New Hedge Decisions

Hi all,

I am looking at replacing a delapidated fence with a 45 degree lean at the bottom of my garden with a wildlife friendly hedge. Thorny hedges are out of the question, so I am looking at either beech or hornbeam, as they still offer a degree of winter screening. My garden is south facing and opens onto cornfields, hence the natural look rather than conifer. My question is which do I choose? Does anybody know how long they will take to establish and does anyone have any preference. I am looking at buying bare rooted plants ASAP.

Your help and advice would be greatly appreciated

Thanks

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Posts

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,753

    Just a thought, but what about a mixed hedge?  I planted one some years ago in a previous garden and it looks wonderful.  I used a mix of beech, hazel, hawthorn and spindle (euonymus -fabulous autumn colour).  

    You could leave out the hawthorn if it's too prickly, but it's not very.  You could then plant some of the smaller flowered clematis which have wonderful seedheads in the autumn/winter, and they could weave through the hedge thickening it up which would add to the screening effect and look gloriousimage

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Would a mixed hedge provide some winter screening as the wife and I would prefer some screening through the winter as a few people walk through the field with their dogs and we would still like some privacy image

  • How about honeysuckle... looks and smells great and gives winter screening. Can be pruned/trimmed as hard as you like. Give it a bit of support to get it going , light blue touch paper and stand well back!

    Seriously, I and 4 neighbours share an effluent treatment plant that we have screened this way. We are pleased with it.

  • Honeysuckle sounds good, could that be interplanted with other hedging plants to grow together?

  • KEFKEF Posts: 8,915

    How about cotoneaster lacteus, lovely berries in winter.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,753

    If you keep beech clipped it'll retain its autumn leaves through through the winter, so if you plant them say one beech in every three bushes, it should provide quite a good deal of privacy.   As for the others, they lose their leaves in the winter, but you'll still have the filtering effect of the branches and twigs, intertwined with clematis stems and seedheads, like you get with hedges in the countryside.  

    And there are other benefits, you'll find that the hedge doesn't cast as much shade as an evergreen/solid type hedge does, and it will filter the wind rather than being buffeted and bent, which is presumably what happened to the original fence that you're replacing.

    Bare root native hedge plants should establish quickly given reasonable care and within a few years you'll have a good hedge that you can trim and it'll then thicken up and provide even more privacy. 

    image

    Maybe have a look at some well-grown countryside hedges and see what you think?

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,753

    You could use honeysuckle along with the clematis to twine through the hedge - how gorgous will that be?!!! image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • KEFKEF Posts: 8,915

    All these lovely ideas makes me feel like going out and digging my beech hedge up.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,753

    Only part of it KEF - leave a few  and pop something else inbetween them - maybe an occasional holly too! 

    Love a mixed native hedgerow image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,256

    The birds keep planting things in my beech hedge. originally just beech, it now has holly, ivy, snowberry, hazel and elder in it too. ( the hazel is probably down to the squirrels)  The ancient hawthorn hedge is also becoming a mixed hedge.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
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