Looking for a solution for an overlooked garden?
Are you in a terraced house with neighbours looking in on all sides, or do you have an exposed plot where you can wave hello to every passing car? If you want to mitigate the issue of an overlooked garden, read on for our solutions…
So, you’ve moved into the house of your dreams, but just as you’re about to sip some wine on your patio, you are faced with your neighbour’s DIY attempts wearing only a pair of shorts. Now, depending on your neighbour, you might be alright with this…but if you’d prefer to create a bit of a sanctuary for yourself, here are some top tips.
This is the most obvious and greenest (in more ways than one) solution, but there is a time investment here. Unless you are willing to splash out on more mature specimens, you may have to wait for your green border to grow in. Laurel hedging works well as it grows at the rate of 2 feet a year. It is best to plant at 3 foot intervals to allow for spread. Voracious growth does mean lots of pruning though, so be prepared to take on that maintenance. It is a quick way to make your overlooked garden feel more secluded.
Bamboo is another good option – it is quick growing and provides a lighter feel than laurel. It should be confined in attractive containers though, as it can become rampant if unconfined.
Screens and Fencing
Fencing is a good way to achieve privacy, but care should be taken with the height – complying with local laws. Do a reccy of the neighbourhood and see what other people have used – it’s helpful to see what works.
Metal screening is a lovely example, but sometimes better used for creating more private sections within the garden, rather than enclosing it as a whole.
Hazel and willow make lovely natural fences – these work particularly well in cottage gardens or more period properties.
The choice of fence panel should be dictated by the style of the planting and the way you will use the space. Your property’s character should also inform some of your decisions.
In a larger space, you can position a tree away from the boundary, which can do a lot to conceal the neighbours’ viewpoint without having to install a whole row of trees.
The home improvement website Houzz suggests the following: For the smaller urban garden, however, a good way to block out next door is either to use standard trained single tall specimens or to have a row of pleached or trained trees, whose branches become dense over time.
Good trees to try for evergreen privacy are Quercus ilex, Magnolia grandiflora, Prunus lusitanica and Ligustrum lucidum. For pleaching deciduous varieties that hold their leaf for a while and have good autumn colour, Acer platanoides ‘Globosum’ and Pyrus ‘Chanticleer’, with its conical crown, have strong architectural interest, and the latter is one of the last trees to lose its leaves come winter.