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What hedge should I plant?

(31 Posts)
Blankiefan Sun 26-Jul-15 15:06:47

We have a bed across the front of our house - probably about 10m long. I hate it - it's got roses and other random plants in it I don't like. I've just spent two hours ripping out the obvious weeds. I need something lower maintenance. (We're putting our effort into the back garden where we actually spend our time)

So - my plan is to take everything out of the bed and plant a hedge. I'd like something evergreen. What's the best plant? I want something to grow about a meter high - I'd like to buy something already quite mature so it doesn't take years to grow. Any tips?

echt Sun 26-Jul-15 20:39:54

If you want plants to knit together to make a hedge, you have to start small, with whips. Yew is very good, I planted one in the UK and it took about two years to get to a metre.

Blankiefan Sun 26-Jul-15 21:11:18

What are whips? (I know nothing!)

Liara Sun 26-Jul-15 21:14:42

what is the aspect? How much sun does it get? What is your soil like? Do you want plain green or flowers? How much pruning are you happy to do? Where in the country are you?

All these are relevant in the choice of an appropriate plant!

Blankiefan Sun 26-Jul-15 22:17:09

Super - questions I can answer.

It's west facing , loads of dub from noon onwards.

Hmm - how do I know what kind of soil it is?

I'd like plain green; no flowers. I'd be especially keen not to attract anything buzzy...

Pruning? Maybe twice a year? Is that unrealistic? I could do more whilst it establishes itself but the aim is low low maintenance.

And I'm in the central belt of Scotland.

Any unravelling of that lot greatly appreciated.

Ferguson Sun 26-Jul-15 23:23:37

Beech is nice, as the autumnal leaves stay on all winter.

But lonicera nitida might be better to start with. It's tight growing, and easy to strike from cuttings. So once you have a few plants, you can make more from them:

www.hedgesdirect.co.uk/acatalog/lonicera_nitida_.html

aircooled Mon 27-Jul-15 09:56:24

I second Lonicera nitida but keep it clipped tightly in the first few years so you get a dense hedge.

shovetheholly Mon 27-Jul-15 18:35:03

Hornbeam! Not evergreen, but you get winter leaves and it's prettier than beech.
www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2001/oct/14/gardens

Blankiefan Mon 27-Jul-15 20:44:56

Do the leaves stay on the hornbeam when it goes brown / golden? (Does it look brown or golden?)

Pugthug Mon 27-Jul-15 20:51:14

Yew is lovely only clip once in September. It does take bloody ages to grow though ours is now beautiful 10 years later and on a 2 foot wall. grin

Liara Mon 27-Jul-15 21:12:40

Would it be an issue if it was prickly?

Holly can look really nice.

For soil - clay is heavy and gets soggy in wet weather and baked dry otherwise, chalk is not very deep, sandy is well, sandy.

Acid soil grows nice rhodedendrons, camelias and blue hydrangeas, limey soil makes hydrangeas pink but otherwise supports a wider range of plants.

What grows well in your neighbours' gardens?

trickyex Mon 27-Jul-15 21:33:23

Portuguese laurel is smart, evergreen and tough, can be trimmed once a year.
Lonicera nitida needs a lot of clipping so not ideal for you
Yew is lovely but you need to clip it well for it to look its best.

aircooled Tue 28-Jul-15 09:13:56

Purple beech looks classy and not as vigorous as the green one. Still has the lovely russet-coloured leaves over winter.

Bearleigh Tue 28-Jul-15 09:24:49

Why don't you want 'anything buzzy'? Bees in search of nectar don't generally sting. Holly looks good in a hedge, but does have (small) flowers if it goes on to have berries, which IME bees like, for a short period.

I recall Monty Don saying that beech and hornbeam are good for different conditions - so check what they are, and what conditions you have, OP if you are interested in hornbeam.

JennySK Tue 28-Jul-15 09:37:21

I agree that Beech would be a good option, it retains its leaves (Prune in August for a fresh flush of growth over winter) Beech foliage is coppery gold in autumn whilst hornbeam is more brown but better suited to wet soils.

www.hedgesdirect.co.uk/acatalog/beech_fagus_hedging.html

I called hedges direct last autumn and they gave me loads of info on whether to buy whips (bare root plants pulled out of the ground whilst dormant and planted from autumn to spring) or pot plants.

shovetheholly Tue 28-Jul-15 10:53:38

Yes - hornbeam does retain its leaves until you get a burst of green in the spring. I'm going to replace my revolting privet hedge in the front garden with hornbeam in the autumn.

See that Monty Don article for the various colours it goes!

LostInMusic Tue 28-Jul-15 11:11:53

I got my Privet whips from Hedges Direct last winter and were really impressed with them. I'd definitely buy from them again.

AmazonsForEver Tue 28-Jul-15 11:18:04

We have beech, and it's nice but I love yew and holly.

Blankiefan Tue 28-Jul-15 22:40:09

Thanks everyone. Loads to think about.

Liara - thanks for soil explanation. Fairly sure ours is clay.

Bear - I know Bees are important and don't really mess but I can't really deal with them buzzing. Have tried exposure therapy so can manage but don't want to encourage excessive; neighbours seem to have a hedge of catoniaster (sp?) and it's crawling with bees. That'd be too much for me.

ThoseAwfulCurtains Tue 28-Jul-15 22:50:54

Another vote for yew as it's a classy looking hedge and twice a year is plenty for clipping. I was surprised how fast mine grew but I watered well for the first year and fed it too. It's the kind of plant that can be cut hard back if needed and it will rejuvenate. Berries are poisonous though.
Large leaved laurels look awful if their leaves are sliced through when cutting.

mistlethrush Tue 28-Jul-15 22:53:49

I have a mixture of yew and holly for my evergreen hedge.

Blankiefan Wed 29-Jul-15 08:37:36

Ah - poisonous berries are a no go. We have a toddler. Does that change any other recommendations?
Thanks loads

mistlethrush Wed 29-Jul-15 08:39:42

A yew hedge won't get poisonous berries whilst your child is a toddler

AmazonsForEver Wed 29-Jul-15 12:24:49

Awful curtains, may I ask what you fed your yew hedge with? Thinking of putting one in.

ThoseAwfulCurtains Wed 29-Jul-15 17:27:41

I put plenty of well rotted horse manure and garden compost in when I planter it then in the spring I watered it with Miracle Grow soluble fertiliser like the rest of the garden. Not sure which was the most effective but they did well.

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