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Hi there,

We have recently moved into a new build house with an extremely high wooden fence at the back of the garden (approx 8/9ft) which unfortunately dominates the appearance of the garden. The garden itself is not deep so we cannot have large borders etc. I would be extremely grateful for any economical ideas for disgusing/breaking up the appearance of the fence through planting etc. Many thanks


First question-who owns the fence?

We do, it backs onto a small area of no mans land 5ft deep between us and a road



That is good- you can attach structures to support climbers hang pots from with no trouble then.

Any preference on climbers?

I must admit that I am a bit of a novice. Do you have any suggestions for fast spreading colourful climbers?




Don't make the mistake of narrow borders. It will just make you feel more enclosed, go for dramatic effect, bold planting. There is loads about on how to design a small enclosed garden. But yes cover your fence with climbers , but also shrubs for birds and interest.

Research more before you commit to narrow borders. I'm trying to think where I have seen something - may get back t you when I have thunk

Thanks Rosa



There are lots of clematis that flower at different times-there are some keen clematis growers on this forum-who may come up with some suggestions

You could grow some low growing plants at the base

You could get some wall baskets to attach to the fence and fill with spring/summer bedding to ring the changes at different times of year


I agree with Rosa, a narrow border will draw your eye to the fence. Making it wider will make you look away from the fence. If its a small area just leave yourself a good sitting/playing space and call the rest garden. And if the fence is that ghastly orange brown that so many are you can paint it.


Just had a thought-how much sun does the area get?-what direction does it face?


Also how big are we talking? 

I will have to check with my husband but in the summer we get the sun from around 10-3/4


Rosa- the garden or the fence?




Thanks for the clematis advice sotongeoff


Think it is South West facing



The garden

If you google garden design you get video clips that may helpyou. Also there are loads of Gradeners world also on youtube. There was aseries by alan titchmarsh about designing a garden. Someone on this forum is bond to know what i am talking about!

Will keep thinking and let you know if I have a eureka moment. 


You can grow climbers up the fence, either on trellis or on wires - clematis (depends on the variety when they flower), honeysuckle, roses. Then you can plant shrubs, tall ones and short ones to break up the view, between the climbers. Some evergreen shrubs to hide the fence in winter would be could, like photinia "Red Robin", euonymus, choisya, some flowering like weigela, exochorda "the Bride", Abelia, spireas. You can buy a gardening book or look them up on Google. You could plant some tall perennials like verbena bonariensis.

Thanks everyone for all your advice so far, extremely helpful


I have Pyracantha groing up my fence. It is evergreen, produces berries for the Blackbirds  (they prefer the red ones) and produces creamy flowers in the spring. It will grow up to about  3 meters  (10 ft ) Worth considering .



Clematis montana grows very quickly and in 2 years would probably cover the fence.  It is an early flowerer so another later flowing clematis or a honeysuckle might be good for more interest.  Don't discount ivy, great for wildlife and provides good coverage.  Enjoy