Forum home Talkback

What can I do under this hedge?

Fordy2Fordy2 Posts: 2

Good morning, 

I'm new here, so hope someone can help. 

I have this tall and thick hedge at the back of our garden. It is very dense, but I like the height as there is a property the other side of it and I like the privacy. Last year I cut the bottom out to a height of about 4/5ft. I tried to grow some grass under it, but it is very dry as no rain can get through the density of it. The ground is very dry. 

 

I am looking for some inspiration as to what alternatives there are as opposed to just growing some grass or laying some turf. 

Open to suggestions! I am not sure if there are some things that wont grow due to the roots etc of the hedge. 

If anyone has similar or any ideas, please let me know. Thank you in advance!

image

 

Posts

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    I think you would be very lucky to grow anything under there. No light no moisture, not a lot of hope. We've finally removed the last of the Leylandii from our garden, glad to see the back of it to be honest.

    If you are going to keep it, why not put up something like a low rail fence and then put a flower boarder in front of that? It would improve the look of it no end and hide the 'dead zone' underneath. image

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,223

    Have to agree.  We have an inherited conifer hedge in part of our garden and it makes a very useful windbreak to shelter our greenhouse and shed but they do suck the goodness out of the soil and make it very difficult for other plants to get the food and water they need.  

    We've left ours green to the base and then made a 2' 6" wide path of chipped bark which allows us space to trim it.    The bed in front of it is planted up with shrubs, a parrotia persica (Persian Ironwood), a gingko and lots of perennials and bulbs which are now much happier.

    The bits you have cut will not regrow so I suggest you lift the base to the same height across the width of the hedge and maybe use the freed space between the trunks for compost heaps and storage of pots, trays, toys, whatever.    You could then put a path in front, as I have, and then do as Gemma suggests and erect a rail or maybe trellis fence to about 1m25/4' high and make a bed in front to disguise it all.

     

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    Good idea with path obelixx, I thought after I posted, that it would need some sort of gap so the the hedge could be maintained in future. image

  • This is what I would do.  I would put a bulk load of attractive stones, pebbles across the whole of the area underneath the hedge and create a proper border between the lawn and the back.   I would make the edge an attractive border shape to give it a bit of character and I would move the playhouse into the corner on the left as that might cover up the unevenness a little.  Then I would use containers in the new border to brighten up the area.  They don't have to be expensive and you can grow hanging plants to cover them if they are plastic for example.  You can experiment with height and size.  Good luck

  • GardenmaidenGardenmaiden Posts: 1,125

    I did what you did Fordy at my sisters house. She had a part conifer hedge and wondered what to do so I cut all the lower stems off to a height of 5ft and then mulched with lots of pebbles. Cats were using the area as a toilet and wasn't very nice so near to the house. Its a cat free zone now.

    Like Obelixx's idea and would love to see a picture of the parrotia. Is it a tree or a shrub?

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,223

    Hi GM.  It's a small tree at the moment and barely showing buds for new leaves.  Don't blame it as it's perishing here today.

    Here it is last July behind the purple cotinus and in front of the hedge just before it's annual trim.   The gingko is on the left of the picture and there's an acer negundo in the foreground and lots of perennials that do their thing from the hellebores and bergenias  in Feb/March to the physostegias which flower into October.

    image

     

     The weedy cobbles were laid at the turn of the 19th and 20th century and are the old road to the village and show the grooved tracks of the allied tanks (British in this case) that chased the Germans back east in 1944 so we keep them as the ones that remain further along on the road to the village have now been classified as "Patrimoine" but they're a nightmare to weed.   Sometimes I give in and just nuke them with a weedkiller.

     

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • GardenmaidenGardenmaiden Posts: 1,125

    Very nice Obelixx. I have that weed problem with block paving. I do the same as you or I blast them with a blow torch. Its easier after its rained to get them out.

  • YviestevieYviestevie Kingswinford, West MidlandsPosts: 6,878

    A couple of photos of the conifers at the bottom of the garden, I grow quite a few things in front of them as you can see.

    image

     

    image

     

    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,223

    That looks lovely and clearly you can grow healthy plants in front of conifers but not underneath as the OP wants to do.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,223

    Pine forest floors tend not to be as densely planted as hedges in gardens so light and air and water can get in there as well as decaying plant material from other trees and plants which helps with soil fertility.    If you go to a pine forest planted by the forestry commission or any other commercial venture the trees are so tightly packed that nothing else grows and teher's no wildlife either - hence the recent move to bigger spacing and mixed woodland plantations.

    Making a deep bed under them isn't an option as the extra depth of soil and compost to grow things will rot and damage the trunks of the conifers which the OP wants to keep.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
Sign In or Register to comment.