greentapestry : "Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes"

Monday, 10 October 2011


The end of September heatwave has long since evaporated giving way to what has been now been more than a week of wind, rain and even some hail thrown in for good measure. There has been little sunshine, everywhere is soggy, uninvited leaves cartwheel in whenever the door is opened and the last of my courgettes was eaten before I got to it. Not sure what it was but it must have been a big hungry creature!

Meanwhile before the sunshine left us there was much loud noise, extremely unsociable bonfires and various goings on next door, resulting in a blot on the landscape. Our neighbours are making changes to their garden. I am not sure yet what the outcome will be but the proceedings up to now have not been encouraging. They have consisted of much pruning, some of it rather drastic including the removal of a large tree. Not a special tree by any account - just a bog standard conifer but it provided both them and us with cover and a degree of privacy. Now it has gone we can see much more of neighbouring houses and gardens, including a view of a very uneven and bedraggled boundary hedge, ugly fencing as well as next door's shed and washing line. We are now very much in public view when we nip out to the bins, garage and to the cold frame which are all at at the back of the house. Finding a solution to this is going to be problematic as our garage is too near the boundary for us to plant something on our side. Himself does not understand why I am so miffed but living as we do down in a hollow, I feel that we have lost one area where we were not overlooked in the summer months.

I know nothing stands still yet I always find it disconcerting and somewhat upsetting when views unexpectedly change overnight. Still this weekend I gained some comfort from sowing sweet peas - one of the many forward looking and optimistic constants in the gardening year. I am slightly less grumpy and out of sorts than I was a few days ago!


  1. Hmm I feel for you. We have found various solutions - which have grown to cover the bits that made me weep thru the night. Just the one night, but I know how I hate that fishbowl feeling!

  2. I love the post title Anna, reminded me of David Bowie, I love that track and have a feeling you do too !! I know how you feel about the changes to your view and I would be as miffed as you. I do hope you find a solution.

  3. I felt the same way in our back garden at our first house when the neighbour built a deck up high enough that they could sit out and watch over our garden. I felt like a prison watch tower had been erected. :) So, yes, I put in privacy screen of trees. I'm sure you will find a solution as well.

    All the best, Anna!

  4. I know exactly what you mean. One of our neighbours at our 'old house' cut down a whole row of trees (in nesting season, I might add) This exposed our garden sitting area (which was tiny) and their bedroom windows to our bedroom windows. Complete lack of privacy! We moved, but that is drastic action - and actually were planning to move anyway!

    I hope you find a solution.

  5. It's amazing how our privacy can change with the removal of one tree. Hope you find a solution to the problem.

  6. I completely sympathise. We had to get rid of a birch last year. It had been planted to close to the house by the previous owners. Then in July the house behind us got rid of a huge ash tree. I can now see right into their garden and their neighbours. There are benefits, none of the really annoying seed pods from the ash and it has let in more light but I now feel completely on display. Short of completely redesigning the garden there is nothing we can do about it. I do crave a garden with some more privacy. The only thing I can say is the eye does adjust after a while. Best wishes

  7. I can relate to this. Both neighbours either side of me have this year decided to "tidy" there hedges which although bringing in more light to the garden has also reduced privacy. However, I cant complain as I removed a huge laurel from the back slope which now means that I look straight at the bungalow behind and their washing but luckily only from upstairs. I have resorted to planting bamboo as this will grow tall enough to provide privacy but wont encroach on the neighbour who has a pathalogical hatred of anything crossing the fence line.

    It is so annoying when our surroundings change but I am sure there is some opportunity to resolve it.

  8. Oh I understand your angst totally and although it seems very grim at the moment I'm sure that you will find a solution soon and regain your much loved privacy

  9. is there space for a small piece of trellis and a climber? This won't be an instant solution but will be pretty and let light through in the summer - good luck!

  10. Beaten to it - I was going to suggest bamboo as well. But keep it in sunken pots unless you never want to be rid of it...

  11. Hello again, Anna:-)

    Oh dear… I can relate both to the weather and ‘your’ changes. I had a pang for you over your loss of privacy. That would bother me greatly too. I completely understand you being miffed and that it isn’t the same for himself.

    Change overnight to a space so very personal as your garden isn’t fun by any stretch of the imagination. Yes, perhaps you will have more light and that will allow you to grow different plants (trying to look for positives for you).

    Solutions for your ‘new’ garden will vary as I can see from your comments. Funnily enough I chose to screen of a picnic table with a bamboo many years ago so I felt (when we were sitting at the table) the bamboo screened overlooking upstairs windows from our neighbour’s house. Perhaps they could still see us but I was more comfortable from my angle of sight.

    A few years ago I had to remove a Eucalyptus tree that was getting too tall for comfort. The open space made me uncomfortable but I didn’t want to add another tree there. My solution was to build (my OH’s work) a pergola/arch type structure where when I walked in my garden both vertical and horizontal pieces broke through my eyeline of any overlooking window views. It works for me and during the summer (when I’m mostly out in my garden) the structure has plants covering it adding a good screening from most views. My structure isn’t on a boundary and that helps the perspective too. Just a thought to throw into the mix :-)

  12. EEk! Not a nice set of developments, so I forgive you for stealing my Bowie song ;-) Hope your sweet peas thrive and that the neighbors surprise you by planting something wonderful to replace the conifer and give privacy. Everyone should be able to visit their coldframe in pyjamas without being seen...

  13. You have my sympathy, Anna - the people two doors down from us have removed a couple of trees since we moved here (and drastically pruned a couple more) and it is a shock when your garden's suddenly so much more exposed. It must be a shock to the wildlife too.

    I was also going to suggest bamboo - if there's no space to plant some, could you get a big pot of it? Or if there's space for a climber, something like Rosa altissimo, which shoots straight up for the sky and doesn't need much support?

  14. Something very similar has happened to us in the past couple of weeks Anna - very unnerving! And for us it doesn't even mean any less privacy, we can just see sky and space where before there was tree.
    Hopefully there will be a good answer to the problem soon.
    P xx


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