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What to do with a hedge

For most of my working life I have managed to avoid gardening choosing to leave it to those who had more skill and know-how. Now at 81 it has come back to haunt me.
We share a fence line with our very nice new .neighbours. The previous owners of our property (30 Years ago) planted a conifer hedge to hide the fence. The hedge is some 5mt long and has grown to about 1.8mt in height.. Over the years our hedge was kept trimmed and tidy but as it grew, unknown to me, it grew and bushed out over the fence next door.
The fence has collapsed and is to be replaced but the hedge is to remain.  The fence activity has focused my attention on the fact that the Green Hedge I thought of has being conifers is really Ivy which has choked the conifers.
To replace the wooden fence the hedge needed to be trimmed on our neighbours side which has led to the ivy browning and dying back. At the appropriate time the height of the hedge will be reduced a little and I suppose this will also lead to to the Ivy dying back.
Question. What can we/ should we do to this hedge?
Would it be possible to introduce something into the hedge to compete with the Ivy and add some colour?



  • BobFlannigonBobFlannigon Posts: 619
    If the conifers have been choked to death I think that may well answer your question about whether you can grow something to compete with the Ivy.  This could only work if you can get on top of the ivy and stay that way and give whatever you are planting a lot of help (mulching, watering, feeding and keeping Ivy away from its roots, for example), then something more drought-tolerant like Honeysuckle or Buddleia might add some colour.

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    The question really is - do you want an easy life or do you want to wage war on the ivy?
    If it is the first, then trim the hedge at the back, wallop up the fence and life will resume.
    If it is the latter, then try and find the main root of the ivy as close to the ground as you can, and cut it off. All the ivy will die back and then it is the laborious job of pulling it all out and seeing exactly the state of the conifers. It may be easier to do this before the new fence goes up. You can then decide whether the conifers can be saved or if it is a job of getting them cut down and removed.  The next choice would be as to whether you like the fence or not. If no, you may wish to screen it etc etc. And life goes on! 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
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