Is this a crazy solution for llandeii conundrum?
Hi All - this is my first time on the Gardner's World forum. I'm hoping to get on top of our front and back gardens this year but have a number of conundrums and no real experience so I'd appreciate any advice people can share. Instead of asking all my questions in one place I'll start separate threads I think.
For this thread my question is: what to do about this llandeii hedge as pictured?
The context is that we have a small land locked back garden which is approximately 15m by 10m (with our dining room jutting out into a chunk of the garden and also a large greenhouse too). I'm not sure when the llandeii were planted but they are very high now (5 meters?) and about 2.5 meters deep. I feel that's a lot of space to be taking up in our already quite small garden and it'll only get worse over time as they grow outward and are hard to keep in check without patches going brown (we cut then soon after we moved in and it's such a hard balance to cut back without getting brown patches).
I had wanted to bite the bullet and get them taken out but we would be massively exposed to the two storey house which is overlooking us. I think it would ruin the back garden for us being overlooked like that. I'm wondering instead about cutting the llandeii back severely on the front side and then growing a range of evergreen and summer clematis up it so they can use the hedge as a climbing frame. It would mean we wouldn't have to keep cutting the hedge back (from my reading online I think it would kill the hedge to cut it back this much?). The idea is that we would get a lovely green wall of flowers as cover from the house behind. I'm thinking of running a range of clematis so we have flowering throughout the year! We can't do much about the width from the trunks to the back fence but as you can see from the picture the hedge is providing a very useful informal wood store for a massive amount of chopped wood which will take us years to get through, so leaving that side of the hedge isn't necessarily a bad thing. Also I wonder whether not cutting back the side where the fence is would help keep the llandeii alive and stop the concerns I have about rot (see below).
From other threads I have read I'm worried the llandeii will rot as they die and they might therefore only last 5 years. This isn't ideal as a) could they subsequently fall down and damage the greenhouse/house? and b) I'm looking for a permanent solution. I had thought about growing a suitable tree in place of the llandeii but I really don't want to wait a long time to get good cover from the house behind as we need privacy in our garden now. We also don't want to grow another quick growing hedge as we find the maintenance burden of it on top of our jobs quite a hassle.
So after a long winded background (thanks for bearing with me!) my questions are:
-is this a sensible solution to the problem given that we need privacy sooner rather than later?
- are there other solutions that meet our needs (high cover, no or very low maintenance, quick solution) that I haven't thought of?
- if we cut the llandeii back till it dies is the anything I can do to stop it rotting and stay up? In one discussion thread I read somewhere someone said they treated their trunks with oak preserver?
- if we go down this route how best can I give the clematis a fighting chance given the poor soil from the llandeii and also the wood pile (which we would need to move some of obviously to plant the clematis).
Really appreciate anyone's thoughts on any or all of the above questions and issues. Thanks!
P.S. The house is a sort of rustic barn conversion so looking for a rustic'ish solution if not perhaps a full cottage garden feel.
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