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Hedge advice

Hello

I am buying my first home and the current garden is very exposed due to a low 1 metre fence. It is an end of terrace house, with a garden which is next to a pedestrian path. I understand that planning permission is required to have a higher fence as the fence would abut a highway. I have attached a couple of photos for reference.

As an alternative to going down the planning permission route, I am looking for a quick-growing hedge that provides great privacy. My number one choice at the moment is cherry laurel, which ticks a lot of boxes. I would plan to buy relatively mature ones (5ft-6ft) and plant these in the soil of the garden.

There is also side-access to the garden that runs alongside the house, which is concrete and measures about 8 metres in length and 1.2m in width. I have hesitations about removing the concrete and turning this to soil. Instead, I am thinking of placing very large attractive planters on the concrete path so I could accommodate a cherry laurel tree in each planter and provide space for it to grow in the long-term. I understand that the roots of a cherry laurel never get huge. I was looking at this: https://www.buyshedsdirect.co.uk/3x1-nova-double-planter?___store=buysheds&refSrc=16000&nosto=productpage-nosto-1 

I wonder if anyone could please advise me on any of my plans:

1. Use of cherry laurel as a privacy screen;
2. Keeping concrete or alternatively digging it up to put soil there instead;
3. Use of large planters, so cherry laurel can grow there. 
4. Any other planters that are a bit cheaper than the one I have found, that has adequate depth for a cherry laurel.

Thanks in advance!



Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 41,327
    If you need to use containers then cherry laurel's really no use.
    In the ground, it would be a problem in that side space anyway. I'm not sure where you've heard that the root systems aren't big, but one on it's own would certainly fill one of those [very expensive!] containers in a few years. 
    In the main part of the garden they'd be fine, but they get big, and they aren't the easiest hedge plant to keep neat and narrow, so you'd need to accept they'll take up a fair bit of space.  Buying large plants is counter productive too- better to buy ones at around 3 feet or so. Bigger ones are harder to establish and need cut back to encourage bushiness. Portuguese laurel is tidier, and easier to keep neater. 
     
    I'm not really sure why you want hedging along that side space though. You'll struggle to use it if you put shrubs or hedging there. The ideal choices if you really want hedging would be Beech, Hornbeam or Lonicera, which can all be kept narrow. They'll still take up about half the width though.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Fairygirl said:
    If you need to use containers then cherry laurel's really no use.
    In the ground, it would be a problem in that side space anyway. I'm not sure where you've heard that the root systems aren't big, but one on it's own would certainly fill one of those [very expensive!] containers in a few years. 
    In the main part of the garden they'd be fine, but they get big, and they aren't the easiest hedge plant to keep neat and narrow, so you'd need to accept they'll take up a fair bit of space.  Buying large plants is counter productive too- better to buy ones at around 3 feet or so. Bigger ones are harder to establish and need cut back to encourage bushiness. Portuguese laurel is tidier, and easier to keep neater. 
     
    I'm not really sure why you want hedging along that side space though. You'll struggle to use it if you put shrubs or hedging there. The ideal choices if you really want hedging would be Beech, Hornbeam or Lonicera, which can all be kept narrow. They'll still take up about half the width though.  :)


    Hi - thanks for this. Super useful. All noted.

    I want to plant something along the side access bit because it's completely exposed at the moment and we want privacy.

    Sounds like going for planning permission for a 2m tall fence (!) might be the way forward, though I do prefer the greenery of a hedge. It is a small garden, so advantage is that a fence would take up less space. May not get planning permission because it is a corner house and could obscure visibility of drivers. Tough one!
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 4,877
    Anything you plant in the side space would have to be very narrow to avoid growing beyond the fence line over the pavement. You might in future also need space for access to maintain the wall, drainpipes etc. so you might be better keeping the concrete. A taller fence shouldn't be a problem for drivers' visibility where it's alongside the tall house wall and the back garden, but you might need to keep the boundary lower at the front if that's where the road junction is. Tall hedges can obstruct visibility as badly as tall fences. We're a corner house and the hedge near the corner is about shoulder height on me, maybe 4'6", and I wouldn't want it any taller for visibility.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 41,327
    If you really want something along that section at the side, Cotoneaster would be better.
    It'll grow against the fence, and can be clipped into a narrow shape. There are lots of varieties though, so you'd need to choose the most suitable.
    Not all are evergreen, but C. lacteus and C. franchetti are probably the best ones to look at. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 41,327
    We posted at the same time there @JennyJ - we're the same here, on a corner. I can't see how a fence would be a problem along that side section either, in terms of visibility. 
    I have a fence of around five/six feet along most of my boundary, and it's lower from the front corner of the house, and round the front. None of the higher section would be a problem for visibility.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • puschkiniapuschkinia BrightonPosts: 40
    I may be wrong (definitely check with people who actually know about gardening!), but I'd imagine ivy screens are far narrower. Imo they look cool too! https://www.best4hedging.co.uk/ivy-screens-p200#
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 8,177
    There are lots of houses with 2 metre fences next to footpaths around here. I would be inclined to put a 2 metre fence up, wait for any objections and if necessary put in for retrospective planning permission.
  • JennyJ said:
     Tall hedges can obstruct visibility as badly as tall fences.
    At our last place, the front garden hedge was about 2m high.  When we called the local police round to give us security advice, one thing he stressed was that a high hedge gives you privacy but it works just as effectively for anyone who wants to break in!

  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 4,877
    Also true, and worth considering. Mine is low enough that most adults can easily see straight over it, and it's also in front of the corner part of the garden, not in front of the house or garage where there is just a low wall and lots of planting.
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