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Wispy hedge suggestions please

Hello. I am looking for suggestions for a “see through” mixed hedge at the front of our front garden behind a small wall. I am looking for tall plants that provide partial/slight screening however also allow some light and visibility through. The wall is 80cm tall and south facing, the site is a bit exposed. The soil is limestone clay. Ideally evergreen plants that are 1.5 to 2m tall (or can be kept pruned to that height) that have some use for wildlife. Also, ideally no thorns… I have looked at the some RHS hedge suggestions however they seem to be too dense for my purpose. Many thanks in anticipation…

I also would like to take the opportunity to say that I have found this forum sooo useful as I tweak our garden, thanking all of you for sharing the huge amount of experience that you have.



  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,279
    @Poppy_Broccoli brock I do think that most evergreen shrubs will be dense and I am not sure you will find what you are looking for.  Grasses will give you a veiled look but not all year round. Do you have a photo?
    Looking forward to my new garden with clay soil here in South Notts.

    Gardening is so exciting I wet my plants. 
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,556
    Corokia perhaps? You can keep it see through by thinning out be branches inside the bush 
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,556
    You also may be able to keep beech or hornbeam hedging slightly see through, by trimming it really thin and continually opening it up with secateurs.
  • Arthur1Arthur1 Posts: 538
    Molinia grow to head height if you pick the right cultivar. Wispy. Retain foliage over winter.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,135
    I have a cotoneaster hedge that fits the bill except it's not totally evergreen.
    But in winter it still has enough twiggy bits and leaves to give privacy.

    At the mo it's about 10ft high, but I do prune it back to about 6-8ft every few years. It rarely needs any pruning other than to keep the height down every 3-4 years.
    In the spring it hums with bees and the berries will soon start to redden for the birds over winter. It's a great hedge.
    The hedge is about 50ft long
    Unfortunately I don't know the variety, but I'm sure one of the forum members will.. hopefully

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Clump forming bamboos planted in animal drinking troughs or old water tanks?

    Tamarisk, not sure how hardy it would be for you.

    There are some very tall grasses, not evergreen though.

    Sections of lattice trellis along the top of the wall and trained evergreen climbers growing on it. Clematis etc.
  • thevictorianthevictorian Posts: 1,119
    I instantly imagined tamarisk when I read the question but broom might work for you if it's not hardy 
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 3,064
    An ornamental grass like Calamagrostis Karl Foerster will give you the height and wispiness you're looking for.  It's not evergreen but the dried stems and flowers look very impressive over winter.  In March you just cut them down to ground level and they'll be back up in 4-6 weeks.  Here's two as single specimens in my back garden, followed by a "hedge" of nine plants in a staggered row in my front garden (they will look like this throughout winter):

    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,479
    @Plantminded what’s the grass in between your two CKF’s in the first photo? Lovely shrubby, arching habit!
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 3,064
    Thank you @nollie, I don't really want to broadcast this, but ..... it's a pampas grass!  Not the blowsy one, it's Cortaderia selloana "Pumila", compact and very floriferous. It really makes a stunning feature over winter and is not thuggish, like its relatives!

    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

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