I have a garden with high plants/trees around all the walls. However I have about 4 yards of bare South-facing wall which gets as much sun as SE England can spare.
Beneath the wall is a bed projecting forward about 1.5 feet, in which there is nothing growing but some clumps of grass. Above the wall (which is about 5ft high) are the backs of the next street of houses.
I would like to plant something beautiful there, that will extend above the wall.
From the little I know about gardening, I have gathered that a South facing wall is a good place to plant soft fruit. So I am considering putting in a nice stone fruit tree - both to decorate the view above the wall and to provide delicious fruit.
For aesthetic reasons, I would like to put a cherry tree there (a cloud of cherry blossom would look lovely in that spot), but I am slightly put off by the idea of having to net the cherries against birds (I live in London). There is a mulberry tree in the garden which long predates my arrival, and the birds seem to leave that alone (or at least, the ones that I can reach). Is the risk from birds really so high?
As a beginner armed with a few gardening books/websites, I have also gathered that fan-growing fruit has advantages: as far as netting the trees against birds, and harvesting the fruit goes. But would I be able to extend a fan-grown tree above the wall once it gets that high?
A very important consideration with a fruit tree is that it should bear fruit not too late in the season (before the second half of July, for example). As far as cherries go, I like them to have firm flesh and a distinct cherry flavour. Beyond that I'm not too fussy.
Can anyone advise me what to put in this (prime? or is it?) spot? What sort of cherry might suit here? Or would I do better putting something else there entirely? All suggestions are very welcome, and many thanks in advance for your advice.