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Planting New Hedges - HELP!

DuggyfreshDuggyfresh MidlandsPosts: 28
Hi - New to forum and a complete novice in terms of green fingers . . .please be gentle!

After 10yrs of neglect I have just cleared my 125x32ft back garden (which was a jungle) and basically now have a blank canvas. Its about to be dug up, levelled and re-turfed throughout, however it is only part fenced and I will be left with 2x clear parallel runs of 25metres on both sides at the rear, the back adjoining demise is a high brick wall. 

Rather the ridiculous and ugly expense of running timber fencing (even along one side) I am planning to run 1.4metre high plastic wire coated fencing (with timber stakes) on both sides to secure the garden and then grow suitable hedges along the fence line, the idea being that they grow and create a nice screen between ourselves and our neighbours. 

The garden is north facing but now there are no trees / overhanging adjacent canopies etc gets a decent combination of sun/shade throughout the day. I have a budget (which is nearly exhausted on ground works) so cannot afford 50metres of mature bush plants (60cms plus) but want to ensure I have a fast growing, dense(ish) screen that will be easy to maintain and hopefully grow to circa 5ft. 

On the basis of the above being ok (I plan to leave a 1.5-2ft soil border between fence line and new turf edge for the bush planting I was looking at planting 3-4 30cms plants every metre. This is going to happen over the next 2weeks! Shorlisted variants are - 

Photinia Red Robin
Griselia New Zealand

1 - Are these the right kind of plant? I really like to the look of Photinia but does it grow easily/quickly will it create a good bush? If not planted correctly will I end up with a mess? Will it grow speedily so as to keep the neighbours moaning at bay?

2 - Are there any other/better options given the nature of my garden, its orientation etc etc? Don't really like conifer / laurel / holly / beech. Would prefer evergreen as have beech in front garden and its leaf shedding is a pain in the autumn . . 

3 - HELP!

Your advice in all respects is most appreciated - will need to order over the next week or so - online seems best value - is this a good idea?

Cheers,  Chris


  • DuggyfreshDuggyfresh MidlandsPosts: 28
     . . .apols - forgot to mention that on the RHS neighbours side there is a relatively clear run of turf / minimal border plants etc - on the LHS neighbours side the same applies but at the rear section (2-3metres) there is some ground ivy / creeping plants etc. 

    Will this affect the ultimate choice of bush plant and quick growth success?  Please advise - cheers
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 21,103
    I would wait till autumn.   Anything you plant now will have to be bought in pots with ready established roos and will need copious watering before and after planting and until autumn or it's likely to fail to grow and may even die.

    If you wait to plant till autumn you can buy very cheap, single whips of mixed hedging plants and put them in as you like, water, prune to about 9" high and then leave them to get on with it.   They will happily grow roots pver the winter and produce fresh young foliage and new growth next spring.  Good garden centres and nurseries can supply the hedging plants, usually in bundles of 10, from about October or you can order online.  Just soak the roots in a bucket of water for an hour or two before planting out.

    That gves you plenty of time to erect your fence and then work over the soil removing any deep rooted weeds.   ork in lots of lovely well-rotted garden compost or some manure if you and get it and then keep it hoed between now and autumn to remove any new weeds.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,990
    As above but I would use concrete posts if possible as they will last longer and define the boundary line.
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 6,720
    "I am planning to run 1.4metre high plastic wire coated fencing (with timber stakes) on both sides to secure the garden".

    From what?
  • Green MagpieGreen Magpie Posts: 802
    Of the two plants you mention, I would go for griselinia. We planted a new hedge of this (the cream variegated one) three years ago, in the spring, and it looks very good now. (We bought online from Hedges Direct). A neighbour has put in a new Photinia hedge and so far it looks messy and leggy. I think if you trim Photinia like a hedge, you risk losing its distinctive colour.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 21,103
    No, each time it's trimmed the new growth is red.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • DuggyfreshDuggyfresh MidlandsPosts: 28

    The works are being done next week! The diggers are in on Tuesday and all the old tree stumps, a patio area at the back, a rockery, a collapsed fence, the ground itself (which at the rear has spent years under cover of jungle) is all being 'unearthed' and prepped for turfing over the entire area. The posts and wire fencing will also all be installed to secure the demise lines on both sides. 

    Last step will be planting the bushes - however I'm not sure we can wait till Autumn (although its not that far away) for the following reasons

    1 - Although def cheaper to buy whips (50-70p each) we are not green fingered and I would worry about the maintenance involved / potential failure rate / dog eating them / kids kicking footballs and or attempting to smoke them. 

    2 - Neighbours. We need growth to be 'quick-ish' or at least look like there are shrubs in place that 'define' what the eventual hedge will be like

    Have taken advice (as per @Green Magpie comments thanks) that although nice looking Photinia is prob not a good idea - a mate that does commercial landscaping (but lives on the other side of the country) simply texted the following - 

    Portuguese Laurel (Prunus Lusitancia / 5 plants every 2metres / chicken pellets / mychoryzil funghi . . .

    If we are going to plant some 30cms / small potted shrubs this month, whats the process / what do we need to do to ensure success!


    Cheers  Chris
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,155
    Laurels grow very big and quickly, but if your expecting cover in a short space of time, you won’t get it.  Any plant has to make roots before top growth, so expect to get 3’ in two to three years, that because if you want to get a good thick hedge you need to constantly pick out the tops and side shoots to encourage it.

    dont ever make the mistake of thinking you can buy big ready grown trees because they’re already tall, you need to cut those back by half at least, so buy small ones in the first place.
    No need to go to the expense of using Mychoryzil fungi,  that’s already in your soil and laurels don’t need it, in my opinion nothing does and are best left to grow at their own pace, water is the key.
    You can sprinkle some bone meal around the edge of the plant once in, not down the hole. Then water. 

    I would urge you to wait until October and buy bare roots, planted at 2’ apart, but if you 
    have lots of money spare and really can’t wait, then buy pot plants.
    whichever way, you need to constantly water them and pick out the top.  October November plants look after themselves. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • SandygardenSandygarden Posts: 108
    Definitely, definitely wait until Autumn and buy the bare root whips. Virtually no maintenance apart from the initial watering in, the plants will grow bigger and stronger quicker, and your kids are likely to be in doors more over the winter. For now, Buy cheap rolls of willow screening to create your privacy and mark the boundary until the hedge fills out. I’d go for a Mixed, British hedge for the wildlife. Good luck!
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 2,399
    Wouldn't the wire fence be enough to mark the boundary until Autumn? Autumn planting is likely to be more successful even if you choose pot-grown plants instead of bare-root, and won't need as much watering.  Also your concern about damage from children will surely be less likely once we get into Autumn when they won't be playing outside as much as over the summer holidays.  As Lyn said, even if you plant pot-grown plants now, it'll be a few years until you get a tall thick hedge. Patience is the name of the game with new hedges. 
    If you absolutely can't wait a couple of months then small plants are better than big ones, but don't be tempted to plant closer than the recommended spacing - they will look very sparse to begin with. Be prepared to water a lot (something like a bucketful per plant every few days if the weather is warm and dry), and to hand-weed regularly (every week, maybe) to keep the area around the new plants free of weeds and grass which will out-compete the young hedge plants given half a chance. Don't hoe because you could damage any hedge roots growing near the surface.
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