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How to achieve privacy in winter with a deciduous hedge

I have a corner plot and a wrap around garden with hedges along the boundaries. Unfortunately I have deciduous hedges which are bare in winter that run alongside the road and result in no privacy from pedestrians and passing traffic with straight views into my house. I was hoping to build a fence or block wall on the inside of the hedge to afford some privacy during the winter months. I don’t want to get rid of the hedge as every house in the area has a hedge. Unfortunately the original owners of our house decided against evergreen hedge unlike our neighbours.
Will a strong fence or block wall work or will the growth of the hedge push this down?
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  • For the cost of a fence or wall, would it not be cheaper to replace the hedge with an evergreen variety? 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,254
    What sort of hedge is the deciduous one? A well grown and maintained deciduous hedge should provide reasonable screening from a glance from passers by.  If it’s not doing that then perhaps we can help you to thicken it up. 

    If people are repeatedly standing still and peering through then they’re behaving very oddly and I’d contact your Community Police Officer. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 BirminghamPosts: 767
    It might be surprising think how much space you will lose, maybe more than realised? You will need to allow sufficient space between the fence/wall and the hedge to allow space for footings and for the build/implementation to be done without damaging the existing hedge. Unless you leave space to allow you to trim the side against the wall/fence than any hedge will push against it so with a fence there will be damage over time, a wall if properly built should be ok.

    As already suggested an alternative hedge may be a better option. Also even a deciduous hedge, if healthy and dense, should give good screening in winter. It may be that some remedial work to improve the existing hedge will help fill in any gaps which I assume are allowing views through. Maybe it’s been allowed to grow leggy and tall so needs pruning to encourage new bushy growth.

    Also, have you walked along the street to see how much people can actually see? I only ask because my OH always felt our lilac hedge didn’t offer any screening in Winter until he was chatting to our neighbour looking back through into our garden. He was surprised how much the twiggy bare branches broke up the sightlines.
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • KiliKili Posts: 1,019
    I've seen a number of times hedging fleece put up to protect newly planted hedges from cold winter winds , especially in the coastal areas where I live. Maybe you could invest in a winter hedging fleece which you can remove in  the spring/summer.

    'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

    George Bernard Shaw'

  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 4,049
    My first thought is to get onto the pavement and consider just how much can be seen. I imagine that passers by can only see into your garden and not your house and how often are you in the garden in the months when the shrubs are bare? Very rarely I would think. Does road traffic going by at 20 to 30 mph see anything at all?

    If you are adamant there is a problem there that needs solving I would adopt Butterfly66’s approach of pruning the hedge to thicken it and also plant a few evergreen plants like holly, ivy, privet and yew to block prying eyes.
  • Thanks everyone. Unfortunately there are big gaps in the hedge in winter, and we have been on the pavement looking in quite clearly into the house. We have hornbeam hedge. I think we will look at remedial work with the hedge and possibly planting in the gaps. Removing the hedge and planting an evergreen will leave the whole back and side of the house exposed until it grows enough. 
    We have currently put up fake plastic leaf cover to afford some privacy for this winter. 
    And suggestions as to what plants can be used for bulking up the hedge?
  • Can you plant beech (deciduous but keeps its brown leaves through winter) and ivy (evergreen) in the gaps - you can buy relatively mature shrubs - pricey but would give you instant impact.  If you get them in now the beech will grow 40-60cm in a year:

    https://www.hedgesdirect.co.uk/acatalog/beech-hedging-fagus-sylvatica.html#aFAGS
  • Thanks everyone. Unfortunately there are big gaps in the hedge in winter, and we have been on the pavement looking in quite clearly into the house. We have hornbeam hedge. I think we will look at remedial work with the hedge and possibly planting in the gaps. Removing the hedge and planting an evergreen will leave the whole back and side of the house exposed until it grows enough. 
    We have currently put up fake plastic leaf cover to afford some privacy for this winter. 
    And suggestions as to what plants can be used for bulking up the hedge?

    I remember reading about the Ebbing's silverberry that can be used to fill gaps in older hedges. I have hornbeam that hold their old dead leaves over winter just like beech so I'm surprised yours go completely bare.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 5,837
    I would go for planting evergreens in the big gaps you say you have. The other thing could be to grow some climbers through the existing hedge which will thicken it that way.
    AB Still learning

  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    edited February 2021
    Have you considered vertical blinds or a light filtering roller blind or Venetian blinds?
    If you live on such a busy street that there are constant passersby who are all looking in your direction rather than where they are walking it might be the easiest option, giving you time to sort out your hedges.
    You don't say how far your hedges are from the pavement but  I live in a new build perhaps 3ft from the pavement. You can make eye contact with passersby but in the 31/2 years I've lived here that has happened about twice.  When I walk the dog I too can look into everyone's windows but after a while you train yourself not to so maybe regular users aren't so interested.
    People may look but to  register what they see you would have to stop and focus on your windows  and certainly that's pretty impossible driving.

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