Forum home Plants

Hedging advice/suggestions

AngieRAngieR Posts: 347

I had originally intended disguising the shed with some trellising and grow climbers but have since had a rethink and am now looking into the possibility of a hedge instead.  There is already an expanse of trellising dissecting the garden elsewhere (see this picture) and don't want to over do the trellising effect!


The hedge would run in front of the shed (roughly were the board and pots currently are in this next picuture).  I need something that can be maintained to a narrow width so as to maximise path width and planting.  I love the look of copper beech and have read that this is easily kept narrow. However, I am reading that perhaps here in Scotland hornbeam might be the better option.  The site faces south west (ish) My soil is moist and reasonably well drained there. Once the middle section of the holly hedge that creates the boundary between me and my neighbour regrows it will get more shade than it currently does.  

Any advice on whether beech or hornbeam would be best in this situation?  Is there much difference in leave drop in winter?   


I understand that now is the time to buy and plant bare root hedging.  Although I want the hedge to be narrow, I would still like it to be full.  Would a single row be enough or should I still use a double row?      

Lastly, since the area I plan to plant them in has been under decking and gravel for almost 10 year would it be better to dig in soil improvers and manure to improve planting conditions and carry out the work next autumn?

So many question and not enough experience so as usual thank you for all your tips and advice.  They truly are greatly received. 


  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    You are correct in saying it is best to prepare the ground first but you should be able to do it now or shortly. Bare root plants should be available until the end March so plenty of time yet. 

    As I get older the more I dislike hedging, just because it is yet one more maintenance job. An alternative would be to paint your shed in a pleasing colour and plant a small tree in the border to the front of the pots and that would break up the view of the shed. Just another idea which would give you more planting ground!

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,914

    I have a copper beech tree and a hornbeam hedge. The tree has grown quite big, I have not heard of it used as hedging. The hornbeam grows wild in poor limestone ground here and my hedge is quite easy to keep narrow - the deer prune it!

    But I agree with Hogweed. The shed is not bad looking, paint it a nice colour and grow something like a multi-stemmed amalanchier or a crab apple with pretty blossom and fruit in front of it and let the shed show through. I think a hedge would look a bit heavy. Otherwise, do what my OH has done, paint the shed, and attach wires to the shed wall and grow clematis Montana on it.

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 1,336

    Hornbeam is good as a hedge and can be kept to whatever size you want.  It keeps its leaves all winter and they only drop once the new growth begins growing in spring.    Holly would be another good choice or a mixture of holly and hornbeam. 

    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • AngieRAngieR Posts: 347

    Thank you all.  The idea of a tree was an idea I had considered.  Perhaps it's worth a bit more consideration before I take the plunge.

    Hogweed - get what you mean re hedge trimming.  I should consider that too!  We can never have enough planting space, can we?

    Busy Lizzie - No deer here to help with the hedge pruning, phew!  The tree idea is a good one.  It was part of my original plan.  Maybe I've just had too much time to think about it and not go with my gut.  Copper Beech is quite common I thought.  As trees they do get large, too large for my garden.

    Redwing - thanks for the information re hornbeam keeping it's leaves.  That's what I was hoping to hear.  I don't want more holly.  A holly hedge runs perpendicular to where I want to plant but you can't really see it from this picture because I had to cut a whole section right back because it had problems and although I never did find out what the issue was the new growth is great and slowly getting there.

    Thanks again for your thoughts and suggestions - I just need to make my mind up now. 

Sign In or Register to comment.