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A bit more detail would be helpful
Are there any restrictions?
How far from house?
And what do you mean by safe?
Having had a beech hedge which took years to get rid of you will gather I'm not a fan! They shed their leaves all in one go in the spring, grow at a rate of knots (I once planted a delphinium "in front" of the hedge - by the time it bloomed, it was inside it!)and they suck the moisture from the soil. They are the devil to keep under control, and the trimmings take some getting rid of!
What about considering a trellis fence with climbers? Clematis Montana grows very fast - but is very tolerant of hard pruning after flowering, in my experience. It's beautiful in flower.
btw in Somerset we, too , have found it less cold, thank goodness. But there's still a lot of snow on the moor! Rain predicted for tomorrow - but I have daffodils in bloom already and crocus in bud. Spring is on the way, I hope.
1.5m from a building is too close for beech, or indeed any similar plant with strong roots. If it is that close to a building I'm not sure you should grow any thing as tall as 2m.
Often the trouble is roots getting into the drains and blocking them.
Eucalyptus can grow very, very tall. What do developers know?
RedClaire, did you click on "submit reply"?
What about privet? Perhaps it's not airy enough, but you can get a variagated one. I once lived in a house where the privet hedge was very close to the house. This site has lots of info on all sorts of hedges.
Hi there! Sorry, I typed in a reply, but it obviously didn't work!
It looks like beech is a definite 'No-No' then! Shame - it looks so lovely and innocous as bare-root plants in the garden centre with its lovely coppery winter leaves!
What about something like the smaller ornamental birch, or patio crab apples? I realise that won't got to the ground, but that's Ok. Or scarlet willow? Looks fab in winter, airy in summer, but what are the roots like.
By the way, I have a beautiful winter lime maybe 2m from the garage. Must be 5 metres tall now, but I realise it's going to have to come down before it does any root damage. I'm dreading the enormous gap it's going to leave.
I'll investigate the privit option. Thanks for suggesting clematis montana too. I suspect my first step might have to be to put a 2 metre fence inside the 1.5m party fence, and get some trellis up on it. Space very precious though - it's the only sunny bit at that end.
Right, out into the rain now. Slimy decking needs scrubbing (another developer 'enhancement', but not great in deep shade!), and more re-potting and top-dressing to do. Hellebores starting to look lovely now
Forget willow, it's well known for its damaging roots. Scarlet dogwood would be a better bet
or what about a good strong fence with a mix of climbing plants
Hi red claire
We had the same problem when we moved to a new housing estate. I posted some pics a while ago which you may want to see. I have tried to copy and paste to the page but not sure if it will work.
I hope it has worked. Let me know if not and I will try again. Also further down the post I put some more pics of the garden in the winter so you can see the structure in more detail and how we did the trellis on the fences. Just a few ideas which may help.
It's worked beautifully. I remember seeing it the first time. It's really lovely.
It's lovely LL. I hadn't seen it before.
RedClaire I saw you were interested in patio crab apples. You can grow one in a large pot, if you are worried about roots. Other small trees to replace the lime - rowan (mountain ash), amalanchier.
if dense housing you will need a hedge you can keep trimmed easily and not come into conflict with other neighbours.A Hawthorn Hedge can be good if kept trimmed at a reasonable height ,any hedge will become a problem if not looked after ,but you need to consider containable varieties,privet can be smart and right but not if it gets out of control,look for small leaf shrubs .
Big trees have big roots but some go deeper than other. Willows and poplars have a bad reputation which is deserved. Hawthorn is never a big tree, even when mature and unpruned.
My hawthorn hedge grows 6' a year so beware. It will want to take up a lot of width too if you can't keep it regularly trimmed and that means losing the berries for teh birds.
Given you want to maximise space I think a fence and trellis with climbers are going to be your best baet and will avoid problems with roots and neighbours. You can add one or two evergreen pyracantha to the mix of plants. They have blossom which provides nectar in spring and then berries for birds in autumn. Mix it up with roses and clematis and winter flowering jasmine and you'll have something of interest all year without taking up too much space.