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Climber or mixed hedge solution please...

Along the length of my garden there is a long, tall hawthorn hedge that unfortunately I do not own but it adjoins a farmers field so I cut it back each year.

I would love love to replace the whole thing to avoid the annual pruning battle and scratches but this is not realistic. 

Die to its height of about 6 feet, the bottom third is quite sparse and very little bushy growth so it’s not the most attractive hedge at any time of the year.

i was hoping to find a climber that I could use to flesh out these big open spaces and essentially incorporate it into the hedge. Hopefully I’ve managed to attach a picture of a section that’ll help illustrate the issue.

Unfortunately it is the north facing side of the hedge and i’m struggling to find a plant that would tolerate almost constant shade. I could help support growth if needed with canes or some sort of subtle structure. 

Failing this i is I would hope to introduce another hedge type such as a softer yew.

Any ideas or help would be appreciated....!!


  • Obviously it’s a lot more obvious and baron in the winter months so hopefully something that may give interest year round?!
  • HexagonHexagon Posts: 1,061
    There are a few evergreen clematis, mainly ones with white flowers. Not sure how well they would tolerate the shade. I’ve been looking for something similar to cover a hedge with baldy patches. I’ve got a Virginia creeper which has stunning autumn colour but unfortunately is deciduous.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,826
    edited June 2019
    Any climber on that hedge will be inclined to make the leafage even more sparse as it will prevent light getting at it and triggering sideshoots into growth. 

    If if a hawthorn hedge is trimmed two or three times a year with an electric hedge trimmer there should not be any problem with thorns. It’s only when trimming  isn’t regular enough that the growth matures and forms thorns. 

    If if you shape the hedge to what is called a ‘batter’ ... that is sloping in slightly towards the top as in an ‘A’ 
    the base of the hedge will receive more light and consequently grow more sideshoots and the hedge will thicken up. 

    Cutting to a batter is described here

    and here

    Hope that helps  :)

    If if you want more colour I’d plant a shrubbery or herbaceous border in front of it ... remembering to leave sufficient access between the border and the hedge to enable regular hedge trimming. 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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