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Hedging....
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Hanlou



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 28
Location: Derbyshire

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:36 pm    Post subject: Hedging.... Reply with quote

Hi. We have a medium sized garden which we are desperately trying to 'tame'. We started last year but got rained off.... so we've been having a good go this year! Razz

We have neighbour problems on one side and unfortunately, the fence (which is her responsiblity) has broken with three large panels gone altogether.

Sooooo.... we thought maybe we could solve two problems in one and attempt planting a hedge on the broken fence side which would give us some much-needed privacy from our neighbour and also provide a haven for the birds and wildlife. We're thinking about using conifers (not leylandii!!) but I just wondered if anyone had any better ideas!

I know that the conifers would probably take over that side but there is plenty of room in other areas in the garden for plants and flowers etc.

We are hoping to plant Pyracantha on the other side and have a wild flower patch somewhere together with a rock garden. All of which will take time of course. So far we've mostly been digging up root stumps of some old shrubs and I seem to be constantly digging up weeds too but I'm sure we'll achieve what we want to eventually!

If anyone has any ideas for a fairly fast-growing and dense hedge that is more bird / wildlife friendly than conifers I'd be open to ideas. The length of the garden is probably about 30ft - there's a lawn in the middle (well, it's mostly dandelions but there's still a bit of grass in there!) and soil beds on either side which are about 5ft wide on each side.

Any advice appreciated x Smile

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Hannah x
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terratoonie



Joined: 22 Jun 2008
Posts: 164

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Hedging.... Reply with quote

Hanlou wrote:
Hi. We have a medium sized garden which we are desperately trying to 'tame'. We started last year but got rained off.... so we've been having a good go this year! Razz

We have neighbour problems on one side and unfortunately, the fence (which is her responsiblity) has broken with three large panels gone altogether.

Sooooo.... we thought maybe we could solve two problems in one and attempt planting a hedge on the broken fence side which would give us some much-needed privacy from our neighbour and also provide a haven for the birds and wildlife. We're thinking about using conifers (not leylandii!!) but I just wondered if anyone had any better ideas!

I know that the conifers would probably take over that side but there is plenty of room in other areas in the garden for plants and flowers etc.

We are hoping to plant Pyracantha on the other side and have a wild flower patch somewhere together with a rock garden. All of which will take time of course. So far we've mostly been digging up root stumps of some old shrubs and I seem to be constantly digging up weeds too but I'm sure we'll achieve what we want to eventually!

If anyone has any ideas for a fairly fast-growing and dense hedge that is more bird / wildlife friendly than conifers I'd be open to ideas. The length of the garden is probably about 30ft - there's a lawn in the middle (well, it's mostly dandelions but there's still a bit of grass in there!) and soil beds on either side which are about 5ft wide on each side.

Any advice appreciated x Smile


Hi Hanlou. Can you say whether the hedge will be in sun or shade or both? What garden soil do you have ? The amount of sun and the soil types often affect which plants are chosen. I've grown a ceanothus up a trellis in a sunny area as part of my back fence. I was very surprised to find I now have a nest of thrush babies in it.

The ceanothus grew very fast. It was from a cutting I took from a neighbour's hedge which is no longer there, so I can't tell you exactly which type of ceanothus it is. I'm sure a garden centre or nursery would tell you which ones are more able to grow quickly and be bush-like. There are lots of different types of ceanothus, and some are definitely more 'hedgy' than others. I think ceanothus could certainly form at least part of your hedge, and it has pretty flowers.

I hope this helps.
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Dawn



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 2165
Location: Derbyshire

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have a huge hedge of hawthorn, which at first thought might not be ideal for a garden, but it is actually brilliant for a number of reasons, not the least that it is more secure than many more 'soft' hedges and the neighbours cats don't like it! Twisted Evil and it is also very fast growing.

It is used by loads of birds for nesting, and food, we currently have a blackbird, and possibly a dunnock's nest, and also we have a robin box in it, which hasn't been used this year.

We have planted other plants within the hedge such as dog rose, holly, honeysuckle, and other things like ivy, bramble and nettles have colonised it over the years, so there are always loads of insects as well as birds attracted to it.

On the down side, it will need severe cutting every year because it is so fast growing, although a pair of electric hedge cutters will make short work of it, but it is very cheap and easy to plant, and the ground doesn't take too much preparing. I'll try and get a photo of our posted later today.

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Dawn

I can confirm - Bitterns DO exist, and they are brilliant!!!!
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terratoonie



Joined: 22 Jun 2008
Posts: 164

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile That's a very good point, Dawn, to include in a hedge plenty of prickly growth which the cats don't like Evil or Very Mad

Another bush good for prickles is Berberis of which there are many different types. Some are more dense, some more leggy. One of mine which grows quickly and has large spikes on its branches is Berberis Julianne. Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad



Dawn wrote:
We have a huge hedge of hawthorn, which at first thought might not be ideal for a garden, but it is actually brilliant for a number of reasons, not the least that it is more secure than many more 'soft' hedges and the neighbours cats don't like it! Twisted Evil and it is also very fast growing.

It is used by loads of birds for nesting, and food, we currently have a blackbird, and possibly a dunnock's nest, and also we have a robin box in it, which hasn't been used this year.

We have planted other plants within the hedge such as dog rose, holly, honeysuckle, and other things like ivy, bramble and nettles have colonised it over the years, so there are always loads of insects as well as birds attracted to it.

On the down side, it will need severe cutting every year because it is so fast growing, although a pair of electric hedge cutters will make short work of it, but it is very cheap and easy to plant, and the ground doesn't take too much preparing. I'll try and get a photo of our posted later today.
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Hanlou



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 28
Location: Derbyshire

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again! The soil is excellent quality but am not sure whether it's acidic / alkaline. It's not really had anything in it for ages (7 years +) so should grow pretty much anything well. The weeds certainly seem to love it...... We plan to dig in some fertiliser of some sort though.

It is mostly sunny where it will be with partial shade during the day.

Prickly sounds good! We do get cats from next-door-but-one and well, it would discourage our not-so-nice neighbour too. Razz

Would love to see pics of the hawthorn hedge - it sounds lovely! Smile

I love the idea of planting other things in it too - it sounds much more natural than a conifer hedge. Shall have a 'google' at the various suggestions. I'm no gardener but am keen to learn! Wink

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Dawn



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 2165
Location: Derbyshire

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again, just taken a few photos of the hedge, please excuse the quality - cameras don't like me! Rolling Eyes



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Dawn

I can confirm - Bitterns DO exist, and they are brilliant!!!!
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Hanlou



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 28
Location: Derbyshire

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dawn! Wow - great pics! Very Happy

They show it really well. You've certainly made us move hawthorn to the 'front runner' category!

To be honest we'd not really thought much about anything other than conifers as they are so popular. I'd rather have a 'native hedge' and it's certainly got a whole lot more character than conifers!

Plus the thorny bits will hopefully discourage the cats! Twisted Evil

Thanks very much x

We're on holiday next week but we hope to start in earnest on the garden once more when we get back. We've already done a lot of preparation work, though as soon as we do the digging the weeds take advantage of course, but I think we're almost 'there' in terms of hedge-ground preparation. Will have to check about planting though as you are supposed to plant them at certain times of the year I think?

Thanks anyway! My beloved is quite taken with the idea too. Will be sure to let everyone know about the progress! Maybe I should take before shots....... Smile

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Strixaluco



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 5464
Location: Mayford, Sy

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hannah - you might find this useful, and the link at the side has pot grown plants that can be put in at any time of year (which I think is true of most pot grown things) - you may well be able to get them in pots from most garden centres.

http://www.findmeplants.co.uk/plant-crataegus-prunifolia-1322.aspx

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Elizabeth
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Hanlou



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 28
Location: Derbyshire

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strixaluco wrote:
Hannah - you might find this useful, and the link at the side has pot grown plants that can be put in at any time of year (which I think is true of most pot grown things) - you may well be able to get them in pots from most garden centres.

http://www.findmeplants.co.uk/plant-crataegus-prunifolia-1322.aspx


Thanks very much for that. I'm reading and reading all I can about hedges on-line - I never knew there was so much to them! Have found some good information about preparing ground and planting etc.

Think we're going to go to a few local Garden Centres tomorrow and see what we can find out and things.

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terratoonie



Joined: 22 Jun 2008
Posts: 164

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Hannah:

When you choose your hedging it might be worth thinking about whether your neighbours will keep their sides of the bushes trimmed, and even if they do, they might choose the wrong time, when nests are in the bushes. Not a lot you can probably do about it, but it might influence your choice of plants. Just a thought. Smile


Hanlou wrote:
Strixaluco wrote:
Hannah - you might find this useful, and the link at the side has pot grown plants that can be put in at any time of year (which I think is true of most pot grown things) - you may well be able to get them in pots from most garden centres.

http://www.findmeplants.co.uk/plant-crataegus-prunifolia-1322.aspx


Thanks very much for that. I'm reading and reading all I can about hedges on-line - I never knew there was so much to them! Have found some good information about preparing ground and planting etc.

Think we're going to go to a few local Garden Centres tomorrow and see what we can find out and things.
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Dawn



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 2165
Location: Derbyshire

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

terratoonie wrote:
Hi Hannah:

When you choose your hedging it might be worth thinking about whether your neighbours will keep their sides of the bushes trimmed, and even if they do, they might choose the wrong time, when nests are in the bushes. Not a lot you can probably do about it, but it might influence your choice of plants. Just a thought. Smile




It's actually illegal to disturb nesting birds, by hedge cutting or anything else, I had to have a word with our problem neighbour, who was trying to cut down a tree which had nesting collared doves in it, or rather he was trying to cut it down 'because' it had nesting collared doves in it (he thought there were too many around here!) git!

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Dawn

I can confirm - Bitterns DO exist, and they are brilliant!!!!
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Hanlou



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 28
Location: Derbyshire

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

terratoonie wrote:
Hi Hannah:

When you choose your hedging it might be worth thinking about whether your neighbours will keep their sides of the bushes trimmed, and even if they do, they might choose the wrong time, when nests are in the bushes. Not a lot you can probably do about it, but it might influence your choice of plants. Just a thought. Smile


I know - this is something we are thinking about but thanks for the reminder! The width of the garden at the side of the lawn is pretty wide - wider than an 'average' hedge. We are planning to plant the hedge in the 'middle' of the soil part so that we can access both sides of it. We probably won't put hedging right down the entire length of the garden as we are thinking about putting a shed at the very bottom end of the garden. The fence 'behind' the hedge should prove a barrier and self-regulate the size of the hedge up the height of the fence too I would think?

There are only two fence panels missing and that's where the garden is widest anyway so essentially we should be able to access the hedge from both sides on our own land especially if we keep it well trimmed and a nice size before spring.

I have been reading that it's best to start with smaller plants as they will bush out better and give you a denser hedge so we should have total control over the hedge's size and shape as it grows.......... in theory anyway! Lots to think about x

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Hanlou



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 28
Location: Derbyshire

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It's actually illegal to disturb nesting birds, by hedge cutting or anything else, I had to have a word with our problem neighbour, who was trying to cut down a tree which had nesting collared doves in it, or rather he was trying to cut it down 'because' it had nesting collared doves in it (he thought there were too many around here!) git!


There's no way we could explain anything of the sort to our neighbour on that side. They aren't reasonable / rational and we don't speak to them for our own good. We did try to be nice but it didn't work sadly. Sad

So we will try to make sure that we can get to both sides of the hedge. We may put some basic willow stuff up where the gap in the fence is to provide some sort of barrier (and to aid our privacy until the hedge grows!). Not sure how yet but we've got a few ideas.

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terratoonie



Joined: 22 Jun 2008
Posts: 164

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hannah, by the time you've finished your back garden you'll be the Bigg Bird Hedging Expert !!! Laughing Laughing Laughing

When you look at options, I suggest including some Berberis which I think will suit your requirements of fast-growing, prickly and okay to trim.
There are many types of Berberis and some will grow more quickly than others with nice big prickly arms sticking out in all directions. Also the flower colours vary - red, yellow, orange etc. You can see some of these on the Burncoose website. For instance, Berberis julianae is described as dense evergreen, with spiny prickles, and scented yellow flowers. A good hedging plant. And there are at least a dozen more suitable for hedges. Don't pick the 'pygmaea' dwarf form.

Yes, please do post photos for Bigg Bird to see of your hedging project 'before, during and after' !

A good idea to have your own access to both sides of the hedge. Smile




Hanlou wrote:
terratoonie wrote:
Hi Hannah:

When you choose your hedging it might be worth thinking about whether your neighbours will keep their sides of the bushes trimmed, and even if they do, they might choose the wrong time, when nests are in the bushes. Not a lot you can probably do about it, but it might influence your choice of plants. Just a thought. Smile


I know - this is something we are thinking about but thanks for the reminder! The width of the garden at the side of the lawn is pretty wide - wider than an 'average' hedge. We are planning to plant the hedge in the 'middle' of the soil part so that we can access both sides of it. We probably won't put hedging right down the entire length of the garden as we are thinking about putting a shed at the very bottom end of the garden. The fence 'behind' the hedge should prove a barrier and self-regulate the size of the hedge up the height of the fence too I would think?

There are only two fence panels missing and that's where the garden is widest anyway so essentially we should be able to access the hedge from both sides on our own land especially if we keep it well trimmed and a nice size before spring.

I have been reading that it's best to start with smaller plants as they will bush out better and give you a denser hedge so we should have total control over the hedge's size and shape as it grows.......... in theory anyway! Lots to think about x
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Hanlou



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 28
Location: Derbyshire

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lol, yes, I'm really getting into all this now! The before pics will be a bit scary, but I will take some! Razz

The Berberis is very beautiful, have just been looking at some pics of it. I'll jot that down and ask about that too - it's evergreen too which could certainly be an added bonus and it has flowers / edible berries.

I have been staring at hedges in the past few days everywhere I go! People must think I'm really nosey! Embarassed

Most of the hawthorn hedges I've seen now I've been really looking are full of lots of other things which I quite like the idea of - I wonder sometimes if we are too 'particular' about what we grow in our gardens. The 'weed' filled hedgerows all around us are really very beautiful when you look at them and you never look at a hedge in the countryside and ponder on the vast amount of weeds and bracken they are full of...... it just 'fits'. Smile

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