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Planting in front of North facing conifer


I'm new to the forum and desperately in need of advice. My garden is fairly wide but narrow and looks out to my neighbours huge leylandii hedge. The hedge is good for privacy but I have to say I hate it. We are reluctant to ask for it to be removed for many reasons. We have paid for it to be trimmed many times. It's currently taller than a two storey house. 

There is a border along the back in front of the fence (see pics) and I've struggled greatly to keep anything alive in it and am now losing established shrubs too. I'm now considering removing the plants and laying turf as I can't stand looking at my plants slowly dying anymore - despite my best efforts. The border is entirely in shade most of the day. 

Any suggestions welcome, thank you.


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,018
    Hi @mrslouiselewis - there are rules and regs regarding the height of hedges.
    Have you looked into that? I appreciate that you probably won't want to cause any aggro with your neighbour though.
    It's very hard to establish anything in the midst of such a hefty amount of conifer. 
    Another option is a trellis screen, a few feet in front of the fence. There are climbers which would cope with that more easily than your shrubs. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 18,379
    There are also perennial ground covering plants if you must have it planted, like Vinca.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • DithererDitherer Posts: 3
    Thank you @Fairygirl, we are worried about causing aggro. The general consensus also seems to be that if we want it removed it would be at our cost and we can't run to that right now. Very frustrating. Thank you for your advice, a trellis screen sounds like a good idea 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,018
    There are clematis which will grow in that aspect, and many appreciate a drier soil, so that might be the way to go. 
    I appreciate it's very difficult re the hedge, although I'd have thought the council could enforce the reduction of them. They're desperately oppressive  :/
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • DithererDitherer Posts: 3
    Yes they are @Fairygirl, I spend my life staring at them as they are right in front of me when I do the washing up! I should revisit the issue 🤔
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,018
    Is it the neighbours/owners who are insisting you'd have to pay if you wanted them removed?
    If so, that tends to suggest they're trying to call your bluff .
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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