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Can I plant an evergreen hedge parallel inside a native species farm hedge.

We have a beautiful native species deciduous hedge about 8 feet tall which surrounds our house and garden on all sides, I love it in the summer but during pretty much 6 months of the year it is like living in a goldfish bowl, I don’t want to lose the hedge the birds love it and am unable to put up panel fencing, I live in an old listed farm house which has restrictions with regards to fencing.  Is it possible to plant evergreen species of hedge inside and parallel to the existing hedge, will the existing hedge suffer if I do and how well will the new hedge cope with the existing hedge.  Thank you 


  • robairdmacraignilrobairdmacraignil Posts: 760
    edited June 2020
    I think the existing hedge would be fine as the plants growing there are established and used to competition from their neighboring plants. The new hedge would be difficult to get established with shade from the existing hedge and competition from the current hedge for moisture in the soil. My experience of planting next to an existing hedge here showed that osmanthus burkwoodii, ceanothus and olearia traversii grew OK close to the existing hedge. I also read recently that elaeagnus ebbingei can be used to grow under existing hedges to fill gaps so it might be a better option for your evergreen hedge than some others which might not compete as well. Whatever you plant will probably not do well without some bit of watering to help it settle in. Autumn planting when the existing hedge is going dormant would probably the best time to plant your new hedge in my opinion.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    Whereabouts are you in the country @donnawright? That can have a bearing on what you do because of your local climate etc.
    I'd agree though - it shouldn't be a problem to grow something inside the existing hedge. The bigger the gap you can leave, the better. It will mean you have good access to both hedges for maintaining them, and lessens the problem of competition for water as @robairdmacraignil describes. 
    Autumn is definitely better - and you can get bare root hedging which is much more economical. It gives you time to prep the ground well too  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thank you, I’m on the border between Surrey and Sussex near Gatwick and rainfall isn’t great but watering isn’t a problem, what sort of gap between do you think would work?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    Always easier if you get plentiful rainfall, but if you plant in autumn, it means you get the autumn and winter rain, which really helps  :)
    If you can leave a 6 foot gap, that would probably be ideal, but that may not be practical for you. Less would be ok, but hedging plants grow wide as well as tall, so you just need to bear that in mind when you choose the plants.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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