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hedge ideas for privacy

Hi so i have moved into my first family home, the garden is not huge and at the back of the garden is a row of conifers  which are probably over three meters tall and very wide so they invade on what garden we do have. i got a tree surgeon round to trim them and to make them narrower but he advised that they couldnt be cut back much as it was all dead on the inside and wouldnt grow back green if he cut it all off. This has made me decide that i am going to cut them down as i dont want them being this wide as it just takes up to much of the garden. Unfortunately our garden is overlooked on all sides so i love the privacy the height gives. Can anyone please recomend what i can use as a new hedge i ideally want something that will grow tall like a confier but that i can keep more narrow and what will withstand harsh pruning so i can keep it narrow i have had cherry laurel suggested but have also heard horror stories about it. Any ideas are welcome i have thought about a trellis and climbers but my husband isnt keen on it as he doesnt like the neighbours at the back being able to look into our garden and our home from their upstairs windows. Also is there any hedge that will give me these benefits but also allow plants to grow in their shade and if so what do you recomend.


  • Christine,

    How far is the conifer boundary from your house? Is the neighbour's house on the same level as yours? How wide is the garden? What's in the rest of the garden? Is there a fence as well as the row of trees? Which way is south?

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    As you can see the garden needs a lot of work and isnt very big probably around 10meters by 10 meters maybe slightly wider, the conifers are probably around ten meters from the house, the neighbours houses are on the same level as ours and is south facing garden. The garden is fully enclosed with fences. As you can see there isnt a lot in the garden we are looking to remove all the stones and replace with turf. We are thinking of keeping the big piece of slate as its meant to be a water feature but think its blocked with all the leaves as not currenlty working. The only plants there currenlty is the bush in front of the conifers and some potted plants i have on the patio. Any help would seriously be appreciated

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  • M FM F Posts: 10

    You can also let the tree surgeon grind the stumps down completely and then plant a "hedge on stilts"  of pleached hornbeams. They are ideal for a small garden also as they don't need much space at ground level. You can do the same with Red Robins (photinia I think they're called), we have them in the garden and they grow pretty fast. They can be trimmed as small trees or a hedge amd are evergreen. 

    We are also overlooked from all sides and i am trying a mixed approach:

    On the left fence I planted honeysuckle ( I bought an evergreen hardy variety) which covers up the fence and makes the garden more homey, I plan to plant 2 more climbers like that on it to cover up all the fence (Clematis is good as well, don't go for Wisteria as it will be too big from what I can see on the picture).

    For the patio I now bought a Bamboo in a pot which is enough, and in front I have planted the aforementioned Red Robins which will hopefully cover the fence in 3 years or so. 

    As hedges can dry the soil and it can be hard to grow plants close to them, they are not ideal for a small garden, hence I think the "hedge on stilts" idea would be great. 

  • M FM F Posts: 10

    One VERY important thing, check the soil underneath the stones- it is crucial to know what kind of soil it is and in which condition before you put grass on it. I can highly recommend Alan Titchmarsh's books to get inspiration, especially the "How to be a gardener" series- I had absolutely no idea about gardening before and he really takes you through it step by steps so you avoid (costly) mistakes. 

  • Tropical SamTropical Sam Posts: 1,488

    What is wrong with keeping the conifers clear to say 6.5ft and leaving the rest as a screen? They will not be taking up any of the garden that way. You can make a slight raised bed to plant underneath.

    Pleached hornbeam is going to be bare for 8 months of the year and provide zero privacy and is very expensive.

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