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Hedge or border




Hi all, I am no gardener and need some help/advice. I posted originally in another forum (plants). I wanted to have a buxus hedge (with a small flowering border in front of it), and was asking if I could plant it now as the frost has arrived. What everyone seemed to say (including local nursery) is not buxus! 

Okay this is what I have to work with. I need something below 1m. I want evergreen and something to attrach wildlife. Lots of people seem to suggest berberis, but I'm confused, theres literally hundreds (well a lot) of different varieties. I'm just getting confused!


Many thanks,




  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,160

    The problem with buxus is a fungal disease that seems to be getting more common. If you want a buxus lookalike, easy to grow, faster growing but still small and neat if kept clipped, then try lonicere nitida. There is a golden variety too.

    If berberis has "nana" added to it's name then it's dwarf. There is berberis thunbergii nana which can be purple if it is atropurpurea nana or gold if it's aurea nana.  (What a mouthfull!)

    Nandina domestica is very pretty with its leaves that flush red and its berries, but it's more expensive to buy. Can be used as single specimens or hedging.

    If you like conifers there are several varieties of Thuja such as Thuja occidentalis "Little Gem". 

    Now is a good time to plant when there is a mild day not a hard frost.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • I love a holly hedge - good for wildlife, good for security, attractive throughout the year, you could go for one of the variegated ones or one of the very dark blue/green ones, and berries in the winter image  Several here as well as lots of other hedge suggestions 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,363

    and from the same site

    Lots of good suggestions on this site.

    I would avoid any sort of conifer, if they get damaged they don't recover well. And also laurels, even if they're called dwarf. If they don't go up they go out and you'll be forever cutting it back from the pavement. For the same reason don't plant it too near to the edge.



    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,088

    Hebe would be nice, evergreen and loads of flowers over a long flowering period.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Just a suggestion-and purely as a temporary measure-if people are walking on your ground on that corner-I would now erect a temporary barrier of a post and wire fence -would not need to be that high until any hedge is firmly established-similar to this but not so elaborate


  • Bill,

    I have a very similar front garden and also put Buxus around it to make a low hedge. Works very well if slow growing. When it grows, the curve of solid Buxus looks great. It grows faster in full sun and slower with more shade. I would not avoid using Buxus just in case it might get blight! We do not stop growing tatties in case of blight. It is however not a wildlife hedge plant...rarely see anything on it.

    Berberis is a valid choise, it is very spiky and can get out of hand after a few years but is evergreen and cuts well. Photonia Red Robin get large - like 3 metres, and looks untidy, so not front garden material, so is not appropriate.

    I would go for Buxus and some bedding as you wanted, you can plant them now if the ground is not frozen or waterlogged. It does not look like an area to get waterlogged.

  • I have done a rosemary hedge for my son s small corner garden and its worked well,I took cuttings from his big rosemary bush and just stuck them in the ground,they took and once they statred to take off I clipped them into shape and we cut them back when they need it.As well as a lovely scent when you brush by it (its a handy for all those things you can do with it) its quick to grow,easy to maintain,looks lovely when in flower and free.image

  • Actually Rosemary is a good idea. it also roots readily in water within 2 weeks. I use it as a border in my back garden (south facing). It also roots in the spring and summer when put stright into the ground as flowering rose has said.

  • Lavender makes a great hedge and is wildlife-friendly, especialy if u mix 2 or 3 varieties that flower at slightly different times to lengthen the season. You could probably expect a hedge of perhaps 2ft, plus flowers held above. Berberis isn't evergreen so wont suit what you're after. Lonicera is a good evergreen hedge if you want to keep it small. Also very fast and very cheap. Has tiny leaves, so you can keep it super neat like box, but because its fast you'd prune twice a year at least. Saying that, some lightweight hedge trimmers will whip through it in minutes because its such a fine-stemmed thing. I love mine. Yew is good for wildlife because of the berries, but is much slower. You can keep it to a metre so long as you don't let it get away from you - an annual prune should do it. 

  • auntie betty, does the lonicera keep its flowers if its shaped and continually trimmed?

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