Vendée, Western France
In my experience rosa rugosa easily gets straggly, suckers all over the place and looks ugly for 5 months of the year and not wonderful for the rest. Rosa canina is almost a rambler in my hedge anyway - so hard to get a decent low hedge from it.
If you want a stable, narrow hedge go for something like beech or hornbeam or hawthorn which respond well to pruning and the hawthorn in particular will be good for wildlife. If you want evergreen, try hebe red edge or sutherlandii and i you want thorny try one of the berberis family.
"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
...perhaps purple Berberis would be more suitable for your needs...
Thanks. The purple berberis is lovely. But perhaps a little slow to grow. I'll have a browse and see if there is one that grows a little faster. Otherwise yes i like hawthorn and beech
Mr. Vine Eye
edited November 2019
Rugosa hedge at Elsham in June.
Beautiful but certainly not compact!
I want one at my allotment
Isle of Wight.
Beautiful! But not narrow!
I don’t think you can keep it narrow with the hedge trimmer, it doesn’t just grow ‘wide’ it is wide, from the ground, it shoots out everywhere and has to be dug out.
it looks lovely in the picture, and I must say mine looks quite nice now, the remaining leaves are a lovely golden colour but soon it will be bare prickly stalks that have to be cut to the ground, not much good for an all year round hedge.
Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor.