Hi I would love to plant a native hedge. What would be a minimum depth I could have so that it doesn't eat to much into the garden. And any ideas on native(ish) shrubs trees I could plant that don't mind being kept trimmed. Thank you.
You can really have quite thin hedges which would be nothing more than a narrow screen. This is a common feature of gardens in history which has been revived. You could do this by pleaching or espaliering along strong wires, or else by using willow wands to make what is called a 'fedge':
Having said this, the thinner your hedge, the more support your plants will need and the more likely it is to be see-through
If you are only interested in the more traditional kind of hedge, then I have seen hawthorn used as quite a slender hedge, but even then at least 40 cm wide or so. And you can't really let it get too tall at that thickness or it will topple over. Even beech can be kept quite slender if you are rigorous about trimming.
But one word of caution, if you want to do this so you have more planting room in front, I'm afraid it won't work because the roots, obviously, spread out beneath the soil, so you would have difficult planting conditions even if you could produce more light.
And the wonderful thing about native hedges is the benefit to the wildlife given by the flowers and berries/seeds.
If you keep the hedge trimmed really narrow then you won't get the flowers etc.
Thank you. There is a fence there that belongs to next door. As I do want it for wildlife I think we will just have to go for individual shrubs.