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I am looking for a plant to put next to my toddlers football goal.  I need it to be hardy (for when the ball misses the goal!) and I also want it to grow to 1 metre rather quickly.  I love the look of the Pinus mugo 'Minikin' Dwarf Mountain Pine quite modern looking.  But I think it will take too long to grow to 1 metre high.  Any other suggestions?  BTW, I am a complete newbie gardener (have just bought our first ever house with a garden).

I should also say that we now have a kitten, so I need cat-friendly plants.

Fairygirl

Hi scgh. Unfortunately it's the age old request- something that'll grow quickly but suddenly stop at a desired height! You'll probably better to get something which will grow at a decent rate but will then need to be pruned or trimmed to keep to the height you want. Laurels will take anything thrown at them but put on  a lot of growth once established. They're often used for hedging and can get to a huge height but you can keep it chopped back to a metre quite easily. Eucalyptus is very fast growing so you'd definitely need to hack it back a good bit every year but it benefits from that as it helps it retain it's blue/grey foliage. It's not always hardy in certain conditions, but if it's a warmer area you're in and the site has a bit of shelter you should have no problem. If you google these you'll get some extra info. Both are easy to obtain as well.  

Berghill

Certainly Pinus mugo would  not take the sort of hammering a football would give and, the small versions of it a slow growing. That  actually is the whole point of them

Another tough old shrub is Lonicera nitida, in various forms. Ours is kept as a 1 metre high hedge and it needs trimming only once a year.

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