Planting for a new build house - Native Hedging?

(28 Posts)
Sunnyshores Thu 14-Jan-16 12:32:21

Im buying a newbuild house which was built on the familys farmland. Its an acre plot, 1/4 acre to the front and 3/4 acre at the back.

As I say its all 'grassy' weedy field, with farmland left, front and rear seperated with post and rail (or post and wire) fencing. To the right runs the road.

Id like to plant hedging roadside and rear. Ive come accross mixed native hedging which seems ideal as its ordinary hedging to be found wild in the coutryside - isnt it?

Also can you suggest a few small pretty native trees?

I think I need to get the boundaries secure/defined and then work on an actual garden.

Thank you for your help

Ferguson Thu 14-Jan-16 19:53:31

I think beech is good for hedges, but I'll come back in a few days if I think of other things.

Leave enough room BEHIND any hedges, so you can get in to prune it, and to weed any bare ground, otherwise you'll get docks, brambles and all sorts!

TheSpottedZebra Fri 15-Jan-16 20:02:10

Ooh you could have an edible hedge!

Do you need the hedge just for boundary, or do you need it for security, windbreak, eyesore blockage, etc etc ?

FriedSprout Fri 15-Jan-16 20:08:45

Hawthorn and Blackthorn are good, and Beech and Hornbeam too

QueenJuggler Fri 15-Jan-16 20:11:23

We have a beautiful hornbeam hedge along our boundaries, and then yew hedging within the garden. Both gorgeous, but I am particularly fond of the hornbeam.

CuttedUpPear Fri 15-Jan-16 20:13:12

Hornbeam gets my vote as well.

Palomb Fri 15-Jan-16 20:13:20

A mixed native hedge would be wonderful for wildlife. I so envious of all your space and a complete blank canvas too! Lucky you 😀

GrouchyKiwi Fri 15-Jan-16 20:14:52

We've just had a Scottish natives hedge put in. It's supposed to help encourage birds, bees and butterflies back into the area as our development used to be a farm and there is not much in the way of tree or animal life (apart from the occasional fox).

It was £1 per square metre more expensive than the beech hedging.

Sunnyshores Fri 15-Jan-16 20:41:37

Thanks All (def a hornbeam mix then).

Like kiwi our house-to-be has been built on flat farmland - although there are hills in the distance on all sides, so a beautiful view.

First problem is as you drive down the country lane you can see the house from quite a way away and it looks really in your face, sort of stuck there in a field, an eyesore (although its not an ugly house, just ugly as its a blot on the landscape iyswim).

Then, as you get closer obviously theres no privacy at all.

So, Id like to disguise it a bit, soften it, from a distance and have privacy in the back garden particularly.

But I cant just surround it with 6ft hedges as that would look 'out of place too'. So I want something naturally occuring, not manicured urban perfection.

Feeling very daunted by it as gardening isnt my thing. I know it could be so beautiful but I hate the thought of living in it as it is.

Sunnyshores Fri 15-Jan-16 20:44:02

and.... farmer in neighbouring fields has cows and sheep, we have children, a dog and cat so it cant be poisonous.

ChablisTyrant Fri 15-Jan-16 20:51:29

What's the soil like? The choice between beech and hornbeam often comes down to drainage. Hornbeam loves wet soil.

Also, consider whether you'd prefer an evergreen hedge. Yew might work. Holly can be weaved into hornbeam or beech to provide winter cover but is slow growing.

Sunnyshores Fri 15-Jan-16 21:06:51

I dont know about these things - but apparently its quite good soil for growing anything, although it does get wet. We're surrounded by manmade draininage ditches which stop flooding.

Id need evergreen in the mix. It seems a huge job so I think I need to concentrate on privacy in the immediate garden, say the patio and a few bigger trees to shield it from a distance.

What size plants would I buy to have a reaonable size hedge in a year?

AthelstaneTheUnready Fri 15-Jan-16 21:08:11

This time of year you can get really good pre-selected bare-root hedge packs, i.e. 'native', 'evergreen', 'traditional' - they'll usually tell you how many feet they'll put on in a year as well.

AthelstaneTheUnready Fri 15-Jan-16 21:12:10

Obvs the bigger the more expensive - average is about 4 to 5 feet - but start by having a look at sites like this:

www.scotplantsdirect.co.uk/hedging-plants/popular-hedge-plants/mixed-hedging-packs-plants

I've never bought from them btw, so know nothing about the quality, but gives you an idea of what to start googling.

Sunnyshores Fri 15-Jan-16 21:23:17

Athelstane - thanks

Scrowy Fri 15-Jan-16 21:28:27

Blackthorn and Hathorn. Interspersed with random saplings/ blackberry / raspberry etc. Get yourself On a hedge laying course as well and you can make it into a wildlife corridor grin

cooper44 Fri 15-Jan-16 22:06:10

I also love beech and hornbeam and have both but are you putting this around the edge of your plot - ie the whole acre? I would definitely do a mixed native hedge and research the mixes because you can get lots of different mixes - with an emphasis on berries or autumn colours etc. I think it will blend much better with farmland around you.
I've got quite a similar plot with agricultural land around me and the native hedge just blends much more than say the beech or hornbeam that I have closer to the house.
It's a massive job - we just added some new hornbeam to join two existing hedges and even doing that was half a day. If you are putting in tons of hedging then you will probably have to buy young plants (it's bareroot season now for hedging and up until about April.) So it won't be instant - probably about five years to really be a proper hedge. The hornbeam I just filled in with was about 5ft high already but as it was only a few metres it was affordable to do it.
Then I would research the native trees that you like and also where your best views are and plan where to plant trees - I've got a great tree nursery near me and they are brilliant at advice of what to plant etc on all size plots - it's probably a good starting point. Also with trees think very carefully about light and their eventual size etc. Do you want small tree recommendations for nearer to the house or further out towards your boundaries?

Sunnyshores Sat 16-Jan-16 15:04:27

The acre plot is longer than it is wide. The house and garages sit about 1/3rd of the way down the length, running across most of the width. The access is here aswell.

I think just the road side needs native hedging.
The opposite boundary can stay open to the farmland.
The bottom of the field/back garden is a long way from the house and needs a few tall trees to hide the house.
The top of the field/front of the house needs a few smaller trees to hide the house which is about 100m away.

cooper44 - 5 years shock Im not a patient person! Have found a local tree nursey and my council even has a list of recommended hedges on their website (hawthorn, blackthorn, field maple, dogwood, guelder rose, hazel, privet). So Im happy I can sort that out now. Thanks all.

So, now recommendations for native and natural looking small and large trees please! (actual garden type hedges and trees later) probably never looking at the costs of this lot

lostindubai Sat 16-Jan-16 15:09:36

How lovely of you to be planting a new hedge!

As for trees, if I had the space I would make I little orchard somewhere in the garden, so I had beautiful blossom in spring followed by yummy fruits. Lots of choice in this area - apples, pears, cherries etc, is this something you could consider?

cooper44 Sat 16-Jan-16 16:17:12

sorry didn't mean to freak you out with 5 year timeline but I think that's what it is realistically for a good hedge - you will still get a hedge effect before that though. Instant gardens = expensive gardens.
re trees for further away from the house I'd look at what's around you, in your area and also think about seasons etc I love smaller native trees like hawthorn for lovely spring blossom then berries in autumn/winter. Birch trees are lovely - you could even plant a small copse.
I'd also look closely at what other houses/gardens you like have around them.
And great that you have a good tree nursery - the people at the one near me are so helpful - I'm there all the time with my fantasy shopping list asking endless questions.
Another thing re trees - they always say that the young trees might look like nothing to start with but they will establish and eventually overtake bigger trees that you spend more money on. So like the hedging I'd buy young, cheaper plants. And you can always pay a bit more for bigger impact trees nearer to the house.

lostindubai Sat 16-Jan-16 16:21:10

Oh, and if you want to encourage birds then plant trees which have berries in the autumn. Sorry I don't know exactly which ones but I'm sure someone else here does!

AthelstaneTheUnready Sat 16-Jan-16 18:21:24

Rowans, hawthorns, elders, hollies (if getting male and female) all have berries for autumn/winter. Should be able to get all those in a hedgerow mix, and leave some to grow as trees at points along the hedge. Apples also great for birds if you can leave windfalls on the ground. All slow growers though so maybe nearer the house if planting as individuals.

You sound like you have some space, so if there's a spot 100m away and bottom of the garden/field (thinking of drainage) then a weeping willow will grow quickly, help with the water, be dramatic in Summer and a lovely colour in winter - grows v. quickly for a tree as well. I am so envious of you having a good space in which to pick and choose trees!

I know you said 5 years seemed an eternity, but I would be planting for 10-40 years time - oaks, ashes, larch, holly, yew, a specimen hornbeam, birch, cherry, and laburnums - the last 3 better nearer the house than the former ones.

Sunnyshores Sat 16-Jan-16 18:26:09

LostinDubai - yes Id like a few apple trees (we're in cider country after all!). We had a beautiful garden in our previous home (sadly not of my doing), the apple trees fruited at different times so we never had a wasteful surplus. We also had plum and pear, but they were hit and miss each year so wouldnt bother again. Had crabtree and cooking apples too, but we didnt use them really. Cherry trees, do they produce cherries you can eat? blush

Yes Id love to encourage the wildlife, will research trees with berries. I dont know any trees by sight so will have to go out with a camera and google!

I do like the idea of a small copse of birch trees, they have lovely silver bark dont they?

Thanks everyone, its making the task seem manageable and quite enjoyable!

DoreenLethal Sat 16-Jan-16 18:34:55

May I recommend beech; the leaves go brown but don't fall off until the fresh new leaves are ready in the spring. This for anywhere that you want privacy.

For the rest, a good native mix with edibles and wood for fuel.

Cherries, go for a Stella or one of the sweet cherries for eating. Morello are wonderfully sour and I eat them raw [sharp] or make sour cherry jelly from them. A good black cherry would be fab.

Plums and pears will often have alternative fruiting years; it goes Fruit then Root so don't be despondent if you don't get a great crop every single year, that's not how fruit trees work.

Hazels; you can coppice every 3 years to give yourself wonderful hazel poles to grow beans up.

shovetheholly Mon 18-Jan-16 08:19:49

I LOVE the sound of your plot - how amazing to have so much land!! And yes to the person who said that a hedge will take 3-5 years to get thickened up properly - but that 5 years will fly by! (Plus it is just SO much cheaper to buy young whips than more established trees).

If I were in your shoes, rather than planting a mix all around, I'd use some of the hedges more structurally/visually and have some more mixed for wildlife. A great deal here depends on the aspect of your site, and whether you need to use hedging as a shelter belt in any direction to create a microclimate in your garden that will allow you to grow a greater range of things.

Hedges vary wildly in the 'look' they give. For example, you could use hornbeam at the front so that you get some visual continuity and something nice and uniform to look at (look at pleaching for a truly stunning artificial effect), and then use some rougher and more mixed hedging at the back where you want to encourage wildlife. Espaliered fruit trees are another really interesting way of creating a boundary where you don't need a windbreak. In a mixed hedge, I'd definitely find room to squeeze in some wild roses (rugosa) that give big hips to make rosehip syrup for the winter.

For larger trees: it's not native, but every time I see it, I am awestruck at the beauty of Cornus controversa 'variegata'. It's far too big for my suburban garden, but if I had space it would be top of my list of medium-sized trees to include. It just dances.

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