15 feet privet hedge separating our front garden from next door - a mixture of variegated and common privet. It is a complete pain in the arse when it comes to trimming as it does every 2-3 weeks this time of year
The variegated part grows much more slowly than the ordinary green one so it's all uneven, I can't avoid standing on some of my plants, picking the bits up afterwards is horrible, next door works away so never able to take his turn and finally the variegation is not a good 'foil' for my plants
dh would like to remove and replace with a fence of the equivalent height (about 3-4 feet) but I'm finding it hard to agree as i hate the thought of a hedge being taken out. Birds don't nest in it but the spuggies like to sit inside and chatter on at least until our cat comes along.
back garden is wonderful for wildlife and I have let part of the top lawn grow as it likes. There is campion, ragged robin, ox eye daisies and all sorts growing in amongst it
I still have a bit of reluctance though even though I hate the bloody thing...argghhh
I would be replace it with either a trellis type fence and grow climbers (honeysuckle etc) up it or replace it with a native hedge of mixed native plants like holly, yew, hawthorn, wild rose. That way you get lots of different plants for various insects, plus a beautiful looking hedge. Not sure on the trimming part, but as I also have a mixed privet hedge in my back garenand have the same issue as you with the different growth rates, I am thinking of taking mine out and just letting the hyperniucum fill the space. It is a bit of shame to do this as the dragonflies seems to like sitting on it.
I love Privet in flower, it smells great and bees love it. Unfortunately if the hedge is trimmed too often you don't get any. I would chop it really hard so that it didn't need a haircut and you could enjoy the flowers next year the. Hard prune again after flowering, let it be more relaxed and fluffy in between times so it is more a n undulating wave of shrubbyness and less clipped.
15thaugust I love the smell of privet flowers as well- it transports me back instantly to my grandmothers house in Sussex where I stayed during summer holidays but this hedge is scrubby and very uneven. If it was in the back garden i would just leave it to grow but it just doesn't please my eye here. It grows like stink so even a hard pruning doesn't work on it - apart from the variegated parts - so you get tightly clipped parts and then parts that look like my hair on a morning!