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I have a large borderdeep  that is perennial approx 48 mtrs its interspersed about every 8 footapprox with crab apple trees, with a large 6ft fence as the backdrop. Over the past year even though I have a large tree at the bottom of the garden I have lost my birdlife even though I have bird feeders everywhere and a dovecote given protection by the tree, obviously my feathered friends do not appreciate the openness. I am struggling to find a solution with upright evergreen bushes to plant against the fence that will give me winter colour and berries and the local birds protection, my soil is heavy and the shrubs I would like to grow eventually to the height of the fence. I am looking for ideas if anyone can give me any?

Thanks Busy Lizzie but are they rather thorny have boisterous grandkids


Pyracantha is spiny, but not cotoneaster.



Birds prefer thorny shrubs as it gives them protection - Sparrowhawks won't chase them into such bushes in case it damages their all important flight feathers.  Children can be taught to avoid such things and will quickly learn anyway - I'm certain my parents didn't avoid planting things just to avoid us receiving a harmless  little scratch.  Sometimes I think we are too over-protective of the young of the toughest animal on the planet (ie us!)

I guess there's a lot of truth in what bob says but pyracantha IS very thorny if not dangerous. I removed it from my garden ....wont risk it. Its a vicious brute needing serious pruning. What about a beautiful yellow ivy called Buttercup? This for your winter colour albeit without the berries. In my garden birds do nest in it. I would plant a buddleia in front......keep it unpruned during the winter and hang bird feeders on it. In spring cut it back and it will soon produce growth and flowers to attract butterflies and bees. A friend has this outside her kitchen window and it provides endless entertainment for her as so many birds come to feed and visit.

Thanks Verdun this ivy looks interesting as I have such a large expanse of fence it looks more interesting than the standard green ivy

Pennine Petal
How about forsythia, just coming out up here at the moment. My mum used to have one in her garden up against a fence and the sparrows and blue tits loved it. You can keep it in check quite easily and gives you colour early in the year.

Hi Pennine Petal thanks for this one it does look lovely and after doing a google does look a great one Thank you

Have you thought of climbers? Honeysuckle would grow up the fence, and provides berries, and climbers will eventually provide a good structure.

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