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Last year I had 30 metres of lleylandii taken out of my garden and replaced with a 6 foot fence with trellis on top. This provided me with a long bed of varying depths which I dug using sand, grit and manure. I decided to keep just one small weigelia and two variegated holies and these are now my only shrubs apart from one climbing rose. I also have two zebra grasses, which I love, and these are now about 5 foot. The beds are full of perennials of varying height plus summer flowering clematis growing up the fence, but I now realise I do need either some shrubs or small trees to hold it all together and to block out the fence.
Having struggled with the roots of the lleylandii and subsequent poor soil for so long, I am now enjoying being able to watch the perennials flourish so am reluctant to plant anything which is going to present the previous problems. So, I am looking for advice, please, on relatively 'slim' shrubs which will grow to about 6 foot and small trees which will grow higher than the top of the trellis. I really am only a summer gardener and can't see much of the garden from the house so am not too bothered about winter colour.
The garden is south facing and I still find the occasional small area of clay
well done! leylandyii are suited for small gardens and will leave the soil poor.They are of the seventies when they were bought cheap and on mass from supermarkets for hedging .
Small trees can be anything up to 10m high. If you are happy with that then try the RHS plant finder site for suggestions. I am sure there are some cherry trees which are smaller than that. Some Juniper Skyrocket dotted along would give you some height but remaining slim. Most medium sized shrubs can be kept to within 6 ft with some judicious pruning. My garden centre has their shrubs divided into small, medium and large. It may be worthwhile for you to have a look at yours to get some ideas.
Many thanks hogweed for mentioning the Juniper skyrocket which I put into the search box here and have found some interesting comments. My local GC has a sale on at present so I'm going to see what I can find. I have always liked those tall thin conifers but after having 20 lleyandii reaching over 15 foot high in places I never considered buying anything like them for what is long triangular shaped garden going down to a narrow point. As regards the shrubs, I have never been aware of them being divided into sizes but then again, never took much interest in them. Have just looked at photos of gardens on this site and there does seem to be a nice collection of, not too large, glossy evergreens in people's gardens so will look for those as well. Many thanks for inspiring me to do get going!!