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You can try winter plants and plant them in a nice container. If you want to add some sweet fragrance in your garden. Fill your garden with small flowers like Skimmia Theraza or Carec Oshimensis. 


Yew or holly would be my choice.


I wouldnt put containers out there, they may go walk abouts.

I think you must concider who will be walking past your garden, you woudnt want to get sued for scratching someones child as it walks by, I wouldnt use prickly plants on a public highway.

Yes, I would always suggest Yew. Using 15-18" plants you will already have a barrier to dogs, especially if you put a low netting round the outside as a temporary protection while the plants get established, and in a couple of years you will have a 3' high gapless hedge. After that, the sky's the limit. Plant 3' back from the pavement to allow it to grow out.



Yew berries are very poisonous, deadly, what about passing children? I know someone whose horse died from eating yew.

chilli lover

My stepson was for a brief while running a gardening business but now he's moved on to pastures new...

For a couple of years I have been plant-sitting for him some chilean guava plants (in pots) and a load of of now 2 year old cuttings he took but these have now officially been gifted to me. I am planning on creating a hedged area with these next year. Even tho' in pots they have been flowering and fruiting prolifically. The fruits really are delicious!

Don't know if these are cheap to buy but here's some info:!

They are as tough as old boots! Good luck, Janet

I would recommend a hedge of mixed rugosa roses, bombproof hardy, good perfume, excellent foliage, lovely autumn hips.


What about Ceanothus, its evergreen, grows quite fast, bushy, stunning blue flowers. My neighbour planted it as a hedge last year between our houses and dispite my misgivings, its shot up, looks great and very happy with the result.

What about Abelia Confettii? Beautiful foliage, flowers, evergreenIsh, not too big easily pruned? I grow it as a single bush but it would make a nice hedge
Busy-Lizzie wrote (see)

Yew berries are very poisonous, deadly, what about passing children? I know someone whose horse died from eating yew.

We've had a bit of discussion about this elsewhere. Grazing animals might eat lots of it and die as a result, but:

1. people very rarely chomp a lot of hedging

2. generally, people train and look after their children

3. yew trees are everywhere and we don't close down parks, churchyards and the countryside because there yew trees around

4. lots of other plants are toxic; where do we stop?


Hi Bill Mansfield

I agree with santaslittlehelper, you can buy and plant bare root hawthorne and other native hedging now and even as little spiky plants they should give passers buy the message.

I have a lovely hawthorne in my garden that has been left to grow into a tree and the birds have loved it this winter, what about hawthorne, blackthorne, rosa rugosa etc only thing is they are all deciduous and drop their leaves in the winter so maybe mix in few evergreens like photinia red robin?

Its a lovely size plot, good luck with it and be nice to see what you decide to do.

Sam Glendinning wrote (see) It is tradition to decorate the Mayberry on the Summer Solstice with garlands of flowers and ribbons. Its also known as the 'Gaurdian' in the tree world.

Beware of an Oak, It draws the stroke,  Avoid the Ash, It courts a flash, Creep under the Thorn, It will save you from harm.

Wee bit paganism about the Thorn

This is lovely Sam, I was wondering when the earth witch in you would surface  the Winter Solstice is almost here

Oakley Witch
Love and light Asilvert. Lol. I pop up every now and again lol. The Solstice is almost upon us. Time of the dark becoming the light and will be out watching for the sun rise to welcome home an old friend.
Am I correct in saying you are a fellow follower?

I have to say though...Yew berries are not actually poisinous! The flesh is edible and is a cross of strawberry and raspberry. Its the seeds that are poisinous. NOT THAT I ADVISE TO TRY!!!

You can find many a good munch in a hedge lol. know what you are looking for. I am found often roaming with a willow basket chopping through what I have found lol


Yes its a tough decission as I will be with it for a long time and its going to be some investment to make and so not easily or cheaply changed. Fortunately I am in no rush really.

I ask about the flowers, knowing they are insignificant, because from the photos I've seen, the flowers are on the stem, not at the end of a stem or growing out of the plant. If this is the case and some flowers will persist, then it will attract insects.

I am torn between wanting it to look "good" as its a large main corner plot (we all have our pride) and sodding it all and making it purely for the birds and the bees!

I like the idea of a native hedge, but am daunted by the prospect of having my hands full dealing with it, with my limited experience...

The help and suggestions here has been amazing, but not so confusing now, just difficult to decide.


okay decision made, plants ordered and arrive tomorrow. Could be a mistake, but we'll see. I decided on the box hedge. It was my first thought and there are 4 good examples near to my house and all are healthy and look good. I looked at all the other options either other peoples hedges or in garden centres, but my mind was already on the box and nothing else seemed to be right. Also I am putting lavendar along the path leading to the door.

Unfortunately due to cost, the box plants will be very small to start with, so I think I will have to put up some kind of other barrier until it is established... like Rudolf says.

I also have an apple, pear and plum tree arriving for the back garden. Together with 2 sorbus: J rock for the front and Chinese Lace for the back.

I have spoke to a local saw mill who is going to make 2 raised beds, one for the back for veggies and the other for herbs at the front.

I have a long list of shrubs and herbacious plants for the grden side of the hedge, but they will come a couple at a time as and when can be afforded and time permitting.

Thanks for all the suggestions.


hollie hock

Hi Bill,

Seen your pic and understand your problem. Making a low level fence/barrier would help to prevent invaders whilst you're waiting for the box to grow.

Pallets are cheap if not free


I planted 2 rows of box hedging last year and so far I am thrilled with the result. They have grown reasonably quickly but will take a few years to get to the exact height I want. From what I have seen its worth the wait..

started planting, photos in other post, shrub suggestions

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