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Steve the Gardening Vet

Eeek, our new neighbour behind us has had tree people in all day to remove several large conifers and suddenly we can see a load of houses that we knew were there but couldn't see before!

I need suggestions for moderately tall, evergreen shrubs or trees that might be good to fill the gaps. This part of the garden gets lots of light. I want to go 3-4m high, reasonably dense and it must be wildlife friendly.

Last edited: 26 August 2017 22:26:17

nutcutlet

Cotoneaster lacteus, flowers for the bees, berries for the birds

How about some conifers yourself Steve?

Steve the Gardening Vet

I'm not a fan of conifers overall. Is there such a thing as a wildlife friendly conifer?

Sorry Steve there is no quick fix, if I've guessed your situation right. The only answer as, several people have said,is plant trees yourself, but your garden may not be big enough and trees grow slowly.  Please don't plant conifers. Yes they are faster growing mostly, but many are hideously ugly. Here's a left field suggestion. Smack in tall wooden poles without the side branch stumps cut off. Yes I know this is a challenge to find,  but a good timber merchant will help. Plant some clematis montana, any variety will do, as will the late flowering, most vigorous kinds. Don't get  the pretty but  little ones. They will ramp up the posts quickly (well within 2 years), obscuring the view and giving you sensational flowers throughout the from Spring through Autumn. Do you see now now why you can't use telephone posts? You may well have to do some tying in in the early stages and probably some engineering help with the posts, but trust me. Good luck. Ian. 

Don't listen to me I'm a raving lunatic. Read the next post.

Last edited: 26 August 2017 23:07:32

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Hi Steve, 

Do I get a second chance? The clematis idea was right but the posts are wacko. I was thinking TREEEES.

Erect an open wire fence, the type they use around football pitches, in front of the view you want to obscure. Plant your clematis there. If left alone clematis will grow to 4-6 meters within two years. Good luck. Ian

Last edited: 26 August 2017 23:12:09

Mike Allen

Hi Steve.  Long time no see.  I can imagine how you feel.  I/we moved into this tiny flat/maissontee in May 64.  At the top end of the garden a fence.  Beyond trees, Sycamore, Poplar, Willows etc. It wasn't until the autnm that we discovered house over the back.  Over the years many trees have gone, some conifers have been planted and out-grown their purpose.  Come the autumn I am now subjected to seeing folks opposite but also those security lights.

Steve, not knowing much about your garden. Height etc that need screening off.  Perhaps some sort of trellis or as has been suggested a wire support and then plant some Russian vine.  I think it will provide you with a faster coverage.  Just a thought.  All the best.  Mike.

Dovefromabove

Steve ... Please don't plant Russian Vine ... You will regret it very quickly. It is only suitable for those who want one plant to cover at least an acre. I know of one plant that entirely swamped a house and garage. I know of another that has spread through and over a hedge for a quarter of a mile. It is not called Mile a Minute for nothing. I know that is not what you want 

Steve the Gardening Vet

I'm getting notifications from the forum that a person I have blocked can still see my postings. I'd hoped a block would work both ways!

Steve the Gardening Vet

NutC and Dove, the cotoneaster looks like it would get too wide for the space I have unless one can train it up and lift the crown?

Ingle, I really would prefer a single plan that will fill some airspace above the height of the fence?

Dovefromabove
Steve the Gardening Vet says:

I'm getting notifications from the forum that a person I have blocked can still see my postings. I'd hoped a block would work both ways!

See original post

 No such luck unfortunately 

I'll have a think .... What about hawthorn?

Busy-Lizzie

Pleached trees?

I was going to suggest evergreen viburnums. Then you say about being too bushy so I've found a viburnum tinus grown as a tree, but I don't know if it will get tall enough. Found a pic on Google but have lost it and Internet is being too slow to get it back.

Steve the Gardening Vet

I'd love a hawthorn for the wildlife aspect but evergreen would be better.

I've wondered about viburnum but also worried about height...

(Sometimes size matters!)

Dovefromabove

What about a mix of hawthorn, pyracantha and holly? 

Last edited: 27 August 2017 09:22:31

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Dovefromabove

How much space have you got ... we once planted a similar mixed hedge in an area around 12' long ... we managed the bottom half of it as a hedge and then when it grew above head height allowed it to branch out into more like small trees ... much as you see hedgerows around fields where cattle graze. 

Steve the Gardening Vet

Only around six feet as there is a photonia pink that has reached the top of the fence already so that will deal with its bit of the fence soon!

Steve the Gardening Vet says:

I'm not a fan of conifers overall. Is there such a thing as a wildlife friendly conifer?

See original post

I am by no means advocating this as a solution but our neighbour's leylandii are home to dozens of birds. Most of the 'nice' conifers though are either far too big for a normal garden - scots pine, lebanese cedar - or too slow growing - golden larch, juniper - to do what you need. 

Conifers get a lot of bad press but I think it's really just that the full size ones are really not garden plants - more parkland or arboretum . They are actually really good trees on the whole - right plant, right place - and have their place in a balanced ecosystem as much as any other type.

Last edited: 27 August 2017 11:27:24

Dovefromabove
Steve the Gardening Vet says:

Only around six feet as there is a photonia pink that has reached the top of the fence already so that will deal with its bit of the fence soon!

See original post

 I'd go for a holly ... they're not as slow growing as people seem to think ... wonderful winter shelter for birds ... as well as the flowers for insects and of course the berries

... https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/details?plantid=1013 

and you can get fairly decent sized ones from places like Crown Nurseries at Ufford ... if you prepare the site well and give it some tlc it should establish well ... holly is quite tenacious ... although as with all evergreens you need to stake larger ones well until established because of wind rock.