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14 messages
07/10/2013 at 21:44

Hello! My wife and I have recently moved into a small terraced house in Bath and are looking to plant a hedge across the garden for a screen and partition effect.  The garden is 16ft across, is East facing (back to house) but gets plenty of sun during the day.  What type of hedge would anybody advice?  Yew would be nice, but advised against if children could be on the scene in the future.  So we thought about; Loniceras Nitida, Cotoneaster Franchetti and finally Pottisporum 'Stephen's Island.'  We would only want it to be 3-4 ft high, but to have decen volume.

Any thoughts from people with knowledge? Thank you.

07/10/2013 at 22:25

How about beech? Different colours, leaves change during the year  and they hold their leaves for most of it.

Depends how formal you want to be - privet - green or golden easy to shape and will look smart.

A berberis, a bit spiky has flowers, berries and can look more informal.

Holly, easy to keep in shape, flowers and berries, evergreen, good for wildlife

There are a lot of choices...

07/10/2013 at 22:29

Do you want it to be a screen all year round or would you mind being able to see through it in winter?

Lonicera nitida is a thug.

There is nothing wrong with yew. Children can be trained to leave things alone. Many many plants in the garden are potentially deadly - buttercups for one - they just need to be treated with respect.

Espaliered apples could provide privacy and fruit.

07/10/2013 at 22:30

...this is a very personal decision, the choice is yours really but for me I wouldn't have any of those you've mentioned... I don't like Cotoneaster hedges, the Pittosporum isn't reliably hardy and not easy to find I think, that particular one..there are other varieties of that but Pittosporum don't look good when regularly clipped as a hedge, in my opinion... the Lonicera is alright but most people plant Baggeson's Gold and I find all that variegation too much for my eyes..

my choices would be... Buxus sempervirens [not the dwarf variety]

Griselinia littoralis, with perhaps the variegated version every 5th plant in the row, just to lighten it up..

Rose 'Iceberg'... deciduous of course but this makes a lovely low flowering hedge...

...just alternatives to ponder..

08/10/2013 at 08:18

Hornbeam is another nice hedge or you could have mixed native hedging if you're keen on wildlife. Escallonia will make a good hedge in that sunny spot too, just make sure the drainage is good. Lots to pick from and of course you could simply have a row of identical shrubs of your choice. Hebes, fofr instance, would do well there and there are some taller varieties.

08/10/2013 at 10:29

Reading your quesiton made me think of a Yew hedge as it is evergreen and easy to care for. I also thought of Beech as it is a grand hedge.

I screen my garden with red Berberis mixed with Rowans - so 3 Berberis then a Rowan all aorund the garden in that pattern. Flows into each other in summer, Berberis being evergreen, Rowan deciduous.

08/10/2013 at 10:59

Given the relatively low height you are after I wouldn't advise yew, beech, laurel, holly  or escallonia.    Box does well kept at 3 to 4' high and so do some small conifers.  i have both in my garden as short hedges.

There is a specialist hedge plant supllier whose website lists the following for low hedges - http://www.hedgesdirect.co.uk/acatalog/Right_Species.html#13

09/10/2013 at 13:43

Thank you all for some really useful advice.  Box and privet seem like fairly safe bets.  The other aspect is that we have a really poor level of bird life, and are hoping this will pick up into the winter with feeders out etc, but a hedge offering berries may also help.Thank you again.

09/10/2013 at 14:54

I agree that children should be taught not to put things in their mouths but as the mother of a 16 month old who puts everything in their mouth I would not plant yew as all parts apart from the pith around the seed is deadly poisonous causing liver failure and death and there is no antidote.  It is very easy for people who haven't had high maintentenance toddlers who put everything in their mouths to make these throw away comments.  

Horrnbeam makes a lovely hedge and will quickly grow tohe height you want but will never clip neatly like privet or other hedges as the leaves are very big and the strimmer makes it look untidy.  We have a mixed nature hedge as this provides great inteest all year rounds and feeds our local birds.  The frogs also like to hide in there.  You could also add hawthorn (clips neatly), Buckthorn, Alder, Holly.  If you get this now as bareroot plants it is the perfect and cheapest way to plant.

09/10/2013 at 14:56

Apologies for all the spelling errors. 

09/10/2013 at 15:48

I remember having the living daylights frightened out of me when I was a child about what would happen to me if I messed about with the laburnum bush in the garden. I used the same technique with the next generation and had no problems. Children are able to behaving themselves even if the methods used to get them to do so aren't always admirable.

Let us know what hedge you choose, G-FN.

09/10/2013 at 20:42

Great.  Thanks; although I had no intention of sparking off a debate about good parenting! I do like Yew, but understand the concerns; although having spent my childhood wandering around National Trust properties, I never remember seeing piles of toddlers at the base of Yew hedges.  I imagine young children are closely watched up until a certain age anyway, whether there are Yew trees around or not, and as mentioned, there is a key educational piece that is required; but I know nothing about plants or parenting!  Yet undecided, but will get there over coming days (or weeks.)  We would go for the bareroot option for cost, and I think we'll have to wait a few more weeks for those.  We're not so keen on beech, although it is lovely in summer, the rusty colour leaves in the winter doesn't quite work.  Will keep you all posted.  Thanks again.

09/10/2013 at 22:00

What about hypericun or common name st johns wort? Thats quite easy to grow and maintain. It has lovely yellow buttercup type flowers all summer. Grows quite quickly and you can just trim to the height to want

10/10/2013 at 08:09

Good to see you have a sense of proportion GFN!  

If you're concerned about the depth/width of hedge just steer clear of faster growing things as usually they are impossible to keep at a smaller size (laurel etc) Privet is one of the easiest to keep tidy. I've got bare root hedging coming this winter from Hopes Grove nursery and I've used them before - I had a nice hornbeam hedge in a previous garden. Take a look at their catalogue for all the info and you could always contact them for some advice.

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