Wednesday, 11 September 2013

What the heck....

If any of my neighbours were looking out of their windows this morning they'd have wondered what the heck I was doing - watering my garden when we'd just had a heavy shower of rain!!

Well there is an explanation. My garden is overshadowed by about 15 - 20 very tall and very mature conifer trees planted by our neighbours over the back before we came here over thirty years ago. We've always had problems with the grass drying out in the summer where the roots suck up any moisture. Added to which, the trees drop their needles and a sticky sap all over the plants and paved area which in turn can kill some weaker plants.

A consequence of which, after many years of plants not growing or failing to survive, we dug up the back border and had a 2ft block paving strip put in so that we could plant our shrubs in pots and which we could change around as and when necessary.

It works quite well most of the time

However, because our back garden faces north - the sun is drawing the darn trees over the garden fence and creating a roof-like structure

and when we sit on the garden bench this is what we see

So - not only does the rain not go anywhere near my pots, but the roots from the trees dry out the lawn. I love my garden and to be fair the trees do provide a great deal of privacy but they are a pain. The people do have them lopped every two years but only about 4 or 5 foot which does give us a bit of light back but doesn't solve the problem.

 We've only got a small garden and like to use every bit of space so we've learnt to make the most of the other aspects of the garden which is taking on a very Autumnal feel about it now.

and I've just finished planting up my winter flowering Pansies, Cyclamen and some lovely heathers.

I do like a bit of colour outside to take me through the winter months.

 That's all for now and I'll see you again soon.

Thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post - I really do appreciate them.



  1. A neighbour of a friend of mine requested they lop back a huge pine tree (beautiful silver grey green with fantastic cones) as it too was shading out a bit of their garden and dropping its needles. A tree surgeon would charge them £1000 so they were reluctant to do it. However, they came to an agreement with the neighbour who got a friend to do it a lot cheaper and they halved the price. The neighbours were desperate to get rid so didn't mind chipping in. I believe a new 6 foot rule applies to boundary fences regarding leylandii but a general rule applies to overhanging trees. What is on your side should be removed or else you can do it and give them the cuttings (or not if they don't want them). Seems a bit mad as you would be the one forking out!

  2. I really sympathise with you. We have just one of these monsters overhanging our fence, and, in fact, just this morning we have ourselves been cutting back the overhang. We are lucky in that its nowhere near as high as yours as our neighbour was at least kind enough to have it topped out earlier this year, but now we've cut back our side we can see that the trunk is only about 18" from the fence, which is certainly a ridiculous place to plant such a potentially large tree. The rest of your garden looks really good, I'm hoping mine will be as colourful in a couple of years time.
    Joy xx

  3. I dont know the rules of boundaries there in UK.. but here we have to have a distance between the hedges..and it cannot exceed 6ft.
    Those trees are ginormous..gosh.. I would be most upset.
    Maybe you can do as your friend Dc wrote.. you can cut down the branches that overhang on your side.
    Its actually very mean of the neighbours.
    I love your pots and your winter plants.. your path looks super.. a great garden.
    Here its still dry and all brown.

  4. We have these huge popular trees around our yard . . . my husband LOVES THEM. I have the same problem with them sucking all the moisture and the nutrition out of the back yard, but he LOVES THEM. Anytime I mention cutting them down, he thinks it is a personal attack against his beautiful trees. Whats a gal to do? I love this sweet man of mine, so I just suck it up and live with my backyard problem :)
    I know where you are coming from.
    By the way, your yard is beautiful. I know it takes more work to make it that way.
    Your blogging sister, Connie :)

  5. I do sympathize. We have the same problem with a ginormous hedge running up one side of our garden and blocking out the light in the afternoon. The neighbours gave up cutting it years ago and all we can do is trim our side. I think there are rules about keeping them to 6 feet, but you run the risk of antagonising the neighbours and making things worse :( xx

  6. That must be such difficult gardening conditions! You have made it look so lovely despite being overshadowed by those trees.
    Sarah x

  7. Your garden and pots of blooms look lovely, and are beautifully arranged Patricia. I can see that you love gardening, and all the plants are well cared for. That is a nuisance re the trees, and don't they overhang a lot! In Australia we are permitted to lop anything which comes over the fence into our place, but of course there is the question of who pays. We also have the problem of tree roots sucking out the moisture, but that is a great idea with the paving and pots. I am thinking it might be a solution for a section in our garden. Great Post! xx

  8. Those huge trees do suck the life out of the soil and make growing anything under their shade very difficult - you have adapted your garden very well and I love the displays of all your pots of plants and flowers:)

  9. Your garden looks really pretty. Your neighbours trees must be very frustrating. We had some large trees in our garden and I removed most of them recently. The light is so much nicer. Jx

  10. Your garden is lovely but I should think that you're more than a bit fed up with those trees! Have you tried asking your neighbours whether they'd be willing to reduce the height and width of them a little more. Perhaps invite them round and show them, maybe they don't realise how much you're affected by them.

  11. Looks like you have made the best of your situation, such a pretty garden.

  12. Replacing the border with some paving, which can easily be swept and placing planters in that area must have helped a lot. Your newly planted pots with cyclamen, heather and pansies look very pretty.

  13. Your garden is very pretty I love the colours you have incorporated and your container gardening - just lovely x

  14. i do sympathise, Patricia, as my very elderly mother-in-law has a Leylandii hedge along one boundary (not on her land) and it overshadows things dreadfully. In fact DH has just bought a long-reach hedge-trimmer and successfully cut back everything that comes over the boundary fence. I hate Leylandii with a pasion and think they should be banned as hedging. :-)

    However having to deal with the effects of the trees has made you very creative and I love your border of pots.

  15. Oh I just love your garden Patricia, it's really beautiful, ..
    Erna x

  16. We have the same problem Patricia - our neighbours have a leylandii in the top corner of their garden which grown at least six feet over our side - it is bone dry underneath and covers an area of my veg plot. Nothing grows there. Luckily they told me it is being removed this autumn - hallelujah. Light in the garden at last.

  17. I hear you, once the trees get big no one wants to trim them.

    Regards diane


I love comments! Thank you for taking the time to pop by and let me know what you think.