moominrhubarb

Help me brighten up this ugly corner between wall & fence

moominrhubarb
5. Oktober 2015
This is the view as I come out of the conservatory....grim eh?
How could I improve it?
New to gardening but am keen to try anything.
This corner gets few hours sun early in morning and then is shaded by house.
Live in Yorkshire UK.
Can't be anything too deep as next to steps.
Any suggestions welcome

Kommentare (40)

  • moominrhubarb
    The rest of the garden is prettier I promise...
  • fräulein mooy
    I recommend an olivetree in a tub....maybe combined with laurel and oleander... Or just some bamboo plants to cover or brighten up the fence... you could also try to make it more natural in letting wild wine climb the fence... or just use hydrangena to give it some colour.
    you have endless possibilities, it should just match the plants you chose for the rest of your garden.
  • fräulein mooy
    I would also put a small planted pot onto the cornerstone... or any other decoration that pleases you?
  • PRO
    Amber Jeavons Ltd

    Hello Moomin,

    Love those! So... Olive trees are lovely yes... you could have a large planter going along the steps at ground where the one is currently and then the top two longer step... The long trough planter could have rows of rosemary... Actually if you planted a rosemary bought from even a supermarket, they would be a rather nice low bush..... They can grow to be enormous! Even plant in small terracotta pots and dot them around a french bistro chair and table setting... The more the merrier and they are so cheap from the supermarket.. They don't wither and expire like some of the other herbs do, when you aren't looking...

    They can be like bushes if you plant them fully... Bees love them and they flower and smell amazing... When they are really established they become woody some of the outer stems, which you can use as skewers on the bbq... Clematis or another climber could be nice too or honeysuckle for the fence... ... : ))

  • PRO
    Amber Jeavons Ltd

    Hello Moomin,

    Or you could have something like this... With something in it or not... Hidcote lavender would be nice... Bees love lavender too... : ))

  • moominrhubarb
    I am loving the suggestions thank you
  • mrskain1
    In addition to Fraulein Mooy's great plant selections, I think painting the fence a lighter colour might help - light grey or white - depending on how adventurous you are. The dark grey doesn't help lift the mood. Also possibly consider some wall art in addition to plants.
  • PRO
    Amber Jeavons Ltd

    Hello mrskain1,

    How are you? I rather like the grey/brown fence.. Thought it looked stylish.. Your living wall plant suggestion as per the bottom pic.. is a good idea... think it would be rather nice with the grey... It's quite possible it's brown too... I love living walls. It would work situated with olive trees and anything else ... .. : ) )

  • mrskain1
    Hi Amber! Hi Moomin. I posted when only Fraulein Mooys post was up. Love the rosemary idea and a colourful bistro set would look great. My thought about the colour of the fence was that Moomin said there is only morning sun, so white would seem brighter later in the day. I would have suggested yellow, but the garden looked too conservative. :-)
  • PRO
    Amber Jeavons Ltd

    Hello mrskain,

    Yes that's true, white or a light stone colour could look good too with green foliage.. I tend to think of plants that don't need much and can thrive on their own... Mock orange is a nice one too... Absolutely love gardens... Buxus balls could be nice too.. for an architectural feel...

    : ))

  • PRO
    Amber Jeavons Ltd

    Hello Moomin,

    Do let us see how you get on... I need some tips too... I'd like to do my fence a really dark stain both sides.. Was wondering if you have a height restriction as you may consider a little trellis for the top... just so you don't see the next door conservatory.. I can't find a nice pic with a small slatted trellis only a whole panel but so you can see what I mean.. Also found a nice one with white and the buxus idea.. or olive or both would be ideal... !

    Maybe the decking can be painted too... : ))

    This makes a good screen too if you want to section off an area for compost or something ugly.. Saw a tutorial by Alan Titchmarsh, he made a lovely screen for hiding something or maybe making a room within the garden...

  • moominrhubarb
    It is a dark brown fence which actually looks bit better in real life. I would've loved to have changed the colour when my husband painted it but it was such a massive undertaking (as you can see we have a LOT of wood) that I thought the suggestions might tip him over the edge!
    I have started by filling the trench with winter pansies and it already looks more cheerful already.
    I've put a pot with a evergreen shrub at the bottom left hand corner of the steps and it is starting to break it up a bit.
    The garden is not my 'style' it is very structured and as someone said formal. we have a little baby and only plan to stay for another few years So I think we will just have to titivate rather than redo the garden.
    I can't wait for it to look more cheerful.
    Next door have a cream French bistro table stuck in their shed and I might ask where they got it in the hope they may suggest I can buy it off them.
    If I bought another deeper planter (like the one on the left of picture) could we attach a trellis to this or would it be too flimsy? The ready made trellis planters are small and very expensive.
    Sorry so many questions.
    Thank you for plant suggestions
  • PRO
    Amber Jeavons Ltd

    Hello Moomin,

    I like the dark brown and I want to do mine that colour. Your hubby has done a lovely job!.. Love the idea of the cream french bistro... you need a couple of chairs to go with... wooden slatted numbers... Although... Ikea do some for £10 that are black and wood... Not at all bad looking... There is a table too... if the neighbours are not forthcoming...

    You could attach a trellis to the fence.. so you don't need it in the pot so to speak..

    It's quite nice to have some structure and height.. you can easily make it lovely just by adding to it... It's starker now as it's bare.. but when you get going.... Better to have the bulk of it done.. It is quite attractive to buyers too when the time comes...

    One thing about Olives... they do love a lot of sun and minimal watering... So if that side is not sunny.. find the south facing aspect and put them there if at all possible... They are hardy once established and I have 5. 2 naturally growing and 2 standard.

    : ))


  • mrskain1
    Well, so much for painting. Lol. I think plants and planters will do the trick for a few years. Hopefully the neighbour's bistro set will work out! I like the trellis idea too, but I think my taste is a bit eclectic (or weird). What about some lighting along the fence? The ones in the PIC are outdoor solar.
  • PRO
    Amber Jeavons Ltd

    Hello mrskain1,

    Those purple fronds and cabbage are lovely! Given me an idea! :))

  • Jonathan
    Personally I would get a medium sized ornamental tree in a pot. Something like acacia will contrast with the dark fence and help hide next doors conservatory.
    Choose something with tall branches that you can walk under so it is not an obstruction
  • blossomstix

    Put a long simple chocolate coloured trough (as per fencing) along the brick wall to bring the two colours together. Plant some buxus and have them square cut for a contermporarty look. Get a two larger and longer troughs (either chocolate or tin coloured) and place them along the fence. Plant the up with standard laurels (which can be shaped) and in between plant some buxus to link them together.

  • gerryflan

    Move?

  • Jan Lustro

    Lots of good ideas already - just one additional point you might want to think about. I would consider swapping out your pots and planters so they match or are in complimentary colours and in the same materials (i.e. go for either all metals, all stone, or all concrete, not a mix). This will really bring your scheme together and set the tone. A mismatch of pots might work in a country style garden, but it looks like you are aiming for a more modern and urban vibe.

  • moominrhubarb
    Thank you for all the suggestions. I've had a shuffle round already and it's looking better. I'll post pictures.
  • moominrhubarb
    Jan lustre you're right about the tin planters. In my next house I'll have a cottage garden but for now I'll ditch the tin and buy more of the same
  • fräulein mooy
    I am curious what it looks like now. :) i also feel eclectic!
  • joestarkie

    Situation of falling step and lie of the water indicate area is too yin. Correct by placing a planter with yellow winter flowering jasmine under planted with red and yellow bulbs for spring and a shrub with yellow fire shaped leaves for summer autumn yang balance.

  • conorparle
    Hi. Have you concidered painting the red brick. It's colour is cloze in tone to thd deck. A lighter colour would help break thd look of thd deck on both levels and make the lower space appear bigger. Be careful what plants you put there as you don't want to attract wasps in your backdoor during the summer months.
  • mrskain1
    Yes a PIC would be great! I also wonder what Amber is up to? :-)
  • PRO
    Amber Jeavons Ltd

    Hello mrskain1 :) )

    I'm not bad thank you . Busy bee! How about you? Would be nice to see pics yes! Moomin will show us hopefully. My Gdn is looking terrible! Wanted 4 trees trimmed and they hacked them to bits! Horrified! Barely more than trunks! Nowhere for the birds! :((

  • PRO
    Telegraph Contract Furniture
    power hose the flooring and oil the decking with brighten it up. Then add some light pots or even a climber up the wall - wysteria?
  • Jenna Hinton
    How about a corner water feature of descending water onto 3 smaller round pools?

    It's kind of hard to describe but I personally love water feature.

    However I do agree with a small tree or plant if you are not keen on water features.
  • Fadilla Banaji

    I think you really needs to consider in making a vertical garden


  • mrskain1
    Amber, that's terrible. Don't worry tho, they'll suddenly come to life again in the spring and the birds will be back! Moomin is busy in the garden. No pics yet! lol
  • PRO
    Amber Jeavons Ltd

    Hello mrskain1,

    Well to tell you the truth.. I hate cutting anything.. Thankfully one of the trees still has some ivy so there is somewhere to shelter... The only saving is that I have less leaves to clear, which is more like a full time job! I did have one bit of excitement... I was invited to go up on the cherry picker... What a splendid chap he was the tree surgeon! It was exhilarating !! I was grinning like a cheshire cat! With a few squeaks and woo's thrown in! Towering over even the tallest tree's!........ Moomin has inspired me to paint my fence! : ))

  • mrskain1
    Lol. Love it Amber!
  • Jan Johnson

    Please remember you have a neighbour other side of fence so you can not plant anything large close to the fence. something on a trellis would be OK.

  • PRO
    Melissa Morton Garden Design

    Hello Moomin. Thank you for posting your query. A planting design takes time, weighing up the site, your style and maintenance. Year round structure for aesthetics as well as screening and privacy come first. Always a shame when planting is an afterthought after landscaping! However this is very common and I've had some experience of planting design commissions after landscaping has been done.

    My initial thoughts do not take into account many things which can't be conveyed in one photo provided here (as designers we take into account the various views within the garden amongst other things) but I will outline here a sketchy response to demonstrate some considerations.

    There have been some good suggestions made above. Jonathandb1972 has a good one, planting a carefully selected tree, so the canopy softens (but not hides) the view of the conservatory behind.

    Olive could be an option but depends on the aspect given that your a fellow Yorkshire resident! Alternatively there's Pyrus salicifolia, or Prunus lusitanica the latter responding particularly well to pruning to retain the size. Always talk to your neighbour about your careful choices and help them to understand that you've considered maintenance.... And the benefit of planting for them!

    For best results a planter at least 50cm deep and nearly as much wide to help a tree flourish. Deeper would be better. Keeping a collection of containers of the same/similar material would unify the view. Perhaps allowing a climber up the adjacent wall which faces you when descending the steps? A third container might fit in the corner in front of the downpipe? Although the dimensions of space available would determine if this is possible.

    The dark colour of the fence is receding and also provides a lovely neutral colour to show off the foliage of the specimen.

    A very rough sketch is shown here in a version of your photo below. I've just done it on the iPad so is a bit rough and ready.


    In order to avoid the tree becoming too much of a focal point (you're trying to avoid looking at the building behind) a bold evergreen plant to the left corner next to the steps would draw your eye within the garden. This could then be balanced out with another one to the right of the tree or possibly one up the steps against the fence. This all depends on scale and space available.


    This would be my first draft concept but might well come to a different response when seeing the garden for real. Happy planting!


    moominrhubarb hat Melissa Morton Garden Design gedankt
  • mrsmcee74
    I painted my fence in Cuprinol Garden Shades Muted Clay this summer and it has really brightened things up and it also blends the concrete posts in so they are less noticeable.
    moominrhubarb hat mrsmcee74 gedankt
  • PRO
    Melissa Morton Garden Design

    That's a great colour. Certainly looks good with the lavender in front.

  • PRO
    The Contemporary Fencing Company

    Hi, to create a nice backdrop cedar fencing always works well :) The picture below is of our privacy slatted fencing that has been installed beside some steps. The warm colours of Cedar really brighten up dark corners and the strong top line gives the space a sense of clarity. Planting against this will make a really nice feature.

    Garden lighting can also be used to brighten up the space.

    Good luck !


  • Jenna Hinton
    You could add a corner fountain of layers of circle in white stone. Also plants would look nice, maybe some large bushy bamboo would look good in the very corner.
  • Nick Graham
    Multiyork (UK company) does a mix and match service where you pick the style of chair and then add your choice of fabric.
  • PRO
    Screen With Envy

    Oh I would love to know what you did in the end! We produce decorative screens that clients often use to clad boring fences or as garden wall art. Here's some examples..




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