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Help needed

I'd like to start by saying I absolutely have no idea when it comes to gardening. I cannot distinguish between a weed and a plant.....
There are so many websites offering advice, but it's difficult to find information about a specific problem.
I live in a property which was built on an old army camp. The problem we have is the wall at the back. The wall is made of concrete and stone, there are gaps where the stone is visible, but it is mainly covered in soil.  The width of the wall is approx. a metre and our boundary is in the middle. The hedge has died and we need advice of what to plant on the top. The other half of the wall is owned by the local farmer, and it has been requested that we maintain a hedge, although this is not detailed in our deeds.
The top of the wall has soil but it is difficult to calculate the depth of the soil. 
I would like to plant a box hedge, but what depth is needed for the roots? The existing hedge grew out of the wall, but this has died. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,938
    Hello Keelie, welcome to the forum  :)
    Could you give a bit more information please, such as is it a sunny or shady site (or if a bit of both, roughly how many hours of sunshine).  Also what height of hedge are you thinking of and do you want to attract wildlife? 
    If you can post a photo or two, it might help. Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as you want !
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,324
    I am struggling to picture it when you say the wall is mainly covered in soil - do you mean soil is piled on top of the wall, or banked up against the sides? Yes a photo would help! Use the small square mountain icon to select and download one from the photos file on your device.

    You can test the soil depth by sticking a fork in, but depending on how big your garden is, if you have room, you may be better planting a hedge in front of it, leaving a gap between the wall and the hedge to allow the hedge to spread. It can also be pretty dry close to or on top of a wall so be prepared to water regularly and deeply for the first couple of years and periodically thereafter.

    If there is no specific covenant in your deeds to plant a hedge, presumably you don’t have to if you don’t want to...

    As to box, I am not sure, but most hedge plants need a decent width and depth for their roots. The last hedge, whatever it was, probably died through not having enough space or soil to grow in, plus lack of regular watering. Box also has lots of problems, it is being destroyed by box blight and the caterpillars of the box moth, so something less prone to disease might be better.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150
    Hi @keelieh24 welcome to the forum.
    I'm wondering if the wall you describe is something like a 'Cornish Hedge' ?

  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,324
    Wow, what amazing structures they are Kitty, like cavity walls with plants! Love the vertical wild meadow effect on that photo.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150
    I've never seen one Nollie, only heard of them.

    I'm wondering if @Lyn might have some good advice if that's what keelieh has in her garden.  
  • LynLyn Posts: 22,860
    I have a wall like that, it’s got self seeded buddleia and laurel, but I know nothing about box hedging, it just doesn’t seem to suit these type of banks, it’s usually hawthorn, beech, and other natural trees. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,088
    I’m pretty sure I’ve also seen privet in/on a Cornish Hedge @lyn 😊 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • LynLyn Posts: 22,860
    You probably have Dove, I’ve got some, but it’s not the natural tree to grow in the countryside, no more than the escallonia that’s grown in Cornwall. 
    this is what borders 3 sides of us, it grows in next to nothing, 
    Oh well, would have put the photo on but site tells me I have no photos or videos, stupid internet here. 
    The joys of living in the countryside! 😀
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Thank you for all your comments, here are some photos to show the wall/ bank. 

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