Stuck on a hedge!
I'm trying to plan how to make my new front garden a bit more private and i'm going around in circles!! Please help! Below shows the view from my living room window. I have three young kids who are going to be playing a lot in this space (and jumping naked in paddling pools in the summer, no doubt) so the fence at the front needs screening from the neighbours and the road. It's about 10 metres long and east facing (Chalky Soil?).
I'm completely new to gardening and I've spent the past week obsessively reading garden websites and small garden design books and came to the conclusion that, before I get carried away with beautiful shrubs and the odd small tree, I should start with a simple hedge. I decided on a prunus Lusitanica (Portuguese laurel) but then after working out that it will cost a minimum of £300 to fill that space, thought perhaps I should just go for a privet at a third of the price if I plant bare root plants. I have so many questions, I don't know where to start!
If I planted a line of bare root privet plants (120-150cm) how long would this take roughly to produce a hedge with leaves! Would this be a good starting point? Could I plant climbers and shrubs near the fence while the hedge is getting established? Could I prune the lower branches of the privet (say to fence height) to give more space for underplanting? I'd love to grow climbers through/over the hedge eventually - would privet be ok for this? Would Portuguese laurel be better for this? I considered other hedges but most were either less tidy looking or not evergreen. Arghhh!!
What would you do?!!!