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Planting shrubs in front of newly planted hedge

I need some advice.  I have recently planted small hornbeam bare root hedging in front of fencing around the perimeter of my back garden.  Garden is a blank canvas and I am keen to start planting shrubs and plants to create borders.  I am a little worried that if I fill in the borders with large shrubs will this affect the growth rate of my newly planted hedge, ie lack of sunlight, especially as the hedge has been planted in front of fencing which I cannot take down until the hedge has formed a decent size.  Any advice would be appreciated.


  • robairdmacraignilrobairdmacraignil Posts: 722
    edited January 2022
    Each hornbeam can grow to over 12metres tall and 8metres wide when not trimmed so you will need to keep access to your hedge anyway to keep it to a size suitable for your garden. Once you allow enough space for this access to trim the hedge I don't think the competition from typical garden shrubs would be very significant particularly at the size they are usually sold as. Hornbeam can be fairly robust so should be able to stretch up for more light if it needs it. Big almost fully mature shrubs tend to be very expensive so I'd be surprised if you are going to plant a lot of these but just keep an eye on what the full grown size of what you get in is and you can trim things back if problems develop. I'd be more inclined to plant standard sized shrubs with annuals or short lived perennials to fill the spaces in between them until they grow to closer to their mature size.
    Happy gardening!
  • Thank you, I appreciate your advice 
  • We planted a hornbeam many decades ago with a chestnut paling fence behind. In front we did plant shrubs but as they were relatively small they didn't exclude light from the hedge.They are now much bigger but the hornbeams are still ok.
    The hedge is kept to about 4 feet in height.
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