Forum home Garden design

How to sort out this mess!

HI all,

This is my first post on here and I should start by saying that I am a complete novice with gardening and really don't know much. 

I bought a house with a large hedge dividing my garden from my neighbours although it actually grows on my neighbours side. It was talking up a lot of space on my side so I cut it back quite a lot. I stupidly cut more of it down below and I'm  left with this stupid 1 meter gap underneath that I'd like to somehow cover up as its so ugly. The bottom on the hedge overhangs by about 1 meter as well but I can't cut anymore back as it gives us our privacy too. 

Any ideas what I could do? Could I somehow 'fill in' the gap with more bushes in a flower bed? Could I put a low fence to cover the gap? I don't want to spend too much doing this either. 

Any ideas would be appreciated as it looks awful.





Ps - I should add that the photos don't really how it but it's very thin in the bottom but and you can see into the neighbours garden so it's really not very private anymore. 

Last edited: 29 May 2017 13:38:05



  • Dave HumbyDave Humby Posts: 1,145

    It looks ok to me Mike! It will regenerate and recover. I'd be tempted to lightly trim the sides but that's personal choice as I prefer a more uniform look. I think you'll only see through the gap at the bottom if you're lying on your belly(!) so I wouldn't worry about the privacy aspect from that respect. 

  • Mike BMike B Posts: 10

    Thanks, I've been hoping it would regenerate for months but nothing has regrown yet. Is there anything I could do to quicken this process? 

    I should have added that I'd also like to extend the rear patio which would go alongside the hedge but as it is currently there's no proper 'edge' to the garden with this gap being here. The ground under the overhang slopes up and is covered in roots in the ground so this would make it tricky to put patio slabs over. 

    Last edited: 29 May 2017 14:17:50

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    I don't find it ugly at all. In fact this is stuff of topiary, the art of shaping through evergreen plants. There are many designers pleaching their hedges so there is a space underneath. But since this is a concern, it will rejuvinate very soon. 

    If you don't want anything permanent into your grounds, you could dot planters along the base at intervals of 1 meter since you don't want to spend loads. There are now planters that look just like expensive clay pots at a fraction of the price and they look like the real thing. You can plant seasonal bedding plants in them and they should reward you with colour and form. 

    My suggestions for planting for seasons: Spring - Muscari bulbs with Primroses with Ivy variagated trailing. Summer - Wax Red/Pink Begonias with trailing variagate ivy. Autumn - Cyclamen keeping the variagated Ivy. Winter, Hellebores and Iris Reticulata keeping the Ivy Variagated form.

    This is a very uniformed and classical style of container planting which is quite straight forward and can cope with your slightly shady position.

  • Mike BMike B Posts: 10


    Ahh ok I'd never thought of planters along the base - that could make it look a bit better. 

    As the grass underneath is in such a poor state and has roots and vine like things (sorry not sure what they are!) would it be worth me taking the top layer of turf off first? I was planning to replace a the area of grass in the front garden with shingle so I was going to hire a turf cutter anyway. I'm just thinking that it would completely overgrow in between the planters and would spoil the uniform look. Here's a photo of the ground underneath before I cut it - this stuff grows like mad and I'd like to get rid of it for good before putting any planters down. 

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    Interesting second lot of photos. So you removed all those vine like leaves? On closer inspection, they look like Wild Ginger (Asarum Europeum). They creep and could be still in the ground if you say you simply cut growth back.

    I understand you dilemma. It might not be such a bad idea to cut off the strip from underneath where you pruned the shrub barriers. A turf cutter is a good idea. Another option is to lay a membrane barrier over that whole area and pour some topsoil/pebbles over on top into a neat line and then put the pots/planters on top. This will be a temporary option to suppressing any kind of weed that may be trying to come back. You could even cut strips in it to plant into the areas too, but the main thing is to suppress any strong weeds within the area for around a year. But you don't compromise on the look of the garden.

    Last edited: 29 May 2017 22:31:58

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,411

    that stuff isn't Asarum europaeum, that has nice shiny leaves, smaller, and doesn't grow like mad.

    I think this may be a petasites 

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    Hi Nutcutlet, you might be right there. When I first saw the photo, I had not seen many plants like that and the only thing that came to my mind was Asarum Europaeum. I couldn't work out what it was. The leaves do look quite big. I have never seen Petasites before, and just checking it now, I agree, they look more like them.

  • FireFire Posts: 18,923

    I too would say, give the headge a year and see what happens. Good luck

  • Mike BMike B Posts: 10


    i hope it will regenerate quicker to be honest as I want to completely make over my rear garden which has always been a mess and this is a big part of it. Maybe the photos are misleading as I'm currently having a coffee by the patio and I can clearly see the inside big gap underneath and it's a complete mess! 

    I liked the idea of trough planters but I've measured the hedge and its 16 meters long so would that be too many and look a bit strange? I was wondering about putting in a flower bed in front of the hedge and planting smaller bushes slightly forward of the hedge to hide the gap but would that work? 

    Sorry for so many questions but like I say I'm a comete novice when it comes to gardening!! 

    Last edited: 30 May 2017 12:20:44

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    Your option to have a border at the front of that heavy cut at the lower part of the hedge seems like the most likely option, but I thought you wanted a quick and time saving option. A border from under the hedge going out past the hedge over-hang would be the best option if you don't mind a bit of gardening since it will require time and effort to get the soil rotivated and then incorporating more bulking matter.

    Think about types of shrubs and plants to fill it. That idea will be perfect, but are you looking for easy maintenance or are you up for more challenges from your garden? I can see your plot is a perfect blank canvas.

    Having a garden with such a hedge like that is actually a bonus. You have a living wall that will change and grow. Birds can shelter inside and it would make a great bacdrop with other shrubs and plants.

    The pot idea will work, but it's all about size ratios. If it is 16 meters long, then you could space them to 3 meters apart. Planters/Troughs need to be generous in height as well as depth.

    Last edited: 30 May 2017 15:15:26

Sign In or Register to comment.