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creating a full bodied hedge

catnipcatnip Posts: 73

I seem to struggle to keep ny hedges chunky at the base- they all seem to get leggy!

I had some large hebes in front of some laurels, the hebes have been removed and, inevitably, there are gaps at the base of the laurel. Will giving them a "haircut" at the top help them to fatten up at the base?

Is this true for all hedging?

Fences would be easier but birds and insects don't benefit much from fences, do they?


  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    Laurels are very good at shooting from brown wood, so your chances are good if you trim them, and keep trimming them regularly. However, if the bases are very thick, then you will always have less growth at the bottom than the top.

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    It's rather a fact with hedges, yes a hair cut will help them bush up, but the fact is that the top of the shrub overshadows the base so they don't get as much air and light and water.  Trimming, watering well, and feeding will help alot.  Some hedging plants are more prone to bare legs than others - you can always plant something low in front of them, or put pots of lovely things there in the warmer months, and little bulbs for the spring.  In my experience, and I am sure others have more, laurels do tend to bare bases more than some others, at least from what I see around my neighbourhood. 

  • catnipcatnip Posts: 73

    Thank you both- I don't feel so incompetent now!

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    ah Catnip, we're all liable to feel like that from time to time, about 10 times a day in my case, when I look out at the garden and see all the things I want to do and the few hours there are to do them in!!  It is such a lovely surprise when people like the garden, even when sometimes all the gardener sees are what they percieve is not right - we should take the advice of one famous gardener on TV, who said 'don't forget just to stop and give the garden a good looking at and dose of enjoyment' - no-one else will worry about the laurels bare legs, and given time you will improve it. 

  • catnipcatnip Posts: 73

    What a lovely thing to say... Don't worry, I absolutely "take time to stop and stare". The acid green of the euphorbias, bright yellow daffodils, purple primula, mixed helebores, burning leaved spirea... Lots to distract me from those leggy hedges!

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    ... to say nothing of the perfume of the white narcissi, the red peeled back buds of the acers against their acid green and deep purple young leaves, the bright pink oxalis, blue scillas, and loads of birds on the feeders - why woudn't everyone garden I wonder? 

  • catnipcatnip Posts: 73

    They don't know what they're missing, do they? Even the smell of the earth is exciting!

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