Posted: 19/04/2012 at 12:31
You need to decide whether you want evergreens, or whether you don't mind it being a bit bare in winter. Beech is a bit of an exception because although they're deciduous when trees, beech hedges tend to keep their dead leaves on through the winter. Pittisporum is evergreen and looks quite attractive - I think the green types are faster growing than the coloured/variegated ones, but you could mix them for a good show. And yes, photinia Red Robin can look great, but they need a bit of attention and can be prone to fungus infections. Weigelas are pretty and undemanding, especially if you get some with variegated foliage, but they're bare in winter and don't get very tall (up to about person-height). Buddleias will grow up quickly but again, they're bare in winter and can do with cutting back. Or how about holllies? You could plant a selection including some with variegated leaves. Birds will love them, and they grow quite fast. We have one with berries on it at the moment - I can't decide whether they're early or late.