Posted: 13/01/2017 at 20:24
Thanks for all your answers!
Dove - I know what you mean about it being ugly. I've never seen attempts to disguise such a monstrosity, but I'm a bit concerned having read your reply! There's one other issue which I haven't mentioned yet ('cos I forgot!) which is that my neighbour's fence is actually held up by the Leylandii. The previous neighbour - a complete ar*e, actually built the fence by nailing the horizontals TO THE TRUNKS OF THE LEYLANDII. Yes - you read that right! So if I cut it down altogether - which was the original plan - we have to replace it with a fence because the neighbour's fence will come down with it. Just having a hedge between us isn't an option as we both have multiple dogs.
Joyce, but I'd be worried about doing that while birds are nesting in it. There's too much of it for me to manage with shears and I'm worried the electric hedge trimmer will frighten them off. Apart from that, I don't want have to battle my way through all the summer growth in that border to get to the hedge! Also, we have to put a stepladder on the bed to reach the top of the hedge safely; it's 6ft high and we don't want to have it any lower for the sake of privacy.
Gosh, this is turning out to be a bigger headache than I thought. Every year I think, "I'll just keep it, and cope with squeezing in there and be good and pick up all the trimmings, but there are so many small things that grow where we need to walk... and I HATE cutting hedges! I think Fairygirl's idea of a Montana might be tried before I give up completely though.
Ah well, back to the drawing board - taking all your good suggestions with me