Posted: 30/09/2014 at 23:04
Pete8: 300ft beech hedge? Tall or long? This is a 300ft rock face. Those would be impressive trees!
My father has a lonicera hedge ... about 1.5m long, in the middle of the garden, as a feature ... ... and it's very dense, meaning it can be shaped very precisely, so it's good for "formal" looks.
Here, I'm losing a Japanese privet hedge to honey fungus and the GC say they can't get armillatox any more. It's being replaced with self-seeding elder, which doesn't really do hedges that well.
One big thing you have to do if you want a dense hedge is prune the **** out of it. The privet here was planted in a line and ignored for 20 years. Result: 8m high, 2m thick, hedge with long, thin trunks and long-thin branches in the middle rubbing the bark off each other in the wind. I took it down (with a hand-saw) to knee-height and have been pruning it ever since to get density for the small birds. If it wasn't for the armillaria killing it off from both ends, it'd be a beautiful strip of cover and habitat for them in another year or two.
"Sweet bay" comes to mind ... and a quick search reveals it's sold as a hedging plant and also known as "bay laurel" so I guess that's one you've already seen. They say Portuguese laurel is a good and hardier alternative for wintry locations. The reason I had it in mind was that it's more resistant to that fungus than most things.
The smallest ones on this website I found are 20-30cm, and based on experience planting woodland they'll get over being moved so much more quickly that they actually overtake the larger ones within a few years. They're also a lot cheaper, less than half the price of the 120-150cm ones. 3 to 5 per metre for 15m is 45 to 75 plants, £270 to £450. Free delivery, and 7.5% off for buying in bulk so £250 to £416.