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By Ch1974

United Kingdom Gb

Please can you tell me what tall trees / bushes can be planted at the end of a garden to hide the side of a neighbouring property? It's a bit of an eyesore but I'm conscious of planting anything where the roots could potentially be a problem long term as the property is close.



Welcome to GoY. What sort of distances are you talking about?

Some things to consider:
- unless you can afford to import fully grown specimens, most trees are going to take a few years to achieve any significant height
- check your own household insurance. There's almost certainly a clause there about trees over a particular height within a given distance of the property (fairly standard is something like 7m height within 5m of the house)
- there is a Kew Gardens guide to trees and recommended planting distances - it may take a bit of tracking down but a quick guide is available at
- Think how high the trees really need to be and don't be led into planting something out of all proportion to your garden. If you have a couple of acres by all means plant a couple of oaks or beech trees etc
- remember that trees need space to grow - whatever you plant, don't plant it so close to the boundary that it can't expand without it trespassing onto your neighbour's property
- what type of soil do you have? Is the garden dry/well-drained/sunny/shady etc
- whereabouts are you in the UK? Recommendations for the English south coast would be different to those for the north of Scotland.

28 Feb, 2014


Thanks for your advice :) . I'll check all those tips out before buying anything.

I'm in the South East, nowhere near the coast unfortunately. We're not in the new house yet, I'm busy looking for ideas but (hence) haven't a clue about type of soil etc. The garden's small, probably 15-20'sq, and is south east facing. This will be my first garden (it's been a long time coming!) and the picture in my mind is of a private space surrounded and protected by all year round colour and scent - how do'able that proves to be will hopefully be fun finding out!

Do you think I'd be better off investigating trellis and climbers given the small size the garden?

28 Feb, 2014


I am in the south east too, with a similar size garden. I would definitely go for climbers and trellis. There are some really fast growing rambling roses. Summer and winter jasmine and clematis. My best advice would be to start of slowly with three plants you really like and then add more as you understand your garden.

For a quick fix for this year, you could try climbing annuals, such as nasturtium and the like. If you buy a sturdy trellis you can fix planters quite high up to trail down while you are waiting for the climbers to reach their full height.

If you want a tree I would go for one of the smaller flowering cherries.

I wish you happiness in your new home, please let us know what you buy, and photos would be great.

28 Feb, 2014


The thing with trees is you get along trunk which really doesn't block out much

there are some lovely shrubs, evergreen and deciduous that could go in front of the trellis

28 Feb, 2014


I would say definitely too small for trees. What are your current boundaries? Fences, walls? what height? A photo of the view that you're trying to hide might help.
Trellis or a pergola with climbers could be a solution - check out ideas for small gardens and back gardens by clicking on the alphabet icons at the bottom of GoY pages.
Or concentrate on things below the height of your boundary walls/fences to draw your eyes away from what's on the other side.

28 Feb, 2014


How tall is the side of next door's property? Is it a normal house or a taller block of flats?

1 Mar, 2014


Hi everyone, thank you for all your replies and advice :) .

Urbanite - I'm going to try and attach a photo in a minute of the view I'd like to hide. Boundaries are our garage at the end of the garden and fencing between us and neighbours on the left and right.

Bamboo - It is a normal house at the end of the garden, not flats.

Nannijii - Could a small flowering cherry tree be planted in a large pot? Wondering if that could also be a route to investigate, potted trees.

I would definitely prefer evergreen whichever route I go down.

4 Mar, 2014


Unfortunately, cherry trees don't do well in pots - their growth habit is to spread out surface roots for a fair distance, and in a pot, they can't do that. I am, though, wondering about bamboo - phyllostachys (nigra or aureum) does quite well in large pots and gets 11 - 13 feet tall. If you want bamboo in the ground though, I strongly recommend a root rhizome barrier be put in place first. Fargesia bamboo is said not to spread like crazy, so you shouldn't need a barrier with that one, but most of the others will take over the ground in the garden otherwise.

4 Mar, 2014


I was also thinking Bamboo. Phyllostachys is great and looks lovely all year around.

Shrubs make great screening and grow faster than trees....Leycesteria 'Golden Lanterns' is lovely and grows really fast. Almost evergreen too.

I used eucalyptus, but you will need to pollard or hard prune it regularly...and it does have big roots, so might not work for you here.

Buddleia is lovely and another fast grower. Butterflies adore it.

Another suggestion is Cytisus Battandieri. It is almost evergreen, with beautiful silvery leaves and yellow flowers that both look and smell like pineapples. Gorgeous shrub!

Oh, and consider a Cotoneaster. 'Exburiensis' is my favourite. It has white flowers which bees adore, and yellow fruits in the autumn. The birds love them. Almost always evergreen.

Crab apples, Hebes and Photinias are also useful, as is the mountain ash...Rowan..which is a lovely small tree. Hawthorn is a lovely flowering small tree too.

Enjoy your new garden! :)

5 Mar, 2014


See the picture now and I wouldn't even bother trying to hide the other house but put in things to draw your eyes elsewhere. The white wall of your garage makes a lovely 'canvas' for all sorts of plants including climbers and you could paint the fence on the left to add colour quickly (great colours in fence paint these days).
Depending on what you want to do in the garden you could add interest by re shaping the lawn and borders.
One other point though - as it's your first garden you might do better to leave it for this year - just keep it tidy - and spend the year planning what you want, finding out what the soil/sun/shade conditions are and seeing what is there already and what grows well - it could save you a lot of expense of buying plants that won't thrive.

Have fun.

7 Mar, 2014


Sensible advice Urbanite.

7 Mar, 2014


If the picture Urbanite refers to is the one in your Photos and the same as your profile picture, I would most definitely use a small tree at the end of garden, something like Amelanchier lamarckii or Malus 'Gorgeous'. Both are deciduous, but as you're presumably not out in the garden in winter, you won't notice too much, and you'd still have the branches and trunk as a skeleton. Just plant it at least 10 feet away from your white wall.

7 Mar, 2014

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