I'm planning to replace a huge privet hedge with a new native mixed hedge In our front garden. Does anyone have any advice for me please?
I have a native hedge at the bottom of my garden. Its only a short stretch and I have hawthorn, spindle, bird cherry, field maple, elder, dog rose and hazel in it. Ivy has moved in too, thanks to a bird! Its always full of wildlife which is what I want but I do keep it clipped when it gets too luxuriant.
I would add in to ladybirds mix a few holly, the robins like to nest in it. If you want it neat, holly or hawthorn can be kept under control quite easily. The birds then add in all sorts of other stuff.
Hawthorn makes a good basis.
wild rose and bramble put out long stems to smack you in the face
field maple, common buckthorn and spindle are well behaved
blackthorn suckers but has lovely blossom and sloes for gin.
Hazel suckers but not far, catkins and nuts if you don't cut back too fiercely.
Bullace, wild plum, excellent, some of those wander a bit as well
Elder grows rather quickly for a good hedge but useful for elderflower/berry wine
What have I forgotten?
Was that the sort of advice you needed or something else?
What a wonderful idea. Privet is so boring and wildfife unfriendly. I agree with all the plant selections. I would just add one if you want to add a little height at intervals or in the corner, though it rarely goes above 2 meters - Field Maple (Acer campestre). It is the perfect habitat for many species of nesting birds.We have a couple in our hedge at the garden bottom in Lincs.
Just one word of warning, most of these plants will self-seed and increase your weed problem, but I guess you're willing to accept that. Good luck. Ian
no more than 2metres for Acer campestre? They're trees, mine are 25 years from seed, taller than the house by some and still growing rapidly
I agree Nut - Field Maples grow into large trees, and they don't take very long about it.
Over 12 metres tall in less than 20 years ... https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/166/Acer-campestre/Details
guelder rose (viburnum opulus) is quite nice in a mixed hedge as well, nice flowers in spring, nice berries in autumn
yes, I forgot that one, and Viburnum lantana, wayfaring tree. If you can leave it as a fairly loose hedge the berrying and nutting will be better
All excellent suggestions. I love mixed hedges and have planted several over the years. I think the best mix is 50% hawthorn with a selection of those mentioned in earlier posts mixed in randomly.
holly can be quite nice, especially if you get a female one so you get berries