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Roses next to a conifer hedge

I was thinking of using Leylandii Gold as a 6 or 7ft hedge.  I want to grow in front  shrub rose Gertrude Jekyll and some other perennials.  Do you think the rose would survive? How much space do the Lelandii need.  I intend to keep the hedge in trim and not get too big(well my husband will but doesn't know it yet).????  Maddy


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 9,653

    The problem with conifers, is that they soak up water like a sponge. You would need to make sure that the roses were planted far enough away and well mulched, fed and watered. 

    Must be honest, l am not a fan of conifer hedges, hopefully someone on the forum who is more of a conifer expert can advise image

  • I think because it's such a lovely lime green all year it will add colour and I want it to grow quick. i like beech hedges but take too long.

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 9,653

    Yes, l know what you mean, the gold will certainly give you colour. Awaiting arrival of an expert now ! image

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,620

    Conifers will suck all the water and nutrients from the soil and they also need regular trimming and feeding to keep them healthy and looking good.  You'll need to make a bed for the conifers as wide as you want them to be when mature and then leave a path at at least 2' wide between them and the rose bed for access.  They'll need regular trimming to keep them clipped and neat and you can never cut back into the wood if yo neglect them and they get too wide.

    Then you'll have to dig over the proposed rose bed breaking up the lower soil and adding plenty of well-rotted manure and garden or bought compost as roses are hungry feeders and also like to get their roots down.  They'll need an annual mulch of good stuff in autumn and a feed in spring to keep them healthy.

    I suggest you find a different hedge.  Have a look at this - or this if you really want conifer - 

    or plan to grow something less demanding than roses.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Oh gosh, that told me.  I'm like a tug boat when having to change my idea but I here you loud and clear. I will have a look at your advice and do my best to use someth else.  Thank you, I think! 

    One other thing, if I just put in some perennials like poppies, Lupins for instance would they be ok? 

  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 6,393

    My advice would be, if you want to do it, do it, as we learn from our mistakes, and there are one or two  going on there.   My main concern would be the - to my eyes- horrendous colour clash between the shocking pink of the rose and the yellow/green of the conifers.  Think about that.  The rose is also ultra thorny and will want to climb and ultimately just get in your way.   Grow it somewhere else in the garden.

    I've grown both roses and clematis with Leylandii hedges bigger than yours and roses just don't look right.   I really like the Leyandii ' Castlewellan Gold' as a stand alone specimen, I think it's outstanding for that purpose and as a short hedge under control.    If you want to grow something sparkling up it, consider either of these two clematis 'Etoile Violette' or 'Rhapsody', both are dark navy blue/purple coloured, both vigorous enough they need little fussing over, will grow almost anywhere, and with a bit of help will attach to your conifers when they are established.   You would have to wait 3 years for the hedge to develop before doing this as they would swamp it.

    It's also more convenient, as you cut the clematis down to ground level in February, at which time you would want to trim the hedge, and they flower from June to September, then you could cut down by half the clematis shoots for the winter, and at this time your hedge will need another trim before winter.

    best of luck with your choices...

  • Thank you.   I thought it was a shrub rather than a climber so was intending to keep it separate from the hedge. I am still learning, does a shrub climb If there is something to climb? ? My concern was, is it going to get enough water.  Have had a look at the Griselinia mentioned above and looks promising.  Still like the pink and bright green though! 


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,620

    Gertrude Jekyll is indeed a prickly specimen and, whilst sold as a shrub or short climber it definitely has vertical rather than horizontal ambitions.  I also don't think it's a good colour choice against a gold conifer but would be OK with the griselinia or go for a less thorny but deeply coloured shrub rose that will tone or contrast better.

    I did grow a Teasing Georgia against a wooden trellis with a gold/bronze conifer as wind break behind on the north side and they looked very good so maybe go for tone rather than contrast.

    Lupins, in my experience, are tricky - slug fodder for starters, then aphids and they're fussy about their soil.  They need rich, fertile, well-drained acid to neutral soil to do well.

    Poppies come in so many forms including native, annual, perennial, that there's probably one to suit your conditions.  

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 6,393

    Madeline, just to add that roses like 'GJ' will try to climb if they have support nearby but you can prune off the climbing shoot if you want.   I should add that of course your new hedge will be planted in fresh ground and be small plants,  so for a good few years you could grow all sorts of things in front of it, before the ground starts to become somewhat impoverished in later years as the conifers grow.

    If you're happy with the pink that's ok, I like purple and roses like 'Ebb Tide' 'Forever Royal' 'Minerva' etc, although not as romantic, I think would go well  but that's a personal decision.  White roses too like 'Iceberg', mixed in with perennials like Verbascums white and purple.  I've also grown white spring flowering Dicentras at base of a 10 foot  'Castlewellan' conifer.   There's a lot you can grow there in the early years, it's later on problems might start to occur with dry soil, especially with roses.

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