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Privet hedge big gaps/holes

We have a very long (50m) privet hedge that is generally green in spring/summer, but through the winter goes brown and has large see through gaps.

My attempts at screening with wire mesh are pretty pathetic as you can still easily see through from both sides!

Behind the hedge is a public footpath.

What is the best way to encourage the 'holey' parts to fill in?

Unfortunately as we need the hedge for privacy and security, we can't cut it down to a low level as it would leave us wide open to intruders!

We have considered a 6ft fence on the footpath side, but I fear this will just be target for graffiti/vandalism and also be easily scaled by intruders compared to the 7ft hedge which is a formidable opponent. 


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,179
    If you don't want to cut it back hard [which is the best way to encourage new, bushier growth] the only real alternative is to plant another row in front.
    Privet needs  plenty of water, and milder weather to do best, but it isn't evergreen - it's only semi evergreen. It drops foliage in cold weather, or in drought conditions.

    It's hard to see it properly though. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,488
    You could plant some of the honeysuckles that keep their leaves on throughout winter in the areas that are very brown in the winter.
    We have a fence inside of our privet hedge but this was put in place to try and keep some of the traffic noise down.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,251
    You could try watering it well as Fairygirl says then lay a thick mulch of manure underneath to keep the moisture in and give it some nourishment.
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