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Advice Please: Hedging Plant

Berkshire, United Kingdom Gb

I would be grateful if someone could advise on a good hedging plant that I might use for screening. I understand that a neighbour is about to park a large motorhome (approx 12 feet tall) immediately next to the boundary to the front of my house. In order to provide privacy and to lessen the visual intrusion, I would like to plant a hedge row.

The hedge row would need to be evergreen and dense, and would need to be able to grow to a height of approx 10 to 12 feet tall. The hedge row would be close to our own house so I would be keen to maintain it regularly in order to keep it looking trim - and no wider than approx 3½ feet. The front of the house is north facing, and some of the site is in shade for much of the time.

My reading suggests that possibly my best option would be a laurel hedge of some description. Would anyone (with more experience of these things than I have!) be able to advise if this is the case - or if there are alternatives I should consider?

Many thanks in advance.



Hi Simonbryant and welcome to GoY. The first thing you need to do is check with your council just how tall your hedge is permitted to be. In most areas this is 6 foot. Having a tall hedge near your house could lead to the roots undermining the foundations.

4 Mar, 2010


how about a fence withtrellis and plant against that then you could have some lovely climbers if you scroll to the bottom of this page and select c you will see that both climbing plants and roses are mentioned

4 Mar, 2010


You do need to check with your council, as Moongrower says, they may well say that's too high. If you're thinking of using Laurel, I take it you mean Prunus rather than Aucuba, since the latter only reaches 8 feet. The trouble with Prunus is, it gets 25 feet and very tree like with rather large roots, and you've already said it's close to your house. I think the trellis idea might be a better solution - Trachleospermum jasminoides is an evergreen climber with very fragrant flowers in summer, which will give you privacy and fragrance.

4 Mar, 2010


Many thanks for the responses. I had actually spoken to the planning dept of the local council here, and they are very sympathetic to the situation. Given the circumstances, it would be extremely unlikely that any formal objection to a high hedge would be upheld due to the presence of the (even higher) vehicle. That said, I expect the situation would be dealt with amicably with my neighbours in any case.

I will certainly look in to the trellis idea (although, unlike the hedge, this would require planning permission). And I agree that the common Cherry Laurel would probably be difficult to manage, so I am now thinking more along the lines of the Portuguese Laurel which, I understand, is both hardier and easier to manage/cultivate in to a neat hedge...although it does seem to grow more slowly. My target height (if I went down this route) would be 9 or 10 feet tall - which I think should be just about achievable with the Portuguese Laurel (although I stand to be corrected!)

Thanks again.

5 Mar, 2010


I think it might take many years for it to reach the height you want - you're right, it is very slow growing. Another better option would be Photinia fraserii Red Robin - this gets about 13 feet, and will do it a good bit quicker than the Portuguese Laurel.

5 Mar, 2010


Good morning, all. Having had a little more time to think about my options, I am now coming around to the idea of a holly hedge - which would seem to fulfill all of the criteria. A nice dense, evergreen (and native!) hedge that clips well and would ultimately grow to the required height. I may even mix some Photinia Fraserii Red Robin (thanks Bamboo) which would add some colour.

But returning to the point that Moon Grower made, would anyone have a reasonable idea of the minimum distance I should leave between my house and the nearest hedge plant. Naturally, I would not want to cause any problems with the foundations. Thankfully, I have heard that holly roots tend not to spread very far when compared to other plants. Would a gap of 4 to 5 feet be enough, for example?

Many thanks (again)!

12 Mar, 2010


I'd be inclined to make it six, specially if you need to squeeze down the side of the house, it won't be a pleasant experience brushing up against a holly hedge - depends on the holly you choose, but some of them get pretty big. And bear in mind it does drop leaves, all the time, so be prepared for the prickly "mulch" on the ground all around it - good luck with the pruning twice a year, glad I'm not being asked to do it, lol;-))

12 Mar, 2010

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