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Author Topic: Best low maintenece garden hedge?  (Read 2075 times)

Hogwarts

  • Joined Sep 2019
Best low maintenece garden hedge?
« on: January 03, 2024, 01:54:29 pm »
I'm getting fed up of mending my garden fence every year after gales, I thought a fence would be relatively maintenance free but after repairs, replacements from rotting and painting its not really.

So I 'm looking for the best low maintenance hedge that does not grow too tall and might need trimming just once a year and looks relatively attractive or at least neat. The hedge would need to reach at least 6ft for privacy obviously.

Please do not suggest Lleylandi I might kill you, that is what the fence was to replace and its horrible stuff that grows far too tall and fast.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Best low maintenece garden hedge?
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2024, 03:01:47 pm »
You should rule out Laurel as well. Someone suggested a beech hedge to me when our Lleylandi hedge started to die. Whilst it does shed leaves in Autumn, enough stay on the branches over Winter to maintain privacy. Of course it will take many years to establish.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
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Re: Best low maintenece garden hedge?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2024, 04:27:25 pm »
Nothing will get to 6feet quickly so if you want that you will need invest in very established plants that are already a number of feet tall.

I'm going down this route for a patch that was overgrown so they have a better chance of not being choked by weeds

Christmas and Birthday garden vouchers amount to about 200, so I should get about four or five for that
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Best low maintenece garden hedge?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2024, 05:17:03 pm »
Whichever of beech or hornbeam best suits your conditions.  Once established, an annual trim to top and shape sides in summer will result in a hedge which probably keeps its leaves over winter in any but the most extreme conditions.  I guess re-laying might be needed maybe every 20 years or so.

Hawthorn and / or blackthorn work but will need trimming and occasional re-laying.  (Don't have blackthorn next to livestock, its thorns cause problems with feet and mouths.)  If the conditions suit, you could include some holly in the mix.  If you don't mind whether it's native or not, and it's not next to livestock, firethorn would add interest and impenetrability, and grows faster so would establish a hedge quicker than hawthorn alone. 

If not adjacent to livestock, yew makes a magnificent hedge, evergreen of course.  An annual trim keeps it tidy.  But it's not a fast growing plant so will take quite a while to establish.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Hogwarts

  • Joined Sep 2019
Re: Best low maintenece garden hedge?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2024, 07:13:49 pm »
You should rule out Laurel as well. Someone suggested a beech hedge to me when our Lleylandi hedge started to die. Whilst it does shed leaves in Autumn, enough stay on the branches over Winter to maintain privacy. Of course it will take many years to establish.

What is wrong with laurel? My neighbour has a laurel hedge and its looks quite nice I thought.

looking at lonicera nitida
« Last Edit: January 03, 2024, 07:34:47 pm by Hogwarts »

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Best low maintenece garden hedge?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2024, 07:28:23 am »
We have a Laurel hedge here and it is a lot of work cutting it. 12 metres long with just three original plants, the annual trip to the tip is a full van with 5 x 300 litre bags full. The thick waxy leaves won't compost, so shredding isn't an option. We planted a Portuguese Laurel the other side of the veg plot. 18 plants in 12 metres and after 5 years it is a full hedge 1.5 metres high. It was supposed to be slow growing up to 2 metres maximum, but someone has warned us that after 5 years it will go crazy sideways and we could end up with more work that we don't need. So I don't recommend Laurel of any variety.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Best low maintenece garden hedge?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2024, 07:35:57 am »
Laurel is poisonous to livestock. Probably best to avoid for that reason.
We have beech hedges that do well for all the reasons above. And it doesn't have jaggy clippings either.

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow: where 2nd-home owners rule !
Re: Best low maintenece garden hedge?
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2024, 05:15:50 pm »
Not laurel (poisonous) & also nothing with thorns - they are just not worth the toxicity risk or manual handling issues (they would just be long-term hassle!).  Along-side beech, I would throw in hazel. Beech can be a bit "scratchy" (and I have ended up with quite persistent skin trauma from scratches so keep arms covered during any "close-up" maintenance:  I'm not sure about hazel as I've yet to trim a hazel hedge.  From my limited experience also of hornbeam (mentioned in this thread) I would say it grows comparatively fast!
Now here's a thought:  why not plant an apple or pear hedge and instead of worrying about doing the fruit-tree pruning thing, just take a hedge-trimmer to it (preferably Winter and maybe in July also) since it's main purpose will be hedge not fruit although you and your next-door neighbour might get some fruit also!
Lastly, willow - but not any of the very very fast growing varieties and not close-up to house drainage system. 
 



   

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Best low maintenece garden hedge?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2024, 12:41:54 am »
Most of our hedges are mixed natives at least 50% hawthorn, but closer to the house we have a Rosa Rugosa hedge.  It grows quickly and suckers so becomes wider over time.  Once it reaches the required width just mow the grass beside it and that will contain it.  It's cheap if you buy it in 50s or 100s, you get pretty pink or white flowers in summer, and huge red hips in autumn and the whole thing can be trimmed with a normal hedge trimmer, without any specialist pruning. Nobody can push through a Rosa Rugosa hedge, and the hens are safe from stray predators when they hide inside  :hughen:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Bywaters

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Best low maintenece garden hedge?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2024, 10:18:04 am »
I'd go for a mixture of hawthorn and blackthorn. Then you will get sloes as well ! And you could learn to lay the hedge properly, over time.
We are in drystone wall  country, so if there are no walls, it's 1m high stock fencing, with, maybe a topwire

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Best low maintenece garden hedge?
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2024, 03:03:29 pm »
I'd go for a mixture of hawthorn and blackthorn. Then you will get sloes as well ! And you could learn to lay the hedge properly, over time.
We are in drystone wall  country, so if there are no walls, it's 1m high stock fencing, with, maybe a topwire

After I layed a blackthorn hedge, I had deep scratches which took over a year to fully heal.  It will do that to stock as well, must be something in the thorns.  Blackthorn also suckers and spreads like mad, hateful stuff
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Best low maintenece garden hedge?
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2024, 05:51:20 pm »
Yup, no-one with livestock wants blackthorn anywhere near the stock.  Beautiful and productive plant in the right place, but the right place is not near livestock. 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Bywaters

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Best low maintenece garden hedge?
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2024, 06:22:12 pm »
I disagree.

Blackthorn and hawthorn (prefer blackthorn) is fine.
Need to protect it from the sheep for a few years though - mine love it

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Best low maintenece garden hedge?
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2024, 12:08:26 pm »
Do you need to trim your blackthorn, @Bywaters?  If not then perhaps the incidence of foot problems or mouth problems has been so low that it's gone unnoticed.

On our farm, abscesses caused by blackthorn puncture are our major welfare issue.  We have to treat at least one sheep most years, and have had to have a pony put to sleep with an untreatable growth in the jaw where the initial injury was thought by the vet to have been quite likely caused by a blackthorn puncture.

I'm writing this immediately after writing a post about vaccination choices, and it's making me wonder whether blackthorn-induced problems may be more commonly experienced on holdings which do not vaccinate...  :thinking:
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Bywaters

  • Joined Apr 2016
Re: Best low maintenece garden hedge?
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2024, 03:14:34 pm »
No need to trim here, but these are more isolated clumps of trees rather than hedges.
The sheep trim them by eating them

I've had a septic puncture woulnd myself, many years ago, but we haven't, to the best  of my knowledge, any on the sheep

 

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