Posted: 02/07/2014 at 20:46
I too love pyracanthas and have several. Bearing in mind this post is about a natural hedge, they grow very quickly, 4 to 5 feet a year and have viscious thorns which can make maintenance very painful. A few years ago my clothes were shredded when I had to get in and cut them back and the clothes had to be binned. The numerous deep scratches on my arms and legs took weeks to heal. You cannot afford to turn your back on them. I neglected to cut mine back for a couple of years and they were 12 feet tall and beyond my capabilities. I paid someone to take them down to knee level! I await the next chapter in our battle.
I am also a lover of clematis, but as these will weave in and around the other plants how does one trim the hedge without unnecessarily damaging the clematis. Which type are you thinking of? A montana type looks suitably natural in your hedge but should not be pruned, but left to ramble. This restricts annual trimming of the hedge. You could use the types that need pruning hard each spring, removing annually all the top growth, which will be entwined around and through the hedge.
Someone recently said that the best wild hedge is bramble. An interesting notion.