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What to plant along a fence

If you have an ugly bare fence, then a bit of greenery will always change the entire look. But what should you plant along it? I am pretty basic in the garden, but I have had a few houses over my years and I have some favourites which I know will survive and look good!

Check them out below…

Chinese Jasmine Star climber. This was my fence at my old house. It took about 18 months to get like this. It’s fully covered now. I attached pieces of wire fencing (on a roll) and fed the vine through it. It’s a fence which is a good 5m long and I planted 5 Jasmine plants along it. The colour is a deep green and one of my favourite plants because it will also grow quick! They will need to be in good soil (if you have clay, you’ll need to dig deep and use a clay breaker soil) and watered often.

Magnolia trees. I don’t have any of these, but I am always admiring! I am in love with their thick leaves. They are evergreen and that’s important if you’re trying to hide a fence. Don’t choose deciduous trees because for half of the year they will be naked!

Bamboo screening. Super fast growing and they are tall and commanding.

Pine trees. Pencil pines (like in the photo above) are good if you need a neat and tidy border. They are slim and won’t grow outwards. I have always loved the look of pines but they grow HUGE and some do take up width. BUT, if you hedge them often they will stay where you want them. We planted a whole yard in an old house once with ‘leightons green’ with the intention of keeping them tidy, but we’ve since sold and I drive past often and see the new owners have let them grow very big (like 10m tall!).

Lilly Pilly. Around a pool with a syzygium australe lilly pilly. They like lots of water! You need to trim them often so they will join up and grow in the middle to make them thicker. Don’t let them just run wild as they will always end up uneven (they seem to grow at different rates).

Pittosporum. These will grow very very fast. Not as thick and dark green as the other hedges. Because they grow so fast, be prepared to randomly lose one occasionally! It’s happened to me before. You can have a great looking hedge and then bang, one is gone. They are cheap which is appealing. Also, don’t drown these guys. So while they need good water, make sure they aren’t planted along a fence line which will get run off from neighbours or on a downhill because too much water (without you knowing) will drown them.

Escallonia hedge. I love this one. Thick and bushy and a gorgeous green backdrop. I have them bordering my driveway. Prune them often so they stay bushy or they will end up with holes. They will flower (I like the white variety – you can get pink). You can also buy mini versions for smaller garden beds. They are very hardy, but they do tend to look a little ratty after 10 years. Feed them lots, give them heaps of water and keep them trimmed up.

Murraya. Another one of the most popular hedging and screening plants across Australia, the Mock Orange (Murraya) grows up to four metres high. It is dense and fast-growing with dark green foliage, and it produces an abundance of orange-blossom-scented white flowers in summer and spring. Preferring sunny positions and warmer gardens with moist, rich, and well-drained soil, these plants are not frost-tolerant and may suffer damage as a result. It responds well to trimming and pruning.

Happy gardening! ♥ KC.


  • Dee

    Hi Katrina, what plants are below the first pic of Magnolias?
    Thank you!

    • Dee

      Sorry I meant to write – below the magnolias (in the first pic)?

      • Katrina (author)

        I’m not sure sorry!

  • Deb

    Hi, I think the plants Dee is asking about are Ajuga

  • Kelly

    Hi Katrina,
    Do you mind me asking where the black wire chairs are from in the picture with the bamboo please?

  • Zach

    Hi there, I want to plant some junipers along an iron fence to create some privacy. Should they be planted where they’ll grow to touch the fence so I don’t have to mow between them and will provide more yard space; or, should they be planted far enough from the fence to mow between them? I’d hate to plant by the fence, grass grow really tall between them but I can’t get to it. If the grass won’t grow under the trees then by the fence seems best. Thoughts?

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