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Hi we have just had a new 6ft fence put up the outer side faces a large field area used as a shortcut and we are looking to plant a hedge along it.

I have been thinking of Hawthorn but would like to put a reasonably fast growing evergreen in for the birds to shelter in has anyone any good ideas? Also do you plant 2 or 3 deep as I would like it to eventually be quite thick...


Hawthorn will give you a nice wildlife friendly hedge and you can mix other things in with it - in fact you can buy native hedge mixes with wildlife specifically in mind. You can still get bare root hedging for the next few weeks or so which makes it very economical. If you have room then a double row will give a good dense hedge, and if you want to keep intruders out, a jaggier hedge is a good idea!  If you want to go evergreen then Laurel will grow quite quickly. It also depends how much maintenance you want to do - evergreens look better if they are clipped into a more formal shape so they need more trimming, but you could also use shrubs like Rhododendron (if your soil suits) which can look nicely uniform by themselves and don't need trimmed every year. You'd only need a single row if you went for them or Laurel. Berberis is another good choice of evergreen and is thorny as well. Other nice choices are Hornbeam and Beech which are deciduous but retain their leaves if they're kept under 8/10 feet, and they support lots of wildlife too. 

There's a huge list of choices availableSL, so perhaps you'd want to take a look at one of the hedging nurseries online and you'll get a better idea of heights and prices etc., and if you want flowers as well, you will get all the info you need. It's such a big subject! 

Thanks both looks like it will be a well mixed hedge...

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From my experiences with laurel I wouldn't introduce it to a mixed hedge. It's too much of a bully.

A good thick native hedge will give plenty of shelter and you can always put some ivy through it.  Ivy's not recommended for hedges in mainstream gardening lore  but excellent for wildlife.


Duncan Blackwell
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Many thanks Nutcutlet for the laurel advise


Sory SL, perhaps I should have said that I didn't mean mixing the laurel with the native one  

I  really only suggested it because you asked about  a quick growing evergreen but, as nut says, it makes a big hedge, so it depends what room you have. it's a good windbreak if you have a large enough area for it.Anything 'quick growing', by definition, will need more controlling too.

I'd personally go for a native hedge - or the Hornbeam, but I'm biased! 



That's who I've used MrsG. They've always been excellent and the bare root stuff is so economical if it's a large area to plant up. 

Totally agree Fairygirl and you can pay a little more for taller whips if you're eager for some height which is what I did.

Many thanks for the advice going with the native hedging - looks like the mix will be Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Hazel, Beech, Wild Rose, Holly, Guelder Rose and Dog Rose. Just a shame we wont be able to see it as it will be behind the fence but hopefully will encourage more wildlife.


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