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Winter hedging.


By kate123


I do love a hedge, I must admit! However, hedging can be quite boring through winter, I guess. Unless it’s evergreen, it’s often bare and twiggy or the like. Some pics aren’t ‘proper’ hedging as such, but plants/trees etc used for the hedge effect.
I thought I’d write a little blog and put it our there – what’s everyone’s thoughts on hedging? I’m keen to do a spring hedging blog a bit later on…followed by summer and autumn perhaps.
I guess it’s the upkeep and maintenance that can be quite a task with hedging.
Anyway, I’ve posted some pics also.

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Interesting blog Kate. You ask for our thoughts, so I have to say some I like and some can be problematic. We have well-behaved Photinia Red Robin in the front garden which has grown well since we moved in, and gives us privacy; also a Beech hedge down the drive which is easy to prune. Less good is the Laurel in the back which grows much too fast, but the birds love it!

A nearby road has mostly very open front gardens, without hedging, a bit like many American neighbourhoods, and it looks friendly. Owners still have privacy because their houses are so far back from the road …

11 Jan, 2022


What a good idea - all look so neat and well kept too! Very helpful for someone trying to decide what to use. The last one looks almost frighteningly perfect!

We have inherited a privet, a beech and a conifer. I think I prefer the beech really -it has lovely bright green leaves in the summer and stays golden brown all winter - the robins love to hide in it and it only needs trimming once a year. The conifer is rather a mess as it gets brown patches and it grows pretty fast so needs drastic trimming every year. I'd never choose one of those! Privet - well, less said the better! Trimming it is a big job and the back tops a very steep slope so ours is hard to access.

Open frontages are OK to look at when they are very small but in general I do prefer having a boundary unless it makes them look very cramped. Our first house had open plan frontages which was OK until some cows got loose...

11 Jan, 2022


I like beech hedges too and think they are my favourites. I have seen hedges made of fuschias which did look very pretty in the late summer.
Thanks for all these interesting photos all looking very pristine!

11 Jan, 2022


Thank you, Sheila! I’ve a box hedge at one side of our house - at the front. It joins an osmanthus, viburnum and laurel. It’s a sort of L shape. Have to trim twice a year.
The other side of the drive our neighbour has ornate fencing.
I’m with you in the beech - I’ve been admiring several recently - it’s what got me thinking really, about the blog.
You’re so right about laurel. We have a tall canopied one in the back - yep, birds live it for nesting and berries and hiding out..but crikey, it’s a nuisance to prune. We actually took 2 others out many years ago. We bought this house from being a new build. Most were still unsold at that point - yes, all open gardens. But now, most have planted trees and shrubbery to delineate-which is best!

12 Jan, 2022


Sue, your beech sounds a lovely part of your garden! Anything that is attractive all year round AND encourages robins - well, it’s pretty perfect isn’t it!
I’ve noticed some our neighbours conifers have gone quite brown, either on on side or through the middle. What a pity. We had a golden yellowish conifer many years ago, we had to chop it down as it went brown all over. It was such a lovely colour too..maybe it depends on the variety?
I do like a fairly open frontage, but, I like it to have some sort of privacy at the same time too.

12 Jan, 2022


Julia, definitely great minds! I think we all, so far, agree on the beech! I’m surprised I haven’t seen more around the villages and towns as traverse through! They definitely are an all rounder as such. You’ve come up with a good list of what to plant and what to avoid also. This Griselinia one you’ve mentioned sounds a very pretty leaf!

12 Jan, 2022


Thank you, Chris! I, happy you enjoyed the pics! A fuchsia hedge, now that’s interesting too! Sheila mentioned her red robin hedging - I saw a lovely one last year on the way to Lincoln in one of the villages.
It’s great to see and look at some innovative ways to create hedging and privacy or delineation to our property!
We may hear some more ideas….

12 Jan, 2022


I like this idea of yours Kate!
I like beech hedges the best , but there are many round here that are so pristine! Never with a leaf out of place!
We are a corner plot and have a mixed holly and pyracantha hedge all the way down the side which is quite long.
The only drawback is that we have to wait until Autumn to have it cut as a lot of the birds live in it, so we don't get the spring blossom from the pyracantha as it has all been cut back!

12 Jan, 2022


I do love a good hedge. What a sashing blog Kate.

We have beech down one side and privet down the other. Though the privet has been 'invaded' by other things. I have noticed there is mahonia, ivy, holly and euonymus in there too. When a section died I replaced the privet with blackthorn and hawthorn.

A neighbour has one of Berberis and it is excellent but a nightmare to trim apparently. Further in the village is a Rosa rugosa hedge and is so scented in the summer it is a joy. The snowberry one is easy to maintain but the plant is 'escaping into the wild' and that is not so good.

A mixed native hedge is so much better for wildlife but many of us like a more uniform look.

A previous house had a Forsythia and Ribes hedge, beautiful in spring but tend to get to tall and straggly by the autumn. So trimming late spring is essential.

My childhood home had a very small leafed privet which was lovely but I seem to remember it getting cut 3 times a year.

12 Jan, 2022


Thank you, Rose! I was trying to think of a talking point and ideas too. Bet your mixed hedge is a lovely addition! I can imagine the hedging around your way is beautiful especially how you have worded it!
That is the setback really...having to hold off trimming during to wildlife.
Saying that, we'd still prefer to have the wildlife!

12 Jan, 2022


Aw thanks Eileen! Glad you liked it. Your hedging sounds fab too…I recall some of your hedging from my visit! Sometimes I think a mixed hedge can look very interesting, I have to admit to liking both a formal and informal style.
Ribes used in hedging must look quite attractive! The colourful mix with the forsythia too - very pretty!

12 Jan, 2022


The most beautiful hedge (to my eyes) was a very tall multi-coloured holly hedge along one side of a house on our estate when we lived near Stirling many years ago. I've never forgotten it and it was glorious with berries in season. Another place had a second-storey high yellow berried holly hedge which was full of birds all year round.
Last year we stayed at a place with a white rugosa rose hedge. It was beautiful, and with massive hips, too.
Here, we have a boring, inherited golden privet which needs regular cutting back. But the blue tits love it!
I would prefer mixed, native hedging if I had the space, good for wildlife, (but monoculture does look neater..)
Great photos, by the way, Kate.

12 Jan, 2022


Thank you, Ange! That's very kind of you.
The Holly hedge in Stirling sounds a beauty, I'm imagining a hedge full of colourful berries now!
You've mentioned a Rugosa Rose hedge, as Eileen did too, they must certainly have a gorgeous scent!
I think your golden privet will be very attractive - do you think we get a bit bored with our own hedging at times? Plus, if the blue tits love it - you've got a great hedge!
There are so many different shrubs, bushes, plants...we can use as hedging. Formal, fancy, unusual! All wonderfully inspiring and a gift for wildlife..and a little privacy when we need it..

12 Jan, 2022


I have a hedge named Lonicera Nitida it is green all year round can be hard pruned which I do once a year it does get a bit woody but looks very neat when cut , if I had to plant a hedge now it would definitely be a beech I really do admire the beech , my sister had a Rosa Rugosa hedge which went right around her front boundary of her detached house she never let it grow more than 4ft it looked beautiful with flowers and hips on it .

Lovely photos Kate and so many good suggestion and advice in the reply’s .

13 Jan, 2022


When I saw your blog, Kate, I immediately thought of Beech; both for its lovely brown leaves all winter as well as for the fresh shiny green new leaves in the spring!

Then I thought of a less common type of hedging, Fuchsia. Around here I've seen hedges made from Forsythia, Firethorn, Blackthorn as well as from Hawthorn. In fact on the council estate I lived on before going to Spain the paths were closed in by Mayflower hedges 6ft tall!

Since coming back to live here I've seen a lot of these hedges cut down to ground level on one side of the path & on the other left to form "dinky" hedges about 2ft tall! Hawthorn seems to tolerate cutting back twice a year very well as the council gardeners cut them back twice a year!

14 Jan, 2022


I love a hedge and on the moving ground of the Fens and the howling winds that cut across, a fence just wouldn't stay up for long!
We disposed of a couple of huge Laurels that were part hedge, part tree and it took a mini digger about an hour to get the roots out, beware if you are putting one in.
We have Hawthorn on the field which need reducing from small trees to a hedge. This would encourage new growth and give more nesting sites for smaller birds rather than the pigeons.
I planted Pyracantha as a front hedge which has to be cut with secateurs otherwise you lose all the flowers or berries. I would never plant it again because of that and the murderous thorns.
Whatever you chose make sure it doesn't 'get you' every time you walk past, something well behaved is needed.

15 Jan, 2022


Thank you, Kidsgran! I’m pretty sure your lonicera hedging smells simply divine! I think, even though some h=hedges can look woody in winter time - if they are neat and trimmed, they can look very tidy. I’ve heard a few people comment now on the Rosa Rugosa- your sisters sounds pretty too! I can imagine how it looks with the flowers and hips! A lovely idea.
Thanks for reading!

15 Jan, 2022


Thanks for dropping in, Balcony! You’re a fan of the beech too! Seems a consensus it’s a favourite! Maybe the top choice? Chris mentioned fuchsia earlier in the blog, I hadn’t given it a thought before. You’re right - lots of ‘thorny’ hedging used nationwide at times or privet.
I’d love to have seen the 6 foot Mayflower! May just have to google now 😊
You mentioned smaller, dinky hedges. I remember my Dad had a small, very linear box hedge in one part of the front garden. Think it was 18 inches or so…it was aligning the drive. They had shrubbery on the other side of the property.
They now have a ‘ dinky’ wall! 😄

15 Jan, 2022


Thank you, Amsterdam, I agree, a hedge is far better in some areas than fencing - especially on fenland!
We have hawthorn up on the bund hill - quite large shrubs now.
We have a laurel hedge out front. At the bottom of the garden area. We do trim it twice a year. Annoyingly.
We Laos have a laurel canopied tree at the back - another pain! But, it’s private I guess..the blackbirds like it!
I liked your advice at the end - about avoiding ‘ plants that attack’ - I would certainly take this on board if I were hedge planting!

15 Jan, 2022


Some mighty fine examples in your photo's Kate, I must admit I do like to see hedges, the ones you have shown all seem to be older property's with plenty of ground space, I find the modern way of building estates without hedgerows boring and very regimental, as most have hardly any gardens I can see the reasoning, there is also the need for parking off road to take into account which has been the cause of many hedgerows being removed, personally I would hate the lack of privacy, also the work involved keeping them trim and in good shape can be an issue as one gets older, I don't think I have a personal favourite as such but if I did it would be evergreen, I'm afraid I dislike the brown of the Beech during the winter months but each to his own, I have Privet at the front of my house, Forsythia just off our yard in the back, its gorgeous in the springtime when in bloom, gets very straggly late spring into the summer, home to hundreds of sparrows so I have to leave the trimming until the end of June and Hawthorn that runs across the bottom of all our gardens, mostly strangled by ivy but once again home to hundreds of birds....The most beautiful hedge that I know of is The Elephant Hedge at Rockingham Castle, now that is a sight to behold

15 Jan, 2022


An interesting array of hedges there. A hedge I saw that caught my attention was a Robinia Red Robin with a Forsythia growing thro' it. Splendid in flower, but rather boring now.

15 Jan, 2022


Thanks Sue, you're right! They're all pics of the hedging in the villages I visit.
You've got me thinking, next blog ' Spring hedging ' I'll incorporate a real mix, including hedges like mine!!!! On a newer property. Good idea on your part!
I have to say - sadly - we removed our front lawn many, many years ago.
It was a nice lawn with a planted border at the bottom and a lovely ' standard' rosemary with planting underneath it, in the middle of the lawn.
Now, we have a shaped cobbled area with plants and there's an L shaped hedging on one side at this side of the front garden.
We have extended the drive for visitors and the house on the other side has ornamental fencing.
We're all detached and over the years it has gone from being quite an open cul de sac to hedges, fences, trees, big shrubs etc...
I bet your forsythia is gorgeous! Lucky little sparrows!!! But, I agree, we have to wait to trim until our wildlife have flown!
I'll be googling this beautiful hedging you mentioned at Rockingham Castle!
Thank you for sharing 😊

16 Jan, 2022


Thank you, Sue. I saw a photinia hedge in one of the villages near Lincoln last winter. It was planted behind a wall. So the top was visible. I posted it on here last winter.
It was lovely to see!

16 Jan, 2022


I think the nicest hedges are ones with a variety of shrubs or deciduous species, otherwise in my opinion they can look boring.

17 Jan, 2022


That’s a good point Hywel. In the front garden of our old house we had inherited shrubs either side of a purple cherry: Aucuba, Forsythia, Euonymus and another which I’ve forgotten. Someone said they liked our “mixed hedge” which I hadn’t even thought of as a hedge!

20 Jan, 2022


Our hedge is planted behind our front garden wall…so the top of the hedge actually sits on the top of the wall! is a mixture of pyracantha… euonymus.. and berberis all the shrubs have their canopies lifted… all along the wall our side …not the road side we have a gold heart Ivy…..the head garden cuts it regularly to keep it neat and tidy….our other hedge ( back garden)is a Griselinia….which is cut once a year!….will try and put some photos on which will explain it much better…

28 Jan, 2022


Dd, it sounds very attractive. I'd really like to see your photos soon!

28 Jan, 2022

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