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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Shrubs in Ireland ... Hedging in Ireland

Close to a hedge but not quite...


 
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solomon
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:43 am    Post subject: Close to a hedge but not quite... Reply with quote

Hi

At the wide end of my back garden there is a panel and post fence and behind that a steep bank drops away. It is largely covereed with grass, ivy etc. - all low to the ground and vigorous.

It is not the easiest place to work but close to the fence I have cleared the growth from four patches (at 6' intervals) so that I am down to the loose soil and in a position to plant something.

What is the something? I am looking to plant primarily to break up the wind which funnels up towards the panel and post fence. We don't see the side of the fence in question unless we are driving on a nearby road so aesthetics are secondary in this case. Security not a major issue either.

I am sure that I cannot get the ideal but something that would grow wide (remember 6' gaps between plantings) and to a height of about 12 feet would be perfect (as long as it wasn't going to take 20 years). I would consider trees (although NOT Leylandii) but would prefer something closer to a hedge / shrubs.

Other things do grow further along the bank including some big trees that were well established many years before I got here. I know that if I plant anything that I will have to keep accessing this bank (for a couple of years anyway) to stop the grass / ivy strangling it and I am committed to doing this.

Any suggestions for an appropriate choice of shrub / hedge plant for this and where to source it in greater Dublin area at reasonable cost?

Also anything other than compost to add to the soil when planting it or tips for future care?

Thanks a lot.
solomon
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verge
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this piece of ground yours to plant on solomon?
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solomon
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. Down to the bottom of the bank is our piece of ground. As far as I know the builder put the fence at the present location because the bank gets quite steep. It was probably just a cheap way for him to finish off!
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verge
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool, have a look at native black alder as an idea for a pioneer planting. there may be some growing wild in your locality already.
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Tom
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At that sort of spacing (at 6' intervals) its gotta be trees. I think verge has the right idea with the native alder. Other native trees to consider are birch and hawthorn.
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solomon
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to verge and Tom for suggestions.

I did think that something evergreen and growing densely would be best for wind protection although I accept that at 6' spacing it may have to be trees rather than hedge.

I looked at the descriptions of alder, hawthorn and birch in the native trees pages and thought hawthorn looked like a good compromise. However, the page refers to the unpleasant smell of its flower. (http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/about810.html).

Maybe not easy to quantify but is it unpleasant enough to avoid putting it just the other side of the fence in your back garden where you play with the kids?

Thanks again,
solomon
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

solomon wrote:


Maybe not easy to quantify but is it unpleasant enough to avoid putting it just the other side of the fence in your back garden where you play with the kids?



Not at all solomon.
In fact you have to get right up close to the flowers to get any real waft off it, and even then you may not find its particular scent unpleasant. I am the original author of that piece and I have been told off for my comments on the hawthorns scent by those who admire it.
I may edit the piece to clear up the scent issue.
You see, up close the flowers have a faint scent of rotting meat, this allows pollination of the flowers by flies rather than the bees which are not active in early spring its blooming time.
Hawthorn is all around us in the countryside, so if you live there or have spent some time there without being put off by hawthorns spring scent, then you won't when you plant them to the rear of your site.

Another choice to put along with the great ones already mentioned.........

Cotoneaster lacteus.
fast growing evergreen hedge (in mild winters) 12ft tall at a rapid growth rate, 1 to 2ft per year.
A hedge with white summer flowers followed by red fruit.


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solomon
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:39 am    Post subject: Giant Green Thuja Reply with quote

Hi,

I got another suggestion for this project which I wanted to run by some of the experts on this forum. How about Giant Green Thuja?

Planted at 6' intervals, would they be suitable for an effective wind screen but much easier to maintain than Leylandii? Can they reasonably be kept in check by just trimming the top each year?

(It is not that I am afraid of the hard work of maintaining Leylandii (although I'm not in favour of it either!) but the steep slope where these plants will be located makes trimming the sides way too difficult whereas from the garden side of the fence, the tops can relatively easily be accessed.)

Thanks
solomon
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Dr. Sunny Thomson
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:25 am    Post subject: Re: Giant Green Thuja Reply with quote

solomon wrote:
How about Giant Green Thuja?
much easier to maintain than Leylandii? Can they reasonably be kept in check by just trimming the top each year?

solomon


Slower than leylandii, so easier to maintain. It is a conifer though like leylandii so it will not allow much light in or offer much to birds and other wildlife.
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Sundew
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I looked at the descriptions of alder, hawthorn and birch in the native trees pages and thought hawthorn looked like a good compromise. However, the page refers to the unpleasant smell of its flower


Can't beat the scent of hawthorn after a light rain shower in the Summer. One of my favourite things about walking in the country

personally i would still plant a natural hedge. You and your children will get much more value from the hedge. the amount of wildlife it will introduce compared to a conifer hedge. I have all natural plants growing on a small balcony and got a collared dove to nest there last week.
If you want some evergreen plants/trees among the hedge. Why not plant an evergreen oak. This can also be grown as a hedge and clipped back .
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holm_Oak
http://www.first-nature.com/trees/quercus_ilex.asp

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