London (change)
Today 29°C / 18°C
Tomorrow 27°C / 18°C
18 messages
25/05/2012 at 14:44

Hi, Brand new to this forum and gardening, so I hope I've popped this in the correct place.

I would be so grateful if anybody could suggest a shrub/bush that would provide some privacy for our front yard.  It's tiny (only 4m across), but gets the evening sun and is much more pleasant than our back yard, so we'd like to use it for sitting out in the evenings.  The problem is that we live in a cottage row on a track/lane with plenty of walkers and a road approaching the front of the house.  The front garden is raised about 1m from track level, and I just haven't a clue what would be in keeping, thrive with little expertise and provide good all season coverage from the walkers and the road.  I don't know the soil type, but it's North Derbyshire (i.e wet!) and the front garden is west facing, and very exposed with pretty harsh winds and winters. I'd want something rather dense all year, and up to 1.5 metres high max - just for some extra privacy.

Any suggestions very welcome - thanks!

25/05/2012 at 14:49

But wouldn't anything planted there shade the garden behind it and so prevent you enjoying the evening sun? For me the warmth and sun would trump any need for privacy. A cheery "good evening!" should prevent the starers.

25/05/2012 at 14:53

Thanks for the reply

But not really - we've some trees and a hill to the west, so anything up to 1.5m wouldn't make any odds in terms of the sun we'd get. By adding the hedge/shrub where we plan to we won't be totally blocking the walkers off - it's rather nice to have a chat with them occasionally.  But the garden feels really exposed because it's elevated, so we definitely want to add some privacy to make it more useful to us.

25/05/2012 at 15:09

What about some fence posts with rigid square trellis between, then you can grow anything from runner beans to honeysuckle/roses/clematis up there - it will filter any wind and you won't be totally 'walled in' just 'obscured from view' - and if you grow annuals up there (runner beans, squashes, nasturtiums, tropaelium, canary vine whatever) the plants won't be there in the winter so you'll still get light in the house in those dark months.

25/05/2012 at 16:08

Thanks for that Dove - I'll have a look at those plant suggestions.  The problem is I've pretty much ruled out trellis or fencing as I'm not sure it would 'look' right in situ - of course for us it'd be perfect, but I'm keen to maintain the appearance of the row.  The 1m elevation is a supported by a natural stone wall, and for some reason (though admittedly I am a *total* novice) I can't envisage either fencing or trellis looking appropriate above it.  Mainly because all but one (other than us) of our row of cottages have gardens level with the lane, but with the same stone wall dividing and just a selection of plants for their privacy, only at a lower level - so aesthetically I can't imagine a trellis or fence fitting in too well.  Hope that makes sense!

25/05/2012 at 16:21

Wow where do I start.So many plants/shrubs/climbers to choose from. A bit of advise someone gave me. Go and look around an establshed garden, National Trust,RHS place at all seasons, and see what appeals to you.What colour do you like? purple, silver green lime foliage even variagated. Does it flower and when. Do you want to encourage wild life/birds, so look for berries and leaves all year. Scented or not. Ask gardeners at these places any questions you may have. Don't be in any rush, enjoy the looking and buying. Buy them at a well established place, beware online, as you can't see the quality of plant or whether they have a disease or insects on them.

25/05/2012 at 16:54

Janet - thanks!  I am definitely looking for something that encourages wildlife as much as possible, and scented would be lovely but not such a priority (we have honesysuckle against the house so it's not a necessity) - to be honest my main concerns are privacy for us and maintaining the 'look' of the row - I don't want the hedge/shrubs to look out of place or overly private (no 6 foot fences!).  You're dead right - a local garden centre is probably my best bet for the conditions we have locally.  It's just the appearance that is leaving me in a quandry given the elevation of the garden compared to rest of the row... There's none silimar locally, and I've googled to find pics of raised gardens with privacy hedges, but have found nowt appropriate   I have wondered if a mixed range of 1m-1.5m plants might be best, but I've not a clue where to start nor do we have any gardening experience so it's all a bit daunting.

25/05/2012 at 22:03

So you're not thinking of just a single shrub as I have visualized. A mixed hedge woud be lovely. Again mix the shrubs.Holly, beech, berberis,Sloe (vicious thorns, but berries to add to gin! But never tried it myself, before you visualize a lush!)Hawthorn, white and/or pink flowers, favourite of all the birds. BUT rather sharp and prickly if and when you prune it. Moss roses, choysia the list goes on. Please DON't put Leylandii in. Nightmare scenario and will block everything out including any view.

25/05/2012 at 22:18

Roses sound like a good idea.  Across the road from me there is a hedge of Rosa Rugosa and it looks lovely.  The scent would be appreciated by you and the walkers.

26/05/2012 at 19:15

Thanks both Janet and Koala.  The Sloe idea sounds fabulous! I'll plan a trip to a decent centre and have a look for those.  I'm not fixed on either a mixed border or a simple single bush, however the latter appeals because we're such novices, yet I had thought it might look too imposing and that a mixed hedge might blend in more to the surroundings.  Your suggestions are a great start anyway!  Thanks very much for your help - really want to enjoy the garden more next summer whilst not ruining the view for others.

26/05/2012 at 20:10

@threecliffs.. you could go roundand see what is growing in other gardens.. to get an idea of what woul dbe happy in your soil.. that is what i did wheni moved house from clay to sandy soil and salty sea winds..

26/05/2012 at 20:18

Thanks gardeningfantic - I feel really silly that I hadn't thought of that!  Shows you how clueless we are with it all.  There are gardens nearby with perfectly sized bushy things (!) though perhaps not as pretty as I'd hoped for - I'll have to find out what they are as a start.  It's really rather wet and windy (lots of ferns and long grassy things suited to boggy land knocking about) so I stongly suspect it/they'll have to be hardy, I love the idea of roses but haven't seen any locally, maybe too delicate?  I'm liking the Sloe, Holly and Hawthorn idea.  We've a multitude of small low level little flowers that are really pretty at the front of the border, kind of trailing down the wall (for-get-me-nots I think are one), so I want to keep those and have the hedge/shrubs just behind.  Feeling much more confident now - cheers!

11/06/2012 at 21:43

 What I would do is three obelisks(is that how you spell the word) and space them almost in a triangle to one corner and possibly one to the opposite corner what ive done is grow honeysuckle up them which is evergreen. You could always get different heights and make a feature of this.This would give anyone passing something to look at and you a bit of privacy. You could even make the obelisks yourself with a visit to the local wood and a ball of string.   Just another idea      Jenny 

13/06/2012 at 15:38

Have you thought of  laurel ? Beautiful evergreen bright green glossy leaves. Blackbirds love to nest in them and the berrys are a favourite with the birds. You can trim to any height and they grow anywhere. good luck with your planting !

13/06/2012 at 20:14

Have you thought about things in containers?  You can buy, fairly inexpensively, trellis with a container at the bottom, so you could fill that with compost and put whatever you want in it, and it has the added bonus of being portable, so you could move it to one side if you're feeling sociable, and move it to the front if you want a little privacy.  A neighbour has bamboo in containers that he uses as a screen for a motorbike trailer, again, it's portable and it can be moved to wherever it needs to be.  You also don't have to worry about the type of soil you have with containers, too, so you can put in whatever takes your fancy, and as long as the climate is OK (I suspect that rules out any type of palm), bob's your uncle.  Good luck with it, before you know you'll have got the gardening bug.

30/06/2012 at 10:56

have you thought of willow hurdles? they look very natural and come in different hights.

you can then grow many plants shubs up this and i think whould be great for the cottage look... 

30/06/2012 at 12:52

Don't know if I'm allowed to do this, but I'll try and if the moderators don't like it, they'll remove it (sorry mods), but as you're North Derbyshire, you'll have a JTF near you (there's one in catcliffe in sheffield/rotherham), and they have a sale on at the moment, you can buy a trellis with a wooden planter at the bottom for £4.99 (add on VAT).  I'll be off there later next week when I have some money, as I've got some climbers I've ordered, and not managed to get the border clear (it's blackthorn that's got a very bad wooly aphid infection that's scarred it), as I'e got some sparrows nesting in there, and want to let them bring up their babies before I chop their house down!

30/06/2012 at 13:57

I,ve not read through all the replys but i would advise putting in a couple of posts then run wire betreen them. Once you have this fram you can then grow up it a selection of clematis ans if you mix the plants you put in you could have it flowering for most of the season. then to keep your barrier all year also plant in a few evergreen climbers. I,ve done this for a few clients and when it,s had a few years to mature i9t looks great. Also have it as high as you like with no need for planning permision. It,s even possible to make it have thorns to add securijty. Hope thats some help to you

email image
18 messages