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Duncan Blackwell

Hello everyone, I'm new here so sorry if this has already been covered.


I have a shed that's 8ft square, the right hand side and rear of the shed is an 18in gap before next doors fence. Next door have a habit of lifting up their fence panels and just entering my garden whenever they like to collect their kids toys, I have a greenhouse which has been damaged with balls and other toys from next door and they couldn't care less.


I want to plant something to the side and behind my shed that is going to stop/hurt them. I have looked on various plant sites for inspiration, and all I get is conflicting information.


Can someone suggest anything I can plant? I have some Pyrocantha fire thorn which is going in different locations in the garden. I was looking at gorse, holly, hazel, laurel. some sites say these are all fine in the shade, other sites say that shade is not good.


Any help is greatly received



Hiya Duncan and welcome

Berberis Darwinii is a prickly tough evergreen that grows pretty fast and tolerates difficult situations.  It has orange flowers in spring that are real eye catchers.  Mahonia is another prickly evergreen with yellow flowers in mid winter.  

However, I think pyracantha might well be your best bet.  You can get different varieties berries, orange berries or yellow berries.  It might not flower there if its as shady as it sounds but will still produce an effective evergreen deterrent

I guess your neighbours won't listen to reason?  

I think you might find it difficult to get something to grow in the gap between the shed and the fence ( I may be misinterpreting what you are trying to do) due to the lack of light but you could try ivy. That would probably anchor the fence panels nicely once it gets going. Add a couple of prickly shrubs at the ends of the narrow corridor around the shed; the pyracantha would be perfect especially if you could train it up a trellis.

Blackthorn, its easy, cheap to grow, the thorns are evil! It's a great plant because it makes the perfect barrier, can cutback hard if needed, wildlife loves it too. 

Duncan Blackwell
Thanks for the replies people.
Neighbours 100% won't listen to reason, I have told them about throwing the toys over but all I get is "he's a child, you can't stop him playing in the garden". I wouldn't mind but when they break the greenhouse windows (polycarbonate) all I hear is "it's a toy, it can't do any damage!!".

A few people have mention the Rosa Rugosa

I also forgot to mention that the fence blew down due to the concrete posts falling apart. That's caused more aggro because they think it's my fault as I DIDNT STAIN THEIR FENCE. I could have wet myself laughing, all these year and I never realised that staining a wooden fence will stop concrete from ageing.

They have made it clear that I cannot have any plants that TOUCH their fence, so I may have to erect some type of screening my side for the plants to touch.

These lovely people threw cigarette ends over their fence into my garden (my family doesn't smoke) and torched the shed which I had to rebuild, no offer of help or money or even to clean up the cigarettes. I also have these lovely people emptying their rubbish onto my driveway, caught on my CCTV, the local authorities did warn them over that.

If I hadn't got cats I'd be getting a huge scrap yard guard dog



Nothing to stop you erecting your own intruder-proof fence inside the boundary - high enough to prevent reaching over etc. I think that would be my preferred option. 

How tall is the fence, Duncan? Are you and your neighbour agreed that the fence belongs to them? Is this private housing or local authority/housing association? How old are their children?


I sympathise.  Your neighbours, unfortunately, are like many others.  essentially they are bullies.......

Fencing seems the solution......or can you build a wall there?  Plants need attemtion etc and it might be more practical to concentrate on fence or wall

Good luck Duncan  


How awful, I wouldn't want to get into any kind of argument with people like that so I agree that the fence sounds like the best solution.  If they can't see through their fence why don't you choose a wire one so that they can't burn it or lift the panels.  Obviously their behaviour doesn't appear sociably normal so a fence seems the choice least likely to provoke further antagonism - as I'm sure a plant would soon be the victim of 'accidental' damage.

Duncan Blackwell
Loads of replies, nice

The houses are both private, next door has a son aged 6 that's a little sh1t. The fence is next doors property, it's standard 6ft panels on top of a 2.5ft wall.

I do happen to have a roll of 4ft high green mesh fencing. I was only just thinking about using that at 2 heights to stop them coming through. I've found some quality fence stakes on eBay for the right price so I think that is definatley the way to go.

Many thanks people

Good luck 

There's an old saying. "Good fences make good neighbours!"  - hope it comes true for you. 

Duncan Blackwell
Just found this on eBay 221377249562
Sorry couldn't make a link as I'm on my mobile. But I think this looks the part

Think this is the best option Duncan. 

Jim Macd

Good luck Duncan, if that doesn't work get a big dog or pet Lion.  

I think you should tell them very politely that anything thrown into your garden will be handed back to them at a time that is convenient, in other words at your convenience, not theirs. So, for instance, if the ball comes over six times in half an hour you are not responsible for giving it back straight away or at any particular time. But you should not play into their hands by taking the ball hostage.

Make it clear that they are in no circumstances permitted to come into your garden and help themselves, and that if they do you will seek legal advice on trespass. 

You should also keep a written record of any incident that causes you inconvenience (digital photos have a date on them) so that should things get worse you will have evidence if you choose to go to the local PCSO for advice.

Does their neighbour on the other side have similar problems?



in my last house we had constant football issues as there was a small patch of grass beyond our garden wall. In the end, I resorted to " holding the ball hostage" for a few days. In law, you can not keep it, or refuse to return it, but you can say, " it's not convenient to retrieve it right now, come back in a few days" worked for me , but I'd advise a cautious approach.

I do so hate the " they're just playing " excuse for everything naughty children get up to.

Duncan Blackwell
The neighbours on the other side have nothing to do with them either. When I caught next door throwing rubbish on my property, they admitted throwing it on the other neighbours property too.

Must have been dragged up from the gutter.

I have been told that there is a limit of 3 incidents where a ball or toy can be returned as being acceptable. Any more than 3 incidents in a 12 month period is classed as a deliberate act. I'm still trying to find a solicitor that knows for sure.

Duncan - I read your post and felt so angry. I spend so much time feeling furious about the way people allow their children to behave. It's disgraceful. I've just put blackthorn hedge round most of my front garden because of children running through the garden, along with a boundary fence. Many people here know the saga. If I was you I'd stick as many jaggy shrubs as you can - pyracantha, berberis, quince, hawthorn etc - in the space and hell mend 'em. The worry is that, if you confront them about their behaviour, they'll retaliate in a (possibly) unpleasant way which you wouldn't want, but it's dreadful that people can be bullied like this.

You can't reason with unreasonable people. 

Think I told of the time a neighbour allowed his dog to poo on my drive.  I picked it up, rang his doorbell and duly deposited it on his doorstep.  Told him I was returning his property. Never had a problem with him since and, in fact, we now get on very well 

Somehow people need to stand up to bullies and the like's the only way to gain their respect 


Sadly Verd, it doesn't always work out as well as it did for you. While I agree with you totally about bullies, sometimes you have to know which battles to fight. There's a very unpleasant family round here who exacted revenge on someone who stood up to them. It can often be  difficult to judge the best way to go about these situations.