Big bushes

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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bouicca21bouicca21 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
No double meanings intended, so no ribaldry please.

In preparation for the new patio, which will be larger than the existing one, I have rescued all the plants I think worth keeping. This also meant removing another 6 large bags of weeds. My private area of garden is now open to the communal garden, so I want to recreate some sort of screening - big bushes that give a sense of privacy but still enable me to look through and pretend the garden is all mine.

The area is north facing, gets the sun for several hours early morning, then is in shade for the rest of the day. Any ideas on appropriate bushes that will fairly quickly reach say 4-5 foot (don't do metric), or can be bought at or near that size. Soil supports a variety of weeds so presumably fertile, ph6, free draining.

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  • edited 30 August 2015 at 12:29PM
    I_have_spokenI_have_spoken
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    edited 30 August 2015 at 12:29PM
    Oh, matron!

    >big bushes that give a sense of privacy but still enable me to look through<

    Grasses and bamboo offer that, perhaps better than shrubs.

    Anyhow, reliable shrubs I've used include berberis, dogwoods, Choisya ternata "Sundance", Euonymus fortunei 'Emerald 'n' Gold', Mahonia × media 'Charity', Skimmia, Aucuba japonica 'Crotonifolia'
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    Four to five feet is a little harder than 2'- 4' and I don't mean that flippantly, because many shrubs slow down as they reach a mature height. Those that get there fast aren't always the best garden plants either.

    The most instant screening might be buddleia, which will bring in the butterflies at this time of year, and maybe a grass, like stipa gigantea or a miscanthus would also suit for instant summer effect. Bamboo is not always well-behaved, so select carefully there!

    Longer term, you might want thngs that are evergreen or leaf up early, like the berberis mentioned, osmanthus burkwoodii, euonymous ebbingeii, and my favourite, one of the abelias. Holm oak also prunes well, kept as a shrub, and of course there are hollies, including non-spiny, variegated varieties - see RHS for AGM list...in fact see RHS for just about anything.
    https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/articles/graham-rice/10-AGM-hollies-and-ivies

    So, maybe something cheap & cheerful, like buddleia, with other stuff growing behind or beside to take over as they mature.
  • Could you put in sturdy trellis and grow evergreen plants up it?

    I'm now saving up for some pretty non-see throughable trellis DavesNave mentioned and will be doing that - to block out the nosy nfh next door in my case....:rotfl:
  • Re bamboo - and that's been one of my thoughts. To date - my reading indicates that there are basically two types of bamboo. That is the running type and the clumping type and that its the running type that makes a nuisance of itself.

    I would imagine the clumping type stays put? - ie rather than popping up everywhere it isn't wanted too...
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    I would imagine the clumping type stays put? - ie rather than popping up everywhere it isn't wanted too...


    They are said to do that, yes. I must say the two I have aren't a nuisance and haven't travelled far.

    The main thing is to get them from a reputable specialist who knows them, or do full research first.
  • bouicca21bouicca21 Forumite
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    Thanks everyone. Temporary buddleia sounds like a good quick fix. And I'm a bit worried about bamboo. I can now spend the next month or so researching all those suggestions for something more permanent.

    Despite all former reservations about a north facing garden, I love sitting out there. Cool and shady beats full sun for me.

    For the point where my flower bed meets the communal one, I've been wondering about a wigwam thingy - the sort you'd use for runner beans. The nice garden centre (I.e. The one that employs actual gardeners) has a rather attractive ready made one that is only about 5 foot. Sweet peas?
  • I'd probably check out the website of a firm like Crocus first for the wigwam type thing. I know what you mean and I rather fancy them too.
  • edited 31 August 2015 at 7:24PM
    I_have_spokenI_have_spoken
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    edited 31 August 2015 at 7:24PM
    I've planted Pseudosasa japonica, the arrow bamboo, but in a copper-impregnated root-retainer bag. The roots were amazing, sharp as a needle and rock hard. So far(!) it hasn't escaped.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    How about Lavatera?

    Flowers well and is tough as old boots and also grows quickly.
  • bouicca21bouicca21 Forumite
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    Lavatera? Oh yes, love it. The first cutting I ever took was from a lavatera in (hush) the local park. It was gorgeous. I wonder if there's one in the municipal park where I now live?
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