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What to plant as a Hedge??

Hi All, need some advice please on what to plant as a Hedge in a semi exposed garden? The area is 22ft long & has sun most of the day, it is at the back of the House, unfortunately the depth of soil isn’t great either, someone suggested privet, but not sure, I need a low maintenance hedge but good for Wildlife, 🤷‍♀️?? 


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,245
    No hedge is completely maintenance free, but wildlife hedges can be quite messy and untidy, so it depends on the look you want. It also depends on how much time you want to devote to it's care  :)
    Your climate will also have a bearing. Privet does best with plenty of moisture, and it sounds like the site could be a bit dry if the soil isn't very deep, and it's also sunnier.
    You might find something like Beech would be better, or Pyracantha if you don't mind the thorns. You get plenty of interest for birds and insects with it, as it has flowers and berries, and it's evergreen. Cotoneaster is also good - if you pick one of the evergreen varieties, you get cover all year round, and, like the pyracantha - flowers and berries. They will all manage in a drier sunnier site without too much effort, but it pays dividends to improve the soil before planting.  

    All hedges are good for wildlife though, in one way or another, as they provide cover.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Agree with @Fairygirl about beech. We have one that is now into many years growth. We planted it into our clay soil and allowed it to grow slowly and then clipped it back.
    We have a great hedge which is compact and easy to maintain.
    The leaves of beech early spring are brilliant and then you have the autumn colours.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,403
    I think we need to know more about the area (whereabouts roughly are you?), the site (soil etc)  and how tall and wide you're prepared to let it grow.  
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,245
    Yes - I was hoping @connie77 would have offered more info and maybe some photos. That will give us a better idea of the area, and help with more advice.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • connie77connie77 Posts: 139
    The Tree is going& when it does it will be a very exposed site, wind is quite bad at the back of the House as we are on top of a hill
  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 1,018
    As well as attracting wildlife, do you want your hedge to do anything else, for example a screen to obliterate an eyesore or an evergreen background to compliment other planting perhaps? 

    Sometimes a hedge isn't the only solution and a mixture of shrubs and small trees can offer a range of interesting features plus food and shelter for wildlife. 

    Earlier this year I had an urgent need to hide my new neighbours' "home office" (shed!), and have used a combination of griselinia, portuguese laurel, red cedar, buddleia and bamboo (the well behaved type!).  The shed's out of sight now!
  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 1,155
    I'm a great fan of mixed hedges; 50% hawthorn plus hazel, holly, wild roses, spindle, hornbeam, beech and privet are all good additions.  They really do attract wildlife particularly if you allow berries to form.  Your windy exposed site suggests you want a hedge tall enough to ease the wind; it won't eliminate it but it will reduce it's intensity on the leeward side. I would suggest planting a double staggered row.
    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • connie77connie77 Posts: 139
    The soil is clay & not much depth, my other half is planning to cut holes in the concrete to plant through as it doesn’t seem very thick, I want to create a wildlife hedge while at the same time creating a definite division between our garden & next door as you can see from the picture? Our neighbour keeps cutting her lawn to death & not letting it recover, she is now trying to encroach on ours, & killing it , so a hedge seems the best way to keep her out , but my health is also a issue as I have Arthritis & a heart condition, it has to be easy to maintain, bending over makes me pass out alot, , so i plan to have it about 3ft tall
  • PlantmindedPlantminded WirralPosts: 1,018
    Hi @connie77, so a neighbour deterrent as well as a wildlife haven!  I like @Redwing's  suggestion - the roses and holly will keep your neighbour at bay!  Many hedging companies offer mixed native hedging options so you could consider these.  Here's a link to just one supplier to give you some more ideas Mixed Native Hedging Packs and Troughs | Hedges Direct .  I hope this helps.
  • connie77connie77 Posts: 139
    Thanks All, alot to consider there, as I rent I don’t want to put in tree’s ie Hazels, that I may have to leave behind at some point , but Roses & a mixed Hedge sounds like a plan 👍
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