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Wildlife friendly planting for security

I'm taking on a new garden with a footpath on one side and looking to increase security through planting. The footpath runs along the top of a north facing slope and there are already some large trees around so would be looking for something that can tolerate the (presumably dry-ish) slightly shady situation. What can be planted to increase security? (I can't change the fence). I was thinking hollies would be lovely but are quite slow growing. Would I get away with a rose? Even something like blackberries might be rather fun (is there a slightly less invasive option?)


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,921
    edited October 2019
    Hi @TheMenagerie. Do you have a photo? That will help  :)
    How high is the fence, and what sort of distance do you need to cover?
    You could attach some chicken wire to the fence in the meantime, which can help to deter any possible interlopers.
    However, Berberis and Pyracantha are also good, and will cope no problem, and so will Mahonia. 
    Cotoneaster too - great flowers for bees and berries for birds
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thank you Fairygirl - I'd love to have a pyracantha, used to be one outside my window as a child, always *full* of birds! Don't have a photo yet but the fence is metal railings, (like a park). It is approx. 5 foot high I guess (with clear signs/a few remaining spikes of having had anti-climb spikes glued on in the past) and the garden is 70 foot long. The existing planting is dense enough to put off opportunistic visitors for about half that length so I suppose I could have two or three types of plant for the rest. It will be visible from the seating area (well, everywhere really - garden is long and narrow) so attractive options like these with flowers and berries are great.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,545
    Pyracantha for me too - evergreen, blossom and nectar for pollinators, shelter for birds and insects and then berries in autumn and you can have red, orange or yellow.  Easy to train along your railings and the thorns should deter intruders.  Cheap too and will get away well if planted now.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,921
    Yes - you could bare root stuff just now. It's that time of year when hedging companies sell it, and you could certainly plant more densely because it's so much cheaper.

    I've used Hopes Grove nursery for hedging in the past, and found them good. If you go down that route, you'll get more suggestions of outlets to try  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,783
    Berberis thunbergii?
  • BrexiteerBrexiteer Birmingham Posts: 955
    Are holly bushes any good for you mate ? We have them at the top of our garden and nobody or anything goes through them. If your unfortunate to brush against them they bloody hurt
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,096
    And pyracantha for me too. Our last neighbour had a pyracantha hedge and there’s no way I’d have tried to push through it 😱 
    added to which it was covered with flowers and berries and full of birds .., and one year an eruption of Scandinavian Waxwings arrived on that pyracantha and from our bed one wintry Sunday morning, coffees in our hands, we watched the birds feasting on the berries. Magical 💕 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,177
    Hawthorn, also known as quickthorn, 😊 and sloes, which aren’t slow at all.😁
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,921
    I love my Blackthorn @pansyface, and I have no problem dealing with the thorns [my skin must be tougher than some folk's :D ] but I know some people don't like it.

    Brilliant as a hedge though, and the bees love it in spring when the flowers appear, and the birds flit in and out of it and get great protection  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,096
    The only problem with blackthorn (and I love it too) is its tendency to sucker ... and a three foot wide hedge can widen to nine feet very quickly ...
    “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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