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Plant for privacy in front of house

Hi - I spent yesterday hacking away at the ugly looking hedge in front of our house (in a small front-garden of a victorian terrace). I've decided I want to get rid of the hedge as it doesn't look great and is a pain to maintain. 

But - I like the privacy it gives.

Can anyone recommend something to replace the hedge with that will still provide privacy but looks nice and is easy to maintain?

I was thinking an Acer tree but it would need to be big straight away and I'm not sure they can be moved?




  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,956

    Acers are deciduous so you won't have year round privacy. The best idea is to have some evergreen shrubs. Many of those are fairly maintenance free - only requiring a bit of pruning now and again. 

    You'll still have to wait a while till they get big enough to give you that privacy. There are plenty to choose from depending on the aspect and soil conditions - Eleagnus, Viburnum, Ilex (holly) Mahonia are just a few. Rhododendrons, Pieris and Camellia are fine if you don't have alkaline soil  image

    Last edited: 05 September 2016 10:04:25

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,184

    if it were me, I'd go with " the devil you know" What type of hedge is it you have now and maybe it can be salvaged and resurrected into something lovely?

    Seems pointless to me to dig something  out to replace with something kinda similar if you can tidy up what you've got. 

    Avoid all " trees" unless they are many , many metres away from the building. Roots can spread a long way.

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  • Thanks for the ideas - our current bush/hedge is actually made up of 2 different types of plant/hedge and it does look scruffy. I'll take a look at the suggestions.

    Many thanks.

  • KT53KT53 South WestPosts: 7,282

    If you can post a photo it will give a better idea of the garden size, and what you already have.  As Hostafan1 says, there seems little point in ripping out an established hedge and starting from scratch if it is possible to salvage the existing one.  Assuming the existing hedge can be salvaged, it will probably provide privacy again much faster than a newly planted hedge unless you buy large plants which will be costly.

  • image





    You can see the area still needs clearing but should give you an idea of size. You can also see that it's actually 2 different types of plant that blend into each other near the (unfortunate) road sign.


  • One other thing - I'm hoping to restore that ironwork railing you can just about see under the hedge (but still have plants behind/above it).

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,956

    Not a lot of room Loydall. Many shrubs or hedges won't be great there, but I'd suggest Hornbeam or Beech which can be clipped into a narrow hedge, and they retain their foliage over winter. I had common oldprivet in a similar location many years ago. 

    Alternatively,put up a screen of trellis just inside your wall which you can plant climbers on - there's several options from boring old ivy, to things like a Clematis. Something like a Montana could be woven in and out and although not evergreen either, it will have a framework of branches over winter. 

    I'm sure you'll get other suggestions of evergreen climbers that might suit though. Many aren't hardy for me, but might be fine for you  image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,184

    What you have now is growing well , obviously likes it there. I'd stick with sorting it out. 

    I'd suggest digging the roots out of that hedge would be a hideous project, then you'd have to add more soil ,buy plants, lose all privacy in the short term. 

    You garden,your privacy, your hedge , your effort, your choice. 

    Maybe I'm just for an easy life. 

  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,150

    I think if you ripped the whole lot out you would feel terribly overlooked while you wait for new shrubs to fill the space again. Maybe consider rejuvenating what you have already.

    The side hedge looks like it may be privet which can be clipped into a neat, narrow shape. Not sure about the one at the front of the house though.

    Reducing the height will let more light into your front window, just check on the level of privacy from the street.

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