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Adding some privacy to a beech hedge

Our back garden runs along the side of a road and the border is a beech hedge, so in the winter everyone can see straight into our garden. We love the beech hedge for the wildlife so we are definitely not replacing it, but we want to know whether we could grow an evergreen climber through it that would provide a screen in the winter without damaging the hedge. Luckily we have enough space that if that doesn't work we can plant some tall shrubs (photinia, ligustrum and viburnum are the current favourites based on reading other posts in this forum) our side of the beech hedge to provide a secondary barrier. Any advice / opinions appreciated. Jeremy 


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,189
    Hello @jeremy.trish and welcome to the forum?

    Is the hedge not retaining it's golden leaves in the winter?  If it's clipped in the late summer beech will put on new leaves which will be retained through the winter.  That's how beech and hornbeam hedging is traditionally used.  
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,683
    There are folks on here who know more about this than I do, but I think the trick of getting beech to keep the copper-brown leaves over winter is clipping at the right time of year (mid-August, although I suppose it might vary a bit depending on where you are) so you could try that next year and see if it helps.
    The only climber I can think of that would grow in the roots of a hedge is ivy.
  • Thank you for your replies. This is our third winter of trying to keep the leaves on and we haven't been successful. The hedge is already starting to look a bit threadbare. We do have some large trees that run along the south side of the hedge and a local gardener said that the trees may be taking the light and water from the hedge. 
  • There's a short beech hedge not far from us on council land. I think it 's to stop cars parking on the grass.
    The point I'm making is it grows just fine and I've never seen it without it's leaves in winter.
    I thought it was normal. 

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Derbyshire but with a Nottinghamshire postcode. Posts: 16,463
    I always cut ours in August , and then it keeps brown leaves on all through winter, just dropping them as the new leaves unfurl in Spring.  If you cut it at other times, the leaves drop off in autumn, and it is bare all winter.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,189
    I wonder whether this hedge has been allowed to get a bit unruly in the past and us in need of rejuvenation in order to encourage denser growth? 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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