On the plus side, this is bold, dramatic and gets noticed, but conifers don’t take to topiary well, as it will only generate new growth on green shoots, so cutting hard to take this shape will mean you get green bits and a lot of brown dead looking bits, not the look for your showstopping statement!
The owners have also placed a pot over the manhole cover to hide it, but it actually really highlights it, as you wonder what the pot is doing there on its own.
This is an awkward shaped front garden dominated by a path and enclosed by walls, so quite shaded for much of the day – so how do you remedy things?
First step is to remove the conifer, this border should then be filled with plants that are no more than 1m high, that are ‘soft’ are in light bright colours and scented. So lets say whites and pinks are used, you can plant bergenia, hostas, hebes, japanese anemone, bluebell (english ones please), cimicifuga, dicentra ferns myrtle etc. Repeat the same plants in the bed under the window and also plant in front of the fence, then your eyes are drawn to the plants and avoid picking out the less attractive features such as manhole covers and meter cupboards!
You could even remove the lawn in front of the fence entirely, it will always struggle to grow well due to the shade, and create a garden of shade loving plants to give you something to look out of the window at, rather than next door’s wall. In this case you can go for taller plants, martagon lily, cimicifuga, foxgloves, sarcococca, and some geraniums as well.
Once done, the path will become less harsh as a feature and the planting will hold your attention rather than at present, the boundaries and walls being the main points of interest.