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What trees to plant to block the view of an ugly side wall?

(13 Posts)
redhat Wed 18-May-16 18:08:52

We are very lucky to own a house in a lovely woodland setting (ancient oak and birch woodland). The only issue is that the entrance to the house is from the side and the previous owners were on glue (to coin an MN phrase grin) when they decided to put horrible random narrow windows into a very plain wall to create the ugliest aspect you can imagine.

Having wracked my brain for years about what to do with it, friend has suggested the very obvious solution of planting trees to hide that side of the house.

So I need something to plant in bulk which will grow quickly and block the view of the side of the house. The planting area (currently just grass) is about 8 metres square. Any thoughts on what would be best? its a very tall double height wall (about 10 metres). I will probably put rhododendrons underneath the trees since they grow very well here.

traviata Wed 18-May-16 22:42:15

sorry, I can't quite follow.

Are the trees to hide the wall from the outside, as you approach the house, or the view from the inside?
Does it not matter if they block the light from the windows?
or is it a separate 'garden' wall that is freestanding but has windows in it?

meanwhile you could just lift the turf from your planing area, and let the birds peck out any leatherjackets, while you decide what you're going to plant there.

redhat Wed 18-May-16 22:56:39

Sorry, it was a bit rambling blush

The approach to the house is from the side. The front is attractive, the side wall of the house is very ugly. The side wall of the house is what we are trying to hide.

Light isn't an issue since the entire back wall of the house is glass and so it doesn't matter that the side windows are blocked by trees.

SunnySomer Wed 18-May-16 23:03:25

Not sure I 100% follow.... But. Is it the house wall you're hiding? My grandparents had an ugly wall on one side that they espaliered a pear tree onto. No idea how long this took, but it went to the top of the roof (3 floors) when I was a child and they'd been living there about 25 yrs. It looked amazing. And was bountiful.
Obviously you want something quick-growing, but I was wondering if you could cope with a project?

traviata Wed 18-May-16 23:06:45

wow, the house sounds absolutely stunning.

One thought comes to mind; rhododendron will grow faster than most trees, so if you underplant, the trees might quickly be overwhelmed.

Have you looked at liquidambar?

or an acer?

tilder Wed 18-May-16 23:10:08

Big things have big roots. Not always a good thing near a house.

Have you thought of climbers? Climbing hydrangea on a north wall is stunning. Virginia gives autumn colour?

tilder Wed 18-May-16 23:10:50

Or maybe a grape vine? I love climbersblush

MadamDeathstare Wed 18-May-16 23:17:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pourmeanotherglass Thu 19-May-16 07:53:22

There is a house near us its wisteria growing up the wall, which looks stunning at the moment

shovetheholly Thu 19-May-16 07:59:31

Sorry, I'm still not clear what you are trying to screen and why.

The options as I can see are:
1. you want to plant trees right up against the side wall of your house to conceal the brickwork from even close by.
2. you want to plant some kind of screen further away from the house to conceal the aspect from another vantage point, e.g. a road, hill

With number 1, the only way of doing it to espalier them, and if you want quick coverage, that ain't it. Espaliers are beautiful, but we are talking years of work. You would probably be better off with a climber on wires.

With number 2, there are loads of options really.

In both cases, we need to know the aspect of the house and the soil type to be able to give you more specific advice! An east or north-facing wall will have a very different set of conditions to a south-facing one!

MyKingdomForBrie Thu 19-May-16 08:10:31

I would definitely get climbers in this situation.

redhat Thu 19-May-16 15:45:24

Sorry everyone. I'd had a glass or two of wine last night and so my explanation wasn't great.

The house is in woodland.

You approach the house from the east and are faced with the side wall of the house as you approach the building.

The side wall of the house (east facing) is very ugly with slits for windows. This is what you see as you approach the property along the driveway.

Right next to the house is stone paving which extends out for about a metre and a half. Next to that is a grass area which is about 8m square which I thought I could plant up so that you see the plants/trees rather than the ugly side of the house.

Soil is acidic I think ? Rhododendrons and camellias grow very well here. The soil is very rich with it being established woodland. The soil drains fairly well since the property is on a hill.

Is that any clearer? Thank you for the suggestions so far. I think my ideal solution would be for an immediate quick fix but then I'm happy to also plant something which will take longer to become established. Hopefully we will be here for the next 20 years.

shovetheholly Thu 19-May-16 16:14:28

It sounds heavenly! 8 metres is a nice lot of space to have - you will definitely be able to screen it beautifully with that. Perhaps think abot a style of planting that doesn't put the tallest things right at the edges, but works with them where they need to be for screening?

I think if funds permit, I would be tempted to go for a medium sized tree, bought at a decent height so you get some instant impact. Acers like acidic soil, and there are some really lovely upright ones as well as the smaller, more weeping ones you see. Acer drummondii is a favourite of mine.

You might want some shrubs that are evergreen too so that you get screening in the winter. A sort of woodland planting might work really well.

I would suggest climbers, but something is giving me pause, and that is those slit-like windows. I have extremely small windows on the east side of my house (also on a hill). For some time I wondered why on earth someone had installed a laughably tiny hall aperture - then we had a really cold winter and I found that there was a sound practical reason, since the wind absolutely howls down that side of the house and it is constantly wet with rain! In such conditions, a climber could give you no end of problems by trapping moisture against the house.

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