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Hiding a leylandii hedge?

Hi there, I fairly recently moved in with my partner and his ugly leylandii hedge! In an ideal world I’d love to rip it out but unfortunately it’s not an option as a) we don’t have the money to do that (we’d need to get someone in to do it) and b) my partner is very particular about privacy and feels we’d be too overlooked if it were gone 👀 

I think if we were planning to live here long term we’d be more willing to invest the money to replace it with fencing or other hedging. But as a temporary fix what can we do to help hide or obscure the sight of the beast?

I understand the ground below/under it won’t be ideal for planting anything into, but would it be possible to have a raised bed running alongside? My thoughts being to plant an attractive boarder in front. We have a south facing garden, with heavy clay soil.

On the top left there is a huge mop of clematis which has grown over from next door, which admittedly looks horrid now, but in the summer does actually look quite nice and hides some of dead hedge under it! 


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,551
    I think the hedge would be a lot prettier if it was given a regular clipping .
    IMHO the clematis is more "ugly"  than the hedge.
  • Hostafan1 said:
    I think the hedge would be a lot prettier if it was given a regular clipping .
    IMHO the clematis is more "ugly"  than the hedge.
    You’re right, the clematis looks awful. But when it flowers in the summer it looks nice enough. We try and clip it regularly. Part of the problem is where it has been too aggressively done in the past.  There are areas now where it’s not grown back at all and seems to be continually dying back, leaving it patchy and sparse in places. 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,551
    I don't think the clematis is doing it any favours
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,300
    edited January 2020
    Anything that you plant in front of it, if it is gojng to be tall enough to do the job of hiding it, is seriously going to get in the way of you trimming it.

    Also, in order to get anything new to thrive, you are going to have to plant your new “hedge” a good two metres away from the old one, otherwise it won’t get enough rain and there won’t be any soil, only roots.

    P.S. if two ancient old buddies like me and my OH can cut down, saw up, and entirely dig up the roots of 20-odd mature cupressus trees, anybody can. They don’t put up much of a fight. And they make brilliant firewood.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,935
    Hi Beth, welcome to the forum  :)
    I think raised beds is probably the best way to go in this situation as you don't want to go into virtually redesigning the whole garden ! Are you are your partner very keen on DIY and able to build your own, or are you thinking more of the kit types you can buy? 
    It would certainly distract the eye from the hedge. Is your partner willing to reduce the height at all ?
    Also, does your neighbour ever prune the clematis? 
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923
    edited January 2020
    trim the existing hedge regularly and it'll give a nice dark background for a border in front of it, (you'll need to leave a bit of a gap for the roots of the hedge, but this will also give you a gap to use when trimming it.) Oh and don't go back into 'dead' wood, it'll never grow back.
    as for the clematis i'd take it back to the fence line (it won't harm the clematis), remove the dead hedge underneath it and replace it with some nice shrubs if your OH is worried about privacy
  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 9,912
    Can you cloud prune leylandii? Turn it into a living sculpture rather than the usual green rectangle and you might learn to love it.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
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