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Hedge on stilts

Basically, we are in London (so clayish soil) and have a small highly overlooked south facing garden.  We want to have a hedge that grows above the 6ft fence along the side.  We are talking about 6m to 10m (20 -30ft) length.

I was thinking of some pleached tree, all are very expensive.  Saw some ready to pleach limes (crimean lime) not sure if this will grow to about 3m height needed, maybe 4m.

Another thought that came to me was to get a Thuja and strip off all the stems from the trunk to a height of 6ft and then allow it to grow as a flat shaped plant.  Is this possible?  And if so what age of plant?

Thanks all.

Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 22,753
    Beech, hornbeam, linden/lime and catalpa are common subjects for such pleached hedges on the continent, especially Belgium for some reason where the screening height gives privacy to bedroom windows from neighbours and passing traffic or provides shade to seating areas whilst still allowing a sense of space and light and/or decorative planting below. 

    I don't think thuja or other conifers would give an attractive result or grow as willingly along horizontal training wires or canes.

    This info may help - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=155 and ther was also a Beechgrove episode last summer which referenced a pleached hedge so try and find that on i-Player or on a Beechgrove factsheet on their website.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Wow thanks for this!  Looks like lime it is then, do you know the growth rate for the Crimean lime, cannot find it anywhere, except 20m height in 20 years, which I doubt will be for a pleached tree - not that I want 20m height in a garden :smile:
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,120
    I live in London, also on clay, and our previous garden was very overlooked, which we hated.  I have attached a photo to show how this.


    To have a hedge which grows well over 6ft will cut light in your garden, and mean lots of work trimming it several times a year, plus you will have to water regularly to get it established (not to mention cost).  Have you though about alternatives?  We raised our fence to cover the existing trellis, which helped with the neighbouring windows on the ground floor.  We positioned our seating area close to the the fence where we were overlooked, so that when sitting there we could not be seen.  We also used a parasol on the table, so that people on the neighbour's first floor couldn't see us?

    Could you redesign where you sit to achieve the same thing?  You could also install a half or full pergola, under which you could put your seating area, and you could grow climbers over the pergola.  It might not give you privacy over the whole garden, but often people spend a lot of time in their main seating area.  If you can deal with that area, then you might find you can live with less privacy in the rest of the garden.

    In our current garden we have a hedge which used to be 8-9ft high.  It was stunning, but a nightmare to cut.  It's now 6ft, and more manageable.  Be careful what you wish for with a very tall hedge.
  • micearguersmicearguers CambridgePosts: 449
    Maintaining pleached lime trees is quite a lot of work. You could also consider the Japanese Privet tree, which is actually described as a hedge on stilts:

    Ligustrum japonicum is an absolutely superb choice for planting as a raised screen, or stilted hedge, with the crown extending above the fence line and the stems taking up very little space in the garden.
    This privet tree is great for restricted areas and can be planted very close to buildings with confidence and as such is compliant with the building regulation code.


  • I live in London, also on clay, and our previous garden was very overlooked, which we hated.  I have attached a photo to show how this.


    To have a hedge which grows well over 6ft will cut light in your garden, and mean lots of work trimming it several times a year, plus you will have to water regularly to get it established (not to mention cost).  Have you though about alternatives?  We raised our fence to cover the existing trellis, which helped with the neighbouring windows on the ground floor.  We positioned our seating area close to the the fence where we were overlooked, so that when sitting there we could not be seen.  We also used a parasol on the table, so that people on the neighbour's first floor couldn't see us?

    Could you redesign where you sit to achieve the same thing?  You could also install a half or full pergola, under which you could put your seating area, and you could grow climbers over the pergola.  It might not give you privacy over the whole garden, but often people spend a lot of time in their main seating area.  If you can deal with that area, then you might find you can live with less privacy in the rest of the garden.

    In our current garden we have a hedge which used to be 8-9ft high.  It was stunning, but a nightmare to cut.  It's now 6ft, and more manageable.  Be careful what you wish for with a very tall hedge.
    Very nice, and thanks for the useful points!  I will upload the garden design I am working on, the reason for this is we will be getting a swing for our daughter and don't want to annoy the neighbours with privacy invasion, deeds means that we are responsible for both sides and one side has asked if we can get a fence up to 3m, from the existing 2m, but we think that will be madness and make the place look bad, not mentioning the need for planning approval.

    Since space on the ground is at a premium, we need to have it raised above.  The actual south facing side of the garden fence, already has 6 to 7m tall trees, that belong to another neighbour, I just occasionally prune the overhang and they keep their side done.
  • Maintaining pleached lime trees is quite a lot of work. You could also consider the Japanese Privet tree, which is actually described as a hedge on stilts:

    Ligustrum japonicum is an absolutely superb choice for planting as a raised screen, or stilted hedge, with the crown extending above the fence line and the stems taking up very little space in the garden.
    This privet tree is great for restricted areas and can be planted very close to buildings with confidence and as such is compliant with the building regulation code.


    Thanks a lot for this.  Ideally I will need several and seems a bit pricey, but I can see its a lovely plant!
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