fortune and there is also a lovely wall of ivy which i am loathe to remove. I have looked at pleached trees (expensive and not tall enough), thought of bamboo (would have to tear down the ivy) and leylandii but there isnt much space between the back of the deck and the boundary (previous owners built). Ive also looked at other clear stem trees such as photinia but im looking at over £1k which i cannot afford.

The new owners to the rear have planted leylandii on their side which i can just see peeking over the ivy BUT i don not know how tall they will let it grow and it may not be to my satisfaction.

So what the hell should i plant? Should i jut suck it up and plant a load of bamboo? I like to idea of a clear stem tree with blossom? Its making me feel really stressed as when we are in the lounge all we can see is this hideous mess.

Can anybody help please?

Honeyandfizz Sun 24-Apr-16 15:46:18

Here are photos of our lovely view!

Ninjagogo Sun 24-Apr-16 15:53:11

Nice! Could you extend the fence from the right? Then you could allow honeysuckle or clematis to run wild over it. Bamboo is very quick growing as you know. Willow also grows fast, do you have a damp garden? I am a sucker for fruit trees, but they also need quite a lot of water whilst settling in. Nice problem to have IMO grin

Honeyandfizz Sun 24-Apr-16 16:00:49

Thanks ninja I had thought about extending the fence but the ivy has huge trunks which would prevent it plus the panels are a bit rotten now under all that ivy would need to pull it all down. Here's a picture of before, I could cry when I look at it now! I'm off to google willow. Thanks for the ideas.

StDogolphin Sun 24-Apr-16 16:59:44

Eucalyptus grows fast and tall. I would wait until they finish as they may put a new tree in.

Honeyandfizz Sun 24-Apr-16 18:26:47

Thanks for the recommendation I will have a look at Eucalyptus. They wont put a new tree in as they already planted Leylandii along the fence line. My problem is that i do not want to rely on the neighbours for the screening in case they get cut down again in the future.

StDogolphin Sun 24-Apr-16 18:52:27

Be careful with Eucalyptus, they grow to be very tall indeed. Lovely though!

Have they really planted Leylandii? I thought it was illegal to plant that now? Maybe I imagined it?

Honeyandfizz Sun 24-Apr-16 19:28:48

Definitely golden leylandii I saw it on their drive when i bolted round there after they cut the trees down and no its not illegal, i am leaning towards bamboo at the moment.

Ninjagogo Sun 24-Apr-16 19:52:17

Ahh, looked lovely before. Time for a change though. Sure it will look fab when you are done.

Honeyandfizz Sun 24-Apr-16 20:35:42

I know ninja sad I am thinking I will have giant bamboo that I may trim the stem so we can keep the ivy. In the summer there are lovely roses covering the ivy too. I'm thinking like this picture from Pinterest

Liara Sun 24-Apr-16 20:41:45

Any chance you can move the deck forward a little bit? Your garden is really long, and you could do something really nice at the back with a bit more space.

Eucalyptus is really very nice, I also rather like some of the maples, with beautiful colouring in the autumn. A lime tree would also be very beautiful, if a bit slow growing.

I would go for something a bit taller than a fruit tree, as the new extension does look a bit big and a fruit tree probably would not conceal it as much as the old one did.


Be careful with bamboo as some can be very evasive, black bamboo is ok. I have the same problem and planted a eucalyptus last year, it doesn't lose its leaves during the winter so all round year screening. I have bought a telescopic lopper and will prune it to the height I want (and also so it will grow width ways to hide neighbours windows!)

Ninjagogo Sun 24-Apr-16 21:52:57

Telescopic lopper is a great idea, black bamboo can easily grow to 7M!

echt Sun 24-Apr-16 22:29:44

If you're thinking of eucalyptus, choose carefully as they grow very fast indeed in the UK and many have very long trunks which will not end up giving you screening. Also, if your neighbours are planting leylandii, they are buggers for draining the soil of nutrients, so while it's tempting to sit back and wait to see what they do, if they choose not to have them grow to such a height as to give you privacy, you might then find it difficult to grow anything.

Is it worth asking them what their intentions are with the hedge?

Honeyandfizz Mon 25-Apr-16 06:03:36

Thanks for the advice. Black bamboo is what I was thinking, I am tempted to leave it in pots but not sure if it will still bush out in the same way. I would love to move the deck so we could have more choice but I think it would be a task beyond us if I'm honest sad in fact I'd get rid of the deck altogether as its all slimy & slippy, I'd go for a lovely stabbed area.

Ds 11 has commanded ruined much of the lawn as his football run too so that's a bit of a bummer! I love the idea of trees like maple and lime but because of the minimal space in which to plant we are restricted hence why I thought pleached. See I just go round in circles confused

Honeyandfizz Mon 25-Apr-16 06:31:43

Echt which eucalyptus would be most suitable do you think? They've moved out (lucky them!) so I can't get in touch and it looks like months of building left. I was tempted to just leave it until next year and see how it goes but it's literally making me feel annoyed at the hideousness of it. I know it will be aesthetically better once compete but still over powering with new Windows.

echt Mon 25-Apr-16 06:55:20

There are over 700 kinds of eucalyptus, so you need a reputable nurses to find the one for you. This is a UK one, though I have no experience of them, but the info is very full:


echt Mon 25-Apr-16 06:55:51

A nursery rather than nurse!!

shovetheholly Mon 25-Apr-16 08:45:10

OK, that photo looks like it's from the upper storey of your house. Am I right?

If you are looking to screen the whole of your house from their upper storey extension, then bamboo isn't going to get big enough - in the UK, it generally doesn't reach the whopping proportions you see elsewhere. And even if it did, it would need to be so wide on the ground as a result of the height that you'd lose loads of ground.

I think your best bet is to proceed in two stages. Firstly, screen so that you can't see the extension so much from your ground floor - this is a matter of large, strategically placed shrubs. These do not have to be right on the boundary - for some reason, we British have an addiction to peripheral planting with loads of lawn in the middle ('washing machine gardens') but this is not necessarily the best way to screen. I've seen things where people have basically narrowed the garden at the midpoint producing two 'rooms' and some screening nearer the house. Check out this link posted in a previous thread for some ideas as to how non-peripheral planting can work: (Since you are only thinking about screening the lower storey at this point, you may find you don't need gigantic height nearer the house). This will give you privacy in your living space, and the addition of a set of blinds to upper storey windows will help upstairs in the short term.

Secondly, in the longer term, and to plant a tree that will eventually screen your upper storey as well - essentially, it'll replace the apple on your side. This will take some time to grow, unless you're prepared to take a risk with thousands of pounds and plant a mature tree with a tree spade (trees don't really like this, and sometimes don't survive). However, if you buy a decent sized tree for a few hundred, there is no reason you wouldn't start to have the screening you need in, say, 5-7 years. Personally, I would steer clear of eucalyptus as it can damage foundations, and cause neighbour disputes - it's one of those plants that can cause rows in the UK and that insurers dislike.

Honeyandfizz Mon 25-Apr-16 14:43:47

echt Thank you!

Shove Thank you so much for the advice, it does make perfect sense. you are right it is only from the ground floor that screening is required as i am planning shutters for upstairs. I got dh to measure the height needed and it will be 10ft minimun. I have been speaking to a woman at Barcham trees and she recommended a Robin Hill, i may order 2 and plant one further forward in the patch to the left of the lawn then that will block out the neighbours to the left and the left side of the others extension. I may then plant one on the boundary at the rear, i like the idea of choosing my own tree too as buying these sort of things over the net is a gamble.

Ds lives outside with his football so i can't divide the lawn up yet (I will wait until the dc are older!) Here is photo below of the view from our lounge, it doesnt look as bad but the cowboy builders have torn half of it down.

Honeyandfizz Mon 25-Apr-16 14:44:54

Here's from my lounge.

shovetheholly Mon 25-Apr-16 14:58:36

I can't see your picture sad. I think a small tree sounds ideal - and an amelanchier like Robin Hill is great for its year-round interest. I think I would be tempted to plant three different trees, as that will give you a really good spread (you could include one fruit tree so you have something productive, one evergreen for year-round coverage (don't underestimate the difference leaves make for screening!) and an amelanchier. But I love plants, so I always try to maximise the number of different ones I get in, whereas other people are more about the repetition!! grin

trickyex Mon 25-Apr-16 14:58:41

You could plant an evergreen and deciduous tree for a good combination of privacy and year round interest.
Portuguese Laurel grown as a standard provides good screening, as does Ligustrum lucidum

and you could plant an Amelanchier, Crab apple or Chinese Birch in front for loveliness through the year.
See here for good descriptions.
I agree re planting in other places than on the boundary. But given you have a very long garden you could add a few evergreens to the far boundary and then the prettier trees/shrubs close to the house where you can see and enjoy them.

GreenMarkerPen Mon 25-Apr-16 15:03:13

tall chain link fence and climbers?

Honeyandfizz Mon 25-Apr-16 15:22:26

Ah balls MN are saying ive posted all my quota for photos today!

Shove You have made my day! I LOVE the idea of 3 separate ones, i didnt think i had room but ive just been out to look and i have a small slabbed area with a crappy planter on it now just to the left and in line with the goals. Its also in my eyes line when sitting in the lounge so i could something there then another nearer the bounday and one to the left side of the lawn to hide the neighbours at the rear and to the left.

Tricky thank you i love that idea too. I am quite keen on a big ball of photinia too. oooh i can feel the pounds adding up! Thank you all x

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