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What is the best fast-growing hedge to plant in a garden?

My house is a new-build and our garden is patio and then 50 feet long by 20 feet wide of grass. We have a post and panel fence all the way round and no trees or plants. I want to plant a privacy hedge at the bottom of the garden against the fence. We back onto a communal car park and are west-facing so there is no issue of neighbours being blocked for light. I want something to offer some privacy from the houses beyond the car park and also some security and noise-buffering for our young girls. Would leylandii be a horrible idea? I want something tall and neat (happy to trim it regularly etc to avoid it growing out of control), something that will grow quickly and won't cost the earth.

Any suggestions would be gratefully received as I am a novice to say the very least!


  • LynLyn Posts: 21,323
    I like Laurel for a quick thick dense hedge, although it’s not as easy as just planting them, they need cutting to get the best from them, also don’t buy tall ones thinking they’ll make a quick screen, they won’t, your better with 3’ plants and chop 1’ off the top on planting. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • DampGardenManDampGardenMan Posts: 1,054
     Would leylandii be a horrible idea?
    Yes. Next question.

    As @Lyn says, laurel makes a dense hedge and it's tough as old boots though it's not the prettiest of shrubs.

    Depending on how cold your garden is, take a look at Pittosporum tenuifolium. Evergreen and fast growing and it can be cut back hard should the need arise.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,154
    Please, not leylandii ! Laurel was also my first thought. If you can afford it, you can get fairly big plants, and as Lyn says, if you can bring yourself to do it, cutting the top foot off will help. If you want to go the conifer route, you could try thuja plicata.
    You can get some ideas here, and it's not too late to buy bare rooted plants, but you'll need to be quick.
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,323
    That’s where I bought mine from.🙂
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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