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I'm a total novice and am looking for advice regarding wether to buy Common Laurel hedging and also best practice to plant etc, all advice will be gratefully received.
My garden is approx 80 metres long and firstly I'm looking for a hardy fast growing hedge, a hedge that can take the abuse my young boys will doubtless give them.
I have built a retaining wall and would like to know how close I can plant them to the wall and how close together, I propose to buy the hedges at approx 1 metre tall.
A mixed hedge of hawthorn, holly, and quickthorn would be a lot more friendly for the wild life, giving them cover and nesting sites, and a burglar proof barrier for you. Once grown it's fairly low maintenance, once a year with hedge trimmers.
Leylandii grows quickly but you have to keep it under control or you'll have unhappy neighbours.
Laurel is a big plant. It makes a good hedge but you have to think long term when you plant. You must be able to get at it from both sides to cut. If you use a hedge trimmer you will slice through some of the leaves which will then turn an unsightly brown colour. Best to prune the individual stems, which takes longer but looks better. 80m is a very long hedge. As each plant can grow at least a metre wide you should plant about 80cm apart so that they overlap. Plant far enough away from wall to be able to get behind it, say 1.5m.
An alternative, which will take any amount of abuse is english yew. This is easily trimmed with a hedge trimmer. Plant 60cm apart and again allow room at the back for access.... sorry but all plants grow all around.
Many thanks for your time, I am grateful. I will have a look at the alternatives you have both suggested, the distance to the wall is a key point for me, I do not need to get around the back of it as I can trim from the field next door so what would be the minimum distance required to plant next to the wall to maximise my garden space?
Hi William, if you haven't got to get round the back I should think youd get away with 2' or so.
I can't recommend laurel either. Occasionally it looks lovely and green but mostly there's yellow, brown and completely died back branches to contend with. And conifers are just so boring after the first few of your 80m.
I'd go the wild life way but that's my main interest and it is down to what you like
I'm planning to use Yew when the Leylandii cops it - its on the way out as its going brown from the bottom up. Think its diseased. Going to be a bugger taking it out the ground though as I've got three or four as a hedge on the boundary between me and neighbour planted there when the house was built 17 years ago. Its been kept tight back with a regular trim but I hate Leylandii.
At the front of the garden, I've got a Laurel hedge, also planted when the house was built. Don't mind that too much - the birds like diving in and out and the insects seem to love it in the summer. When I trim it back in the late summer I get the sweet smell of almonds coming off it - that'll be the arsenic fumes then!