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Old Monday 23rd January 2006, 18:24   #1
Dizzy
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Help with native hedging

I badly need my front garden fenced off but it turns out than even a small 3ft fence round it would cost a couple of hundred quid. I was looking at an on-line store for wildflowers for the back garden and saw that they also do 'Native Hedging' comprising of Guelder Rose, hawthorn, blackthorn, dog rose, sweet briar, spindle, wayfarer tree, field maple, hazel, dogwood and alder-blackthorn. Buying enough for the garden would only cost about 60pounds so it sounds a cheaper option, but more than that I really like the idea of these plants for the birds.
Does anyone have this type of hedging??? or even some of the above mentioned in their garden... I like the sound of it, but wonder at the likes of keeping it under control etc. Are there any pitfalls lurking round the corner??
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Old Monday 23rd January 2006, 19:22   #2
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Buckingham Nurseries, do bulk hedging online mail order. I should think this type of hedge would be a lot of work. I have fences with shrubs so less work.
Good luck.
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Old Monday 23rd January 2006, 19:30   #3
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Hi Dizzy

It's a great idea to use native species as these tend to support a wider range of insects and therefore birds than exotic species. However you have got to choose your species carefully. A lot of the species on your list are not really native to Scotland (e.g. spindle, wayfaring tree, dogwood). Also you never know whether the trees have been sourced in this country - Hungarian hawthorn is often sold in this country as it is cheaper, but it flowers at a different time from our hawthorn, even though it is the same species.

I would recommend that you buy plants from somewhere that guarantees local (ie Scottish) provenance. The woodland trust has a website that does this:

http://www.native-tree-shop.com/

In Scotland the main hedge species are hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel, guelder rose. In a field situation you would normally plant the trees in a double row about a foot apart with 6-8 plants per metre. However in a garden I would just go with what looks best depending on the size of the garden.

You should cut the trees back by up to a half when planting and keep the bottom free of weeds and grasses until the hedge is well established. For the first 2-3 years I would cut back the year's growth by up to a half in the winter. This encourages dense bushy growth. Once established you shouldn't cut more frequently than every other year, otherwise fruit production will be compromised.

Hope this helps and all the detail hasn't put you off.
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Old Monday 23rd January 2006, 19:37   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willowa
Buckingham Nurseries, do bulk hedging online mail order. I should think this type of hedge would be a lot of work. I have fences with shrubs so less work.
Good luck.
First I recommend using a specialist tree/hedge supplier. I would second the reccommendation for Buckingham - brilliant website btw complete with sample hedge photos!

One thing to consider is how "neat" you need the boundary to be. A mixed hedge can grow at slightly varying rates which can look a bit funny just for a couple of years til it all grows in. If you want neatness it may be better therefore to go with just one species of native. Personally I like the patchwork quilt of foliage look and when planting a large stretch of hedge in our garden had fun putting as many different things in there as I could. In addition to the species listed, I recommend native alders, crab apple and wild pear, as well as hazel and prunus avium. Also although non-native amelanchier is fantastic to look at and great for the birds.

If its a smallish front garden and you want a really spectacular show you could consider using a few ornamental cultivars of the native species like purple filbert, golden berried guelder rose, golden wayfarer tree etc.
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Old Monday 23rd January 2006, 21:29   #5
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Thank you Willowa and Isurus for the Buckingham web site
Capercaillie....duh!..lol...didnt think of that. I just saw that they supplied British native trees and thought it meant they would grow anywhere in the U.K. thanks for all the info about looking after them..I've noted it all down because it didnt put me off at all.
I couldnt get into the few local suppliers sites I found...msn being a pain as usual but I did look in the Buckingham site and saw a lovely mixture called fruit and nut which consists of all the hedging native to here that you listed above plus one other ~ the dog rose ~ and a good price too. I may go with that...I can put the dog rose round the back garden, leave it, and see what happens...lol.
Thanks again for the information...it was very useful.
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Old Monday 23rd January 2006, 21:42   #6
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forgot to mention one other thing i usually do. don't be afraid to mix things up with the wild roses - most places just offer dog rose (R. canina) as though its the only one but there are a number of wild roses available for hedges including the scotch burnet which is rather lovely.
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Old Tuesday 24th January 2006, 00:02   #7
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Hi Dizzy,

We had the idea 2 years ago to plant a wildlife friendly hedge on the boundary of our garden. We used hawthorn, hornbeam and beech. There are already a number of trees there, so we are just filling in the gaps. We planted for wildlife as I said, but also for a bit of privacy as that boundary looks onto the lane. The trees don't grow as quickly as some shrubs obviously, so it might look a little sparse at first till they get established.

One other shrub that was already there was rosa rugosa. It's very prickly so it's good for security, the flowers have a beautiful scent and come in white, pink or red varieties and the rose forms rose hips in the autumn that the birds just love.

Just a few more ideas for you. BTW, I don't know whereabouts in Scotland you are but we hot our trees from the Tree Shop which is on the shore of Loch Fyne, near the famouse Oyster Bar.

We're lucky enough to live only about half an hours drive away.

Cheers,
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Old Tuesday 24th January 2006, 08:24   #8
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Dizzy

I am also thinking about planting a native hedge in my back garden, found the Buckingham Nurseries web site and am thinking about mixing the 'native' with the 'edible' selections plus adding the odd small tree.

As I live about an hour away from the nursey so I will pay them a visit and pick their brains. However I would like to find out more information about this subject. There are a couple of books that I am trying to obtain (see wild life gardening thread) however if anyone can point me to other sources of information it would be a great help.

On the point of a front hedge, unless the hedge is some way from the house a native hedge might grow too high and block out light to either you or your neighbours house, I know that hedges can be pruned but some species may not fruit if either pruned to often or kept too low.

Also check that there are no covenants on the property govening the height of hedges and fences in front gardens.

Good luck

John

Last edited by hayfieldgolfer : Tuesday 24th January 2006 at 08:29.
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Old Tuesday 24th January 2006, 09:24   #9
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Are you planning edible plants for yourself or just the birds?
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Old Tuesday 24th January 2006, 12:14   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forest Knights
Are you planning edible plants for yourself or just the birds?
Birds !

I do have black, red and white currant bushes in the garden, but I eat them. I will leave some for the birds this year. I have 1 branch that has grown roots as it has been in contact with the soil, which I will transplant and will try to get a few more branches to root by pinning them down.

Thinking about the following to put into my hedge.which I have made up from a mixture of naitive hedging and a mixed edible selection. Rugosa rose, blackthorne, cornlin cherry, and quickhorn as I have clay soil in the garden which is heavy. Will also add some common alder, elder, a common pear and a couple of silver birches .

Other suggested bushes are field maple, spindle, hazel, common buckthorne, wayfaring tree, sea buckthorne and myroblan plum. But these bushes do not like wet conditions and as I am on clay soil (does not waterlog that often) they might not be suitable.

I would like a hedge which will benefit the wild life and be as varied as possiable.
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Old Tuesday 24th January 2006, 15:47   #11
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You could also add crab apple to that list. I've been reading some of the other threads, and on the BBc gardening section they talk about a malus that keeps it's fruit into the winter. The fruits are yellow and apparently, according to at least one person on the thread, the birds love'em.

If you go onto the bbc gardening web site and do a plant finder search for malus x zumi ' Golden Hornet' they'll even show you a pic. BTW it's suitable for clay/heavy soil.

Cheers
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Old Tuesday 24th January 2006, 17:15   #12
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Thanks

Did have a small shrub which grew well but had no height 3' max, will look at others, only problem the larger ones are not wet tolerant anr I have heavy clay soil.

John
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Old Wednesday 25th January 2006, 22:19   #13
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I'd have a punt with a few native crab apples - they really are tough and i think they should do ok on clay (perhaps not as well as some other shrubs).

Alder buckthorn is cool if you can grow it as a foodplant for Brimstone butterflies.
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Old Wednesday 25th January 2006, 23:33   #14
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Cathy...thanks for the info..have taken note of the names...I'm a bit further down than you....on the Clyde coast...but hey..lucky you...near the Loch Fyne oyster bar eh? Nice!

Isurus...noted The Scotch Burnet one too thanks...I dont remember seeing that one...must go trawl..lol

John...Oh darn...now you've made me think!...it would be right in front of the house..height doesnt seem to be a problem....there are neighbours round here with Leylandi over six foot tall....plus my neighbours are directly to the side of me...nothing in front of the garden but the road leading into the avenue..and we're at the dead end at the bottom. The pruning part might be a problem...I wouldnt want it to grow more than about 4 1/2 feet..seeing as Im only 5ft and wouldnt want to stretch tooooo much...lol...but if this is going to affect the fruits and nuts of the bushes, then I may think about just getting it to put along the fence at the back door instead.
Btw..we have 2 elder trees just outside the back of the house and 5 of them right down at the bottom of the garden. They're great!....covered in aphids in the summer which the birds and ladybirds etc have a meal of...and then huge clusters of berries which the birds go to town on..lol.
Ive also got nice square of rough grass area in which I'm thinking will take a Hawthorn nicely this year. Or does anyone have any suggestions of quick growing trees, cos I heard the hawthorn was a slow growing one?
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Old Wednesday 25th January 2006, 23:48   #15
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Hi Dizzy,

The trouble with fast growing trees is (correct me if I'm wrong) they would probably be quite large in size, such as the dreaded Leylandii. You can get alot of trees now grafted onto a dwarf rootstock, so that might be the answer for you, but as to what's available, I don't know.

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Old Thursday 26th January 2006, 08:31   #16
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Dizzy

Try and find a good nursery, get hold of a knowlageable assistant and tell them what you want to achieve. I am building up an idea of the plants I want to put into my hedge, I will check out each plant in a reference book for compatibility. Then I will visit the nursery and ask before I buy.

If you have no specialist nursery near by use mail order.

As with height, we have rose hedging along some of our boundary, we cut it at least twice a year. I have know idea what type of rose it is and until recently never thought of leaving the hips for the birds.

In the past we and our neighbours have trimmed the hedge once it had flowered, to keep it neat and tidy to a height of about 5'. This year I will try and strike a ballance, trim it after flowering and prune it heaverly much later.

My native hedge will be at the bottom of the garden where height will not be too much of an issue, will also try and vairy the height by planting the odd small tree.

Good luck, this and other similar threads have certainly helped me and I hope the information will keep comming in. Thanks to all those who have offered their opinions and advice.

John
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Old Monday 20th March 2006, 22:43   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzy
Does anyone have this type of hedging??? or even some of the above mentioned in their garden... I like the sound of it, but wonder at the likes of keeping it under control etc. Are there any pitfalls lurking round the corner??
Planted over 200 ft of it last year, so it doesn't need 'controlling' yet.
I also have an established hedge with the varieties you mention which is just kept to the height required with a hedge-cutter.
You could possibly ring your local council to enquire about hedging plants. Ours ran a scheme where they were subsidised, and their stock tends to be from local sources so they are 'genetically correct' for the area.
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Old Tuesday 21st March 2006, 20:03   #18
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I would be wary of planting Blackthorn in a small garden. It does have a tendency towards thuggery, it can sucker everywhere: you will have a Blackthorn forest in no time!
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Old Wednesday 22nd March 2006, 12:25   #19
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I would be wary of planting Blackthorn in a small garden. It does have a tendency towards thuggery, it can sucker everywhere: you will have a Blackthorn forest in no time!
It also has vicious spines, notorious for causing septic wounds. A pity, because otherwise it's a lovely plant.
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Old Monday 27th March 2006, 21:21   #20
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Hi to Birdnut David and Mark,
Birdnut...tks for info...damn...didnt think of asking council, already got supply from Buckingham Nurseries, but thanks anyway
David and Mark...hopefully the blackthorn wont be too much of a problem..I've got a long back garden and right up at the top theres a piece of 'no mans land' in front of the fir trees so I've planted them up there out of the way along with some guelder rose and scotch burnet. Also managed to plant a rowan in the spare patch in front of the elders, a native honeysuckle up the trellis, and two hazel trees a bit nearer to the house. Got my log pile in place and am waiting for the tray of wildflowers to arrive. Now I just have to think of something water-wise and thats me until I can think of something else..lol

Best Wishes
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Old Tuesday 28th March 2006, 22:37   #21
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Hi dizzy, love the avatar,

You seem to be well sorted out now. Funnily enough I've recently bought a rowan tree for the garden so great minds think alike eh?!!

My project for this year is to build a garden pond. We've removed the turf and have got to the digging stage. Problem is that it won't stop raining for us to get on with it. My pond plants have arrived today, so I think I might have to dig in the rain at this rate. Oh well.....

Cheers,
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Old Thursday 30th March 2006, 23:52   #22
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Hi Cathy,
Do you like it then...thought since this was a forum covering birds/garden that he'd be more appropriate, poor toby has been relegated..lol
The Rowan Tree?? did you see the same pic I did then..lol...it looked so nice and covered with juicy berries..just had to have it...lol..great minds indeed
Re the weather...never mind...it has to clear up some time..surely!! (she says hopefully ) let us know how you get on with the pond when the weather permits. You are so lucky you have room for one. I just dont, the only space left which wont be under trees is the lawn itself. I've settled for a half barrel water feature I got in B&Q. It has a little mini barrel sitting on the top from which the water runs down into the bigger one..I think the tinkling of the water will be quite nice on a hot summers day !har har!!

Best wishes

p.s. I was so glad to read that another song thrush had visited you..heres hoping.
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Old Friday 31st March 2006, 06:36   #23
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Hi Dizzy,

Ssshhhh don't tell anyone but we had to remove a tree so we had space to fit in the pond without tree cover. Having said that, in my defence we've planted loads of trees since we moved in so that should balance things out - she says hopefully. Rowan, beech, hawthorn, hornbeam, hazel, to name but a few - many of them are included in our native hedge that we've started.

Ours will be a still wildlife pond as we don't need the sound of water what with the burn and waterfall at the bottom of the garden, when it rains we also get the run off from the surrounding hills and it sounds really loud!!! so we wouldn't hear it anyway. LOL!

Going back to the rowan, there are a few in gardens locally and i must admit they do look gorgeous. We'll have to compare notes on how 'our' rowans are doing!

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Old Sunday 2nd April 2006, 23:11   #24
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Ours will be a still wildlife pond as we don't need the sound of water what with the burn and waterfall at the bottom of the garden, when it rains we also get the run off from the surrounding hills and it sounds really loud!!! so we wouldn't hear it anyway. LOL!

Ooooooooh!!! you just said that to make me jealous a burn and a waterfall!!! no fair!!...lol

A wee while before we can compare...I dont know about yours but mine is a 4ft twig at the moment!

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Old Monday 3rd April 2006, 16:18   #25
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My rowan is just a 4ft twig too, although there is the faintest sign of a bud appearing at the moment! I'm sorry I didn't mean to make you jealous, I thought you knew about it! One thing is for sure, it's unlikely we'll ever run out of water, it's never dried up since we've been here, and further upstream there is a reservoir which drains off into the burn. It runs out into the gareloch and sometimes during the summer I see dippers near it's mouth. The grey heron often goes looking for a meal too.

Cheers,
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