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Hawthorn hedges in a smallish garden?

(7 Posts)
SecretSeven Mon 16-May-16 16:25:05


So excited about our new garden! Am going to really go for it this year.

I have a not so nice open rail fence, which marks our boundary well, but doesn't give us any privacy from our nosey neighbour, and doesn't allow us to let our big (but lovely) dog loose.

I had originally looked at stretching chicken wire along it with a view to eventually training roses and honeysuckle up it, but it is very exposed (up the top of a big hill, on its own), and it was suggested to me that I might want to plant some shrubs to give us a bit of a windbreak to allow them to establish.

However, I've been staying with my dad for a while, and he has a really lovely hawthorn hedge. I love the blossoms, the berries, and love the way the birds are so drawn to them. I'm ashamed to admit I had no idea that it was one of the most common hedges, and they are basically everywhere. blush

My garden is only 4m wide. If I put chicken wire along my fence to keep the dog in for now, could I grow a hawthorn hedge of my own? Or would it take up too much space in the garden? I can't see the dog trying to jump through something so prickly, so when it's established the fence can go. How long could I expect it to take for it to grow to 1.8m tall or thereabouts? And do you think once it did, it would give us privacy from our rather miserable old neighbour?

I'm sorry about all the questions. I'm a complete beginner.

shovetheholly Tue 17-May-16 08:06:35

Yes, yes, yes! I love a hawthorn hedge.

Most houses round here have privet (including mine) - I hate it. However, the neighbour on the corner has ripped it out and put in hawthorn and it looks sensational. They keep it pretty narrow by cutting it regularly - the entire hedge is only about 30-40cm wide - I think this is quite important in a small space as you don't want it to take over too much. And this time of year, it looks glorious!

My parents also have a hawthorn hedge - quite a tall one, festooned with ivy. The number of birds they get in it is quite incredible.

The time for it to establish depends to a great extent on the size of the plants you put in. Tiny ones will take quite a while to grow, so if you have the cash it's worth investing in taller plants. You can even get 'pre-clipped' ones which basically provide an instant hedge of just under the height you're looking for and though you do pay for this, it may be worth it.

Someone on the forum was telling me that Rootgrow is excellent for hedging - it's a powder you dip the roots into to encourage them to establish. Worth getting some of this too!

Callmegeoff Tue 17-May-16 08:12:56

I have Hawthorn, at this time of year it's lovely but in the winter it will have no leaves so bear that in mind if you want privacy.

SecretSeven Tue 17-May-16 08:54:18

Our garden is alongside hers. It's quiet in winter.

Prickly and barren like her is fine in winter.

mumsnit Tue 17-May-16 20:41:34

I'm growing one! It's the only plant I could find suitable for a very windy and north facing boundary. Will keep it well maintained as my garden is also quite small.

Wish I'd known about the Rootgrow as I bought my plants bare root and they've taken a few years to establish. Entire hedge cost me around a fiver - bargain grin

gingeroots Fri 20-May-16 08:37:35

This thread is interesting .

I quite like the hawthorn in winter .

shovetheholly Fri 20-May-16 10:43:11

There are so many different ways of doing hedging!

At the back I have privet (eurgh), and I spend quite a bit of time coaxing other things to grow through it, for biodiversity as well as for a more mixed look. I picked up a couple of honeysuckles from Aldi recently, to add to a virginia creeper which is growing through from next door and various ivies, which are just brilliant for insects. I imagine it would horrify a purist who liked very clipped hedges. But I like all the bees and birds that other plants bring in and I really don't like very neat hedges or lawns! So you could always add other things through the hawthorn if you don't mind that look.

However, I'm hoping to rip the privet out of my front garden and redo with hornbeam, which I want to pleach. (This is a much bigger job than it sounds, because it involves moving a path, redoing a paved area, rebuilding walls etc). I'll be taking the opposite approach to this one and studiously avoiding any other plant in that hedge because it'll ruin the look.

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