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Hi, I love my garden but it has been ruined by some new build houses which have been built next door. My original border has been ripped out and replaced by horrible fencing. I have planted one tree, 2 photinia red robins, lots of perrienial flowers and i have a few old honeysuckle and climbers but it still doesn't look nice. Do I make my border deeper and plant hedging at the back? Won't hedging take too much goodness out the soil to plant flowers in front? The land next door is higher so the high fence doesn't block the new build garage. You can see the before and after photos here. Any ideas will be great thank you.

Lauren-your photo link -doesn't work-tried copying and pasting still doesn't work-can you try again

chilli lover

Hi Lauren  - copying and pasting the link worked for me (using IE). The garden looks lovely but sorry I can't get my head around exactly where the problem area is. I can obviously see the first pic which looks like a building site but can't place the area in the rest of the photos.


I think I can see your problem, I would get some trellis up on the fence ASAP and then you can cover the new fence with climbers.



do i take it that, the original garden was on somebody's property? i am a bit confused. it was a very nice garden, i must admit.


 had a long new fence and found this an interesting way of splitting it up. I used chestnut fencing, already wired to gether. I have not put climbers on all of it - cost - but it does detract from the bareness of the fence and is a quick fix.

 I did it early last year, you can just see 2 and there is a third further along the fence. The plants are new this year.I am going to do another if the garden dries out.


flowering rose

above looks very nice and you could train plants on it and widen the borders too!do not be tempted to put trees or hedges  in to many places or your garden will shrink.


The 4th photo top right is a before pic I think and the 8th photo just below it is an after pic, also the photos after that. So there was a hedge before the fence and now it's a bit of a shock having a tall brown straight fence after a soft, bushy, green hedge.

I would put up trellis and plant climbers, roses, clematis, honeysuckle and plant some shrubs between including some evergreen shrubs or variagated evergreens so that it will have some cover for winter too.


Meant to add what a nice garden you have and I hope you get used to the newbuild in time, hope they are nice neighbours. It must have been pretty upsetting when it was all going on. I clicked "submit replt" earlier than I meant.


Is the new fence yours or does it belong to the new property?

If yours, then yes get some trellis on top to increase your/their privacy. If not yours then consider attaching trellis panels to your side of the posts so that it's raised above the height of the new fence, but not actually attached to those panels.

I personally would widen the border a bit, as a narrow border isnt right with a high fence/boundary.

If the fence is yours remember that you will need access to it for maintenance. So you could even run a line of flagstones along the boundary/bottom of the fence- that gives a safe platform for ladders etc, with the planting being infront of the whole. Climbers will scramble across & up any trellis pretty quickly & the space behind will allow shrubs to widen properly rather than being flattened on one side. J.


If the fence is yours, or if you get permission, what about painting it to soften it? A soft green perhaps.

Busy-lizzie your right. Photo 4 is view from back bedroom and photo 8 is also taken from that room. I took the after photo few weeks ago so it does look slightly better in summer as I've got lots of poppies in the border. My old border had old conker trees and hedging and was very private. my neighbours have sold most their garden for the houses to be built. The old hedge did belong to me but the builders who erected the new fence have put it onto their boundary so they are now saying it belongs to them. Good job cause its wobbly already and it wont last 5 minutes. The houses are not finished yet so I need to get things done before the houses are sold as I think I'm more likely to get away with it. I have brought a few expanding trellis and have put them onto fence panels. I think it's a good idea to extend border and put shrubs at back. Can anyone recommend some tall growing shrubs?

I would still check your deeds as to whom does own that boundary & ultimately the maintenance, or not, of that fencing.

BTW what aspect is it? Soil type?

If your old border had Conker trees & hedging then the soil is likely to be pretty depleted of nutrients & dry & compacted. It'll be money well spent getting the soil back into some sort of decent shape before you plant anything. Were the tree roots & stumps removed? If not, then that's a job for a young man & pickaxe! Once they're all out then adding as much compost/manure etc will really help.

Sorry to be so negative, but buying new shrubs/plants & seeing them fail is so heartbreaking as well as expensive. However lots of small trees & shrubs take off a lot better than more mature, & more expensive specimens.

Shrubs- Escallonias, evergreen & flowers. Berberis, ditto, plus thorns if so required as a deterent. Viburnums, Hebes. Pyracanthas. Azaleas if soil acidic enough, also Pieris.

Trees- Holly, Hawthorn, Spindles- all good for wildlife. Amelanchier is one I'd always have. Smaller silver birches too- less dense canopy so planting opportunities beneath.J.



You seem to have plenty of space round the corner and a beautiful secluded area.  As you've a trampoline etc why not convert that area to utility area for washing line, compost bin, shed, veg patch or anything else you need.  I wouldn't paint the fence-too expensive.  You could grow clematis montana rubens all the way down fence as it's very quick to establish and foxgloves, delphiniums and holyhocks for impact. i would dig over soil and add lots of organic matter then when you find inspiration it's ready.  Good luck, Lauren and don't forget books for gardening book for ideas find a pic and aim for it.  Have a look for The small garden by JohnBrookes for great photos, plans and planting schemes.



About halfway down the new fence there appears to be a short concrete fencepost on your side. Does that mark an original fenceline? If so the fence seems to be on the neighbour's land. However you should check your deeds before this fence comes to be regarded as an established feature.

The fence looks decidedly dodgy - no sign of any decent posts. Do you know what holds it up?


I would grow that very tall verbeba:

Mine grew from plugs to 2mts tall by the summer, bloomed till winter and I took loads of cuttings off for this year just in case I lost them in the frost. They may need some string to support them to the fence, depending on how windy it is is in your area.

I practically have to stake a pansy where I live!


Hi Lauren

I agree with Joe, that fence doesn't look very sturdy at all.  The last thing you need is to get your plants in and growing and the fence blow onto them. Where are the fence posts.

What a shame they took out all of the hedge and tree's

 Plumstrudle also has a point with your soil quality before you plant maybe PH test it.  Then maybe jasmine, budlia and some hedging to bring your wildlife back.

Good luck

Joe, the concrete post is the old fence line. The fence has not been fitted very well. Some of the wooden posts are already wobbly and no proper gravel boards have been used to hold all the soil back as there land is 2-3ft higher. We called builder today to complain but he basically said tough. We are seeking advice from planning dept at council. Thank you for your help and advice regarding plants. I'm going to start preparing the border this weekend while the rain holds off. got some shrubs half price but think ill wait to see what happens with fence before planting.

How possible would it be to bang in some posts on your side to stop the fence falling into your garden if you are worried about it?