Narrow hedge plant?

Hi, We've had a new patio done and at the far end there is a 2ft retaining wall and then lawn. The patio is quite exposed to the wind from the wall so I want to put a windbreaker hedge along the top of the wall but I have no idea which hedge plants to use. I want something dense but narrow and not a conifer type. We don't really want to have to trim it too often. Plus it needs to be child friendly so no prickles or thorns. Thanks

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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 16,743

    There is an apple and pear farm near here that has narrow, 9" deep hedges of single rows of beech around the orchards next to the road.   They trim them once a year as far as I can tell.   Very neat, quite dense, good windbreak I'd have thought.  No thorns or fruits so child friendly.

    You'd need to prepare the soil well and then, for economy, plant single bare root whips at 9 to 12 inches apart in autumn and cut them back to 9 to 12 inches high.   You then let them grow up to the height you need but keep the front and back trimmed to make the hedge narrow and dense.  

    An alternative would be a fence or trellis panels which would be very low maintenance and can be stained to protect the wood for longer life and in a colour that makes it a feature or discreetly blends into the background.   You could then put troughs or pots of plants in front of it, planted according to the season.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Louise BLouise B Posts: 81
    Thanks. I had read on here that a 3' width was needed for a traditional native hedge and I didn't want something like that cutting across my garden.



    I'll look into it further.
  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 875

    How tall do you want it to grow? I can't understand from your description weather the patio is lower or higher than the retaining wall. If we had a picture and knew the desired height we could advise better.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 16,743

    Hi Louise - a wildlife hedge needs to be a mix of varieties of tree and shrub which will provide shelter and food for insects, birds and small mammals so needs to be able to grow thick and gnarly for shelter and nesting and have blossom for nectar and seeds and berries.  All that inevitably means it needs to be thicker than you want.

    A single species hedge is possible as is a thin one but you won't get the wildlife.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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