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1 foot wide/30cm wide narrow hedge

peroroncinoperoroncino Posts: 71
In order to get a driveway done I have to ensure a certain percentage of the front garden is planted, which has led me to consider several ideas.
One of the obvious ones is a thin hedge along the boundary with the neighbour but by thin it needs to be really thin. I'm talking only 1 ft/30cm thick and 6 feet tall; this is because any thicker and the car will brush against it.
It's a north-east facing garden and gets maybe 3-4 hours sun from spring to summer. What will grow nicely in that tight space and can handle tight clipping? I've looked at previous discussions by other people with similar requirements but couldn't find a conclusive answer. Some people suggested Yew but I read you shouldn't plant it closer than 5 metres away from a house as it can damage foundations. Laurel and privet apparently look ill if kept thin.
Perhaps hawthorn?
I wanted to orignally put up trellis and grow climbers but I think that's illegal as fences are supposed to be 1 metre tall near a road. Or maybe I should just grow a 2ft high shrub hedge that also runs under my windows, preferably one that produces lovely berries for the house sparrows.
Here is my plan to help visualise what I'm talking about - area B is an established rosebed

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  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 24,979
    edited 5 April
    I have seen a very narrow copper beech hedge kept to about 27 to 20 cms thick around an orchard at a fruit farm near my last house in rural central Belgium.   However it was in full sun.  I have seen a similar hedge of hornbeam in partial shade in a famous Belgian garden - Annevoie - which had more shelter and a much more moist soil.

    However, as yours needs to be short and evergreen I would suggest you try lonicera nitida - https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/324214/Lonicera-ligustrina-var-yunnanensis/Details whose small foliage will lend itself well to close clipping ad it will be fine in partial shade.


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • The rule about 1m height for a fence only applies within 2m of a roadway or pavement. And in all honesty I have never, ever seen this in operation for a boundary at right angles to the road (as opposed to running in parallel with with). With a hedge rising to 2m but only 30cm wide I am somewhat worried that it wouldn’t be very strong. Perhaps one solution would be to erect a corner fencepost at the road end, and run wires from your house wall to it, onto which you could grow an evergreen climber which could be kept tightly pruned? Or one style I’ve seen is to have a taller section near the house, with a step down at the front. Perhaps there are specific visibility issues, but if not then I’d have a word with your local planning department and see whether they think a more rigid structure alongside your driveway would really present issues. 
  • peroroncinoperoroncino Posts: 71
    Obelixx said:
    I have seen a very narrow copper beech hedge kept to about 27 to 20 cms thick around an orchard at a fruit farm near my last house in rural central Belgium.   However it was in full sun.  I have seen a similar hedge of hornbeam in partial shade in a famous Belgian garden - Annevoie - which had more shelter and a much more moist soil.

    However, as yours needs to be short and evergreen I would suggest you try lonicera nitida - https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/324214/Lonicera-ligustrina-var-yunnanensis/Details whose small foliage will lend itself well to close clipping ad it will be fine in partial shade.


    Lonicera nitida seems great for what I need, thank you
    The rule about 1m height for a fence only applies within 2m of a roadway or pavement. And in all honesty I have never, ever seen this in operation for a boundary at right angles to the road (as opposed to running in parallel with with). With a hedge rising to 2m but only 30cm wide I am somewhat worried that it wouldn’t be very strong. Perhaps one solution would be to erect a corner fencepost at the road end, and run wires from your house wall to it, onto which you could grow an evergreen climber which could be kept tightly pruned? Or one style I’ve seen is to have a taller section near the house, with a step down at the front. Perhaps there are specific visibility issues, but if not then I’d have a word with your local planning department and see whether they think a more rigid structure alongside your driveway would really present issues. 

    You're probably right on the height limit as it's perpendicular to the road but I'll call the council to make sure. When you say "wouldn't be very strong", do you mean structurally or in terms of health? As it's just for screening I don't need it to be intruder-proof. The wire and post idea is clever!
  • AthelasAthelas Posts: 208
    You could consider Euonymus japonicus ‘Green Spire’. American websites say it will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of up to 2 feet, but I think it may be better to clip it as a low hedge. No berries, but evergreen and will be ok with partial sun.
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,346
    We've been growing Euonymus Green Spire for years.  It has only moderate growth, and I can't imagine it ever reaching 6ft tall.  I've only ever seen it about 3 feet tall in any garden or garden centre. but it does have a lovely, dense habit, and perfect for a small hedge (or instead of using Box).

    I agree with @Cambridgerose12 point about strength.  If you have a 6ft high hedge, which is clipped flat, and which is only 1 ft deep,  you are effectively creating a sail.  We have a 6ft high x 1ft wide Pittosporum, which is clipped as as column rather than a hedge.  Whenever we get really high winds, it rocks about all over the place, and we have had to stake it to prevent it being ripped out of the ground.

    I would avoid planting any kind of hedge in your situation, and go more for climbers attached to some sort of wire framework.  This should allow any strong winds to blow through the plant, with less risk of blowing over.
  • Obelixx said:
    I have seen a very narrow copper beech hedge kept to about 27 to 20 cms thick around an orchard at a fruit farm near my last house in rural central Belgium.   However it was in full sun.  I have seen a similar hedge of hornbeam in partial shade in a famous Belgian garden - Annevoie - which had more shelter and a much more moist soil.

    However, as yours needs to be short and evergreen I would suggest you try lonicera nitida - https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/324214/Lonicera-ligustrina-var-yunnanensis/Details whose small foliage will lend itself well to close clipping ad it will be fine in partial shade.


    Lonicera nitida seems great for what I need, thank you
    The rule about 1m height for a fence only applies within 2m of a roadway or pavement. And in all honesty I have never, ever seen this in operation for a boundary at right angles to the road (as opposed to running in parallel with with). With a hedge rising to 2m but only 30cm wide I am somewhat worried that it wouldn’t be very strong. Perhaps one solution would be to erect a corner fencepost at the road end, and run wires from your house wall to it, onto which you could grow an evergreen climber which could be kept tightly pruned? Or one style I’ve seen is to have a taller section near the house, with a step down at the front. Perhaps there are specific visibility issues, but if not then I’d have a word with your local planning department and see whether they think a more rigid structure alongside your driveway would really present issues. 

    You're probably right on the height limit as it's perpendicular to the road but I'll call the council to make sure. When you say "wouldn't be very strong", do you mean structurally or in terms of health? As it's just for screening I don't need it to be intruder-proof. The wire and post idea is clever!
    I think it could be rather liable to damage from the elements, and also, Lonicera nitida tends to go bare in patches, unless you can slope the hedge, which in this case isn’t possible. It would be worth trying the council route first and if they say no, you still have this as an option, or alternatively Pittosporum, for example. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 68,239
    edited 6 April
    IME Lonicera nitida is great as a low hedge or clipped as mounded topiary, but when grown as a hedge, particularly as a taller narrow hedge, it does not knit together well and will break apart in strong winds.  I've seen this happen. 

    Also, tall hedges alongside driveways  are a hazard when driving out onto the road ... I watched a neighbour reverse out into the path of a child on a bike ... she was totally unable to avoid hitting the car and flew into the air ... it could've been really nasty ... thankfully concussion, some scrapes and 24 hours in A&E and she was fine ...  the driver felt awful, he said he'll never forget what he did and what flashed through his mind ... he  said his view was obscured by the neighbour's conifers alongside the neighbouring drive.  He always reverses into his driveway now and comes out forwards, and the conifers have been clipped back.  
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 3,562
    Some people suggested Yew but I read you shouldn't plant it closer than 5 metres away from a house as it can damage foundations. Laurel and privet apparently look ill if kept thin. Perhaps hawthorn?

    What applies to Yew also applies to Hawthorn - but the guidance is really meant for trees, rather than hedges that are kept smaller through clipping.
  • peroroncinoperoroncino Posts: 71
    Athelas said:
    You could consider Euonymus japonicus ‘Green Spire’. American websites say it will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of up to 2 feet, but I think it may be better to clip it as a low hedge. No berries, but evergreen and will be ok with partial sun.

    We've been growing Euonymus Green Spire for years.  It has only moderate growth, and I can't imagine it ever reaching 6ft tall.  I've only ever seen it about 3 feet tall in any garden or garden centre. but it does have a lovely, dense habit, and perfect for a small hedge (or instead of using Box).

    I agree with @Cambridgerose12 point about strength.  If you have a 6ft high hedge, which is clipped flat, and which is only 1 ft deep,  you are effectively creating a sail.  We have a 6ft high x 1ft wide Pittosporum, which is clipped as as column rather than a hedge.  Whenever we get really high winds, it rocks about all over the place, and we have had to stake it to prevent it being ripped out of the ground.

    I would avoid planting any kind of hedge in your situation, and go more for climbers attached to some sort of wire framework.  This should allow any strong winds to blow through the plant, with less risk of blowing over.

    I think it could be rather liable to damage from the elements, and also, Lonicera nitida tends to go bare in patches, unless you can slope the hedge, which in this case isn’t possible. It would be worth trying the council route first and if they say no, you still have this as an option, or alternatively Pittosporum, for example. 

    IME Lonicera nitida is great as a low hedge or clipped as mounded topiary, but when grown as a hedge, particularly as a taller narrow hedge, it does not knit together well and will break apart in strong winds.  I've seen this happen. 

    Also, tall hedges alongside driveways  are a hazard when driving out onto the road ... I watched a neighbour reverse out into the path of a child on a bike ... she was totally unable to avoid hitting the car and flew into the air ... it could've been really nasty ... thankfully concussion, some scrapes and 24 hours in A&E and she was fine ...  the driver felt awful, he said he'll never forget what he did and what flashed through his mind ... he  said his view was obscured by the neighbour's conifers alongside the neighbouring drive.  He always reverses into his driveway now and comes out forwards, and the conifers have been clipped back.  

    Seems like a hedge is a bad idea then! That is unfortunate what happened to that child and makes a very good point about visibility which I was unsure of. I think either a 3ft low hedge or stepped-down trellis with climbers is my best option. Thanks guys for explaining everything to me :)
  • shane.farrellshane.farrell Posts: 184
    Ivy on a thin structure would be a good solution but need regular maintenance.  A more expensive yet attractive solution would be pleached Hornbeam.
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