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14 messages
wjp
30/12/2013 at 12:51

Hi All,

we've just moved into a house with a nice garden. I can see that in its day it was a very nicely done garden but it gone to pot a bit over the last few years. I want to get it back! Firstly though, I want to plant some evergreens (ideally) along this border to hide/soften the red brick.

Photo here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B23R0OR1YV6ua2RCeFhaS2hveVYtdDRzVlk5TlVEUUN4NGlV/edit?usp=sharing

I sit and look at this all day from my office at home, and i really don't like it. I want to plant some fast growing trees at the back to try and breakup/cover all that red and give some more privacy. However I'm new to all this, so would love some suggestions if anyone has any. Obviously leylandii would 'do the job' but it wouldn't really sit well in the garden and all around the borders there is a mix of trees and bushes.

 

 

30/12/2013 at 13:54
Hi WJP,

Is the wall you are trying to hide yours or a neighbours? If its yours i would think about a climber to soften it - maybe a rose if it is south facing, or a hydrangea if its north.

If it is not your wall, and you are just trying to hide it, then a beech hedge would fit in with the surroundings maybe better than an evergreen. Although beech is deciduous it hangs on to its leaves all winter, so is never bare - and the russet leaves would go well with the red brick.
30/12/2013 at 14:01

Rather than try and blot it out completely I'd bring the planting forward and give yourself something interesting to look at. Another couple of small trees grouped with one of the 2 in the pic, not in a line. A largeish evergreen shrub, also brought forward, some deciduous flowering ones and lots of bulbs and perennials to flower through the year

30/12/2013 at 14:06

The trees will help break up the outline of the slab of wall when they have leaves on in the summer.

 I wouldn't put leylandii, you just end up looking at a green slab that you have to keep under control instead.

 Yellow or variegated leaves on bushes will draw the eye to that level instead of the wall behind.

wjp
30/12/2013 at 14:39

HI, thanks for the replies.

Chicky - its not my wall, but I can put a fence up if I so wished. The beech idea could work - I presume though it would take many years to grow?

Nutcutlet - thanks - I was thinking about that. Any suggestions what type of plant?

Feidgetbones - yes I'd ideally like to put some trees either side, but they would end up like the silver birch that's there - very bare in the winter. Any ideas what type of plant?

I have no idea to whats available really!

 

30/12/2013 at 15:02

Large and willing evergreens include Cotoneaster lacteus, good red berries right now.  Eleagnus ebbingei, scented flowers in autumn. Choisya ternata, perhaps not quite as big, all go nicely under trees and the choisya is less likely to be damaged by frost under trees. 

Other evergreens like box and hollies are lovely but slower. You could get some going for the future though

With something to look at in front down your eye won't be drawn to the brickwork so you don't need to have it invisible. Only leylandii or similar would hide it completely and I'd rather look at bricks than a featureless green lump

30/12/2013 at 16:06

Like nutcutlet, I'd plant something much nearer to the office window, perhaps in an island bed in the lawn.  If you choose a range of shrubs which flower at different times of the year and some evergreens, your eye would tend to focus on those rather than the angular house.  I'd also probably plant a few more silver birch next to the large one as I always think they look better in groups;  This would tend to break-up the sharp roofline even in winter.  The one good thing about the house wall is that it accentuates the bark of that silver birch very effectively so you could think of it as a visual asset in some ways (however hard that may seem right now!)  At least there are not many windows in it.

31/12/2013 at 10:50

I would add Loquat (evergreen and thick growing), Laurel and Bamboo.

31/12/2013 at 11:40

I wouldn't add laurel. I have quite a bit of that and it's almost as boring as leylandii.

How hardy is loquat? I've never grown that

31/12/2013 at 12:47

Loquat has been growing here for years - so took -13C in 2010. Seeds germinate pretty readily and grow quickly.

Aucuba japonica is also a good evergreen but slow growing.

31/12/2013 at 12:49

Thanks Blairs, I might give that one a try. I'd always taken it as not hardy but never looked into it properly

31/12/2013 at 15:57

It's worthwhile remembering some tips about illusion and perspective - trees with large leaves and a solid appearance will appear nearer than trees with smaller leaves and a more delicate form.  This means that something like laurel or loquat will make the boundary seem closer to the office window, making the garden smaller and oppressive.  

The previous gardener started well using silver birch - they make the boundary appear further away and consequently the house seems to be at some distance.  I would add more of the same or similar - they will filter the view rather than replace a red wall with a green one. 

31/12/2013 at 20:57

Eucalyptus is light like Birch but evergreen, they grow fast and are a good light screen, smell lovely in winter. Do have a snapping problem in strong winds due to that rapid growth though!

02/01/2014 at 16:58

I agree with the birch suggestions. I would also suggest that you plant at least one multi-stemmed birch - which are very beautiful (Jermyns is a good variety with lovely bright white bark) and avoid the boring 'line of trees' effect. They will also have foliage lower down than single stemmed trees. You can also get lovely birches with peachy  orangey bark (if you want a bit of variety) The overall effect of a variety of birches with single and multi-stems with the brick to set them off would be lovely, combined with the ideas for some nearer planting by nutcutlet and Bob the Gardener. You could underplant the birches with low growing evergreens such as euonymus or evergreen shrubby honeysuckle and/or hellebores to draw the eye to the ground with lovely foliage with beautiful birch stems rising out of it.

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