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Advice on what to plant along fence in shade

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Bfm, Oct 10, 2018 at 10:38 PM.

  1. Bfm

    Bfm Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi All,

    I was hoping for some advice. We have a fence that spans approx 60f. Beyond the fence is a public pathway, road and then a row of two story houses The council has recently topped and removed some of the trees beyond our fence which is leaving us a little overlooked from the pathway/road and several houses opposite. There is also a row of street lights as well as multiple security lights from the houses which just seems to go off randomly.

    One of the neighbours opposite stopped to chat with me whilst I was replacing some of my fence boards (He's never spoken to me in five years). When I explained that I would be replanting something to block out the street lights and get a little bit more privacy, he started to talk about the high hedges act. Presumably the gentleman had made the complaint to the council. He also mentioned that his front garden was getting much more light. Another subtle hint I thought :)

    I was wondering what our options would be with the high hedge act in mind. My understanding is that the high hedge act applies only to a row of two or more evergreen or semi-evergreen trees that are over 6.5ft tall?

    I planted laurel hedging along the side of our house some months back so I would ideally like something different. I was thinking hedging to the top of the fence and a few trees would be the best way to go. Would planting an evergreen that got up to height quickly and had a wide spread be feasible? I could then place some deciduous trees in front of the lights / windows. What choices would I have? Is there a deciduous tree that's as close to an evergreen as you could get? i.e doesn't loose much leaves over winter? or something fairly dense and perhaps we could plat a few rows?

    I've been to three nurseries in the last few weeks. One recommended climbing Pyracantha but having read about it, it doesn't seem to be suitable for shade. Another recommended using large shrubs instead of a hedge and the last recommend bamboo.

    I'm lost with what would work best. With regards to the site, the ground is well drained but about 1/2 of the fence never gets sun light due to deep shade from surrounding trees. It's also exposed to the wind. The fence blew down two years ago and part of it had to be replaced.

    Apologies for rambling and as usual, I appreciate any advice you could give me.

    Many thanks
     
  2. Sheal

    Sheal Total Gardener

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    The height restriction applies to all hedges Bfm, so if you want something fast growing it will have to be trimmed more often. There is the option of buying mature plants but they will be more expensive.

    Griselinia is fast growing and light in colour. In the past I have had Escallonia and Hebe as hedging, these will take a good five years to reach maturity. Both of these and the Griselinia will stand up to the wind and be happy in shade. All three are evergreen.

    Escallonia
    010.JPG
    008.JPG
    Hebe....This was a young hedge that I'd grown from cuttings for my neighbour. At this point it was three years old.
    013.JPG
     
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    • Mike Allen

      Mike Allen Gardener

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      From what you say, you are very much between the devil and the deep blue sea. You are troubled by the over exposure to your home etc by local street lighting, security lights etc. Your neighbour has dropped the hint that his property is now getting more light due to you having got rid of your hedge. Then a familiar point enters the equation, that of the height of the hedge.

      A high hedge is quoted as anything over 6.5 feet. Intrusion of privacy caused by street lighting including flashing belisher beacons is a matter for your local council. Locally I have found that where street lighting etc is involved, most councils will often take measures to screen the offending light/s from troubling you. Security lights, especially those installed by householders. I asked my local council about this a few years back, as a house in a neihbouring street had had such a light unit fitted to the rear of their property. When the trees are bare, the light shines directly into my flat, so much so, I can work away in my study or kitchen without me neediong my lights on. My council addmitted that for some reason this always slipped through the net at council meetings.

      The problems you now find yourself with, many folk have been in the same situation before. No disrespects to members of the forum as we all try our best to provid helpful comments etc. However I suggest as so much relates to rulrs etc of your local council. Contact them and I am sure they will help you sort it all out. I wish you well.
       
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      • Bfm

        Bfm Apprentice Gardener

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        That's really beautiful. Much much better than Laurel. Thanks very much for your suggestion. The would would be much happier with that too :smile:
         
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        • Bfm

          Bfm Apprentice Gardener

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          Thank you for that. I think I'll take your advice and get in touch with them. That would hopefully take care of some of the issues
           
        • ricky101

          ricky101 Super Gardener

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          Hi,

          From what you said, if you have a path , road and trees behind your fence , cannot see how a hedge etc in your garden, even at 3mtrs high, could possibly cast a shadow onto that neighbours garden, the distance is surely too great; apart from some very low sunrise or sunset.

          I would say grow what you like as a hedge, doubt he could make a valid complaint as by that time those trees will have put on a lot more growth than you can make.
          If the worst can to the worst, it would only mean you have to trim them down a little, they soon grow back !
          Hedges: nuisance and overgrown/RHS Gardening

          Trees and the law/RHS Gardening

          Another evergreen shrub you can use is Red Robin, which can be trained as a Pleach so giving you more planting space beneath the fence.
          Photinia x fraseri 'Red Robin' | Christmas berry 'Red Robin'/RHS Gardening

          As for the security lights, which you seem to have many, I would think that might be a lost cause and you would be much better getting blackout curtains/blinds.
          Afraid there are always some folk who will take exception to the complaint and create unpleasantness , even though they are clearly in the wrong by not positioning and maintaining their lights properly.
           
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          • Redwing

            Redwing Wild Gardener

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            You’ve said some of the trees have been topped and some removed. The topped ones will regrow. My experience of mature trees having been topped is that they grow back pretty strongly. Hopefully these will. Maybe strategic planting with quick growing trees would be an option, taking advantage of the topped trees anticipated regrowth.
             
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            • Bfm

              Bfm Apprentice Gardener

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              I never thought about that - The trees will grow much faster than the hedge so wouldn't matter what I grow. Thank you for that and for the recommendations. Much appreciated :)
               
            • Bfm

              Bfm Apprentice Gardener

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              Yes I think this is the approach I'm going to take. Hedge at required height and a few trees scattered to block out (as much as possible) the lights. Thank you
               
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              • Mike Allen

                Mike Allen Gardener

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                Totally agree with replies by our friends. Locally to me, the council has over the past two years, really gone to town on the roadside trees. Sadly not all have recovered.

                Partly my previous comment was intended for you to get upto date infomation from your local council as this is where the deciding factors would come from.. Plus, perhaps being a bit crafty/tactful. If you have sought the advice and guidance of the local authority, you have more or lest put paid to neighbours moans. All the best.
                 

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