Garden hedges, how high can you go?

Hedges if well maintained can really finish off a garden, they provide structure and privacy as well as a welcome home to hedgehogs and nesting birds.

Which hedge grows the quickest? 

The elegant Leylandii has the quickest growth rate of approx. 75 – 90cm per year. If you plant it between November and February, it will need less water (or maybe none at all). However, you can plant pot-grown Leylandii from March to October without a problem as long as you water them throughout the spring, summer and autumn.

Hedges and neighbours

Who would believe that a hedge boundary could cause so many disputes, is it too high? is it blocking out light in a neighbour’s garden? is it growing into your garden space?

How to keep the peace

  • If you cannot jointly agree with your neighbour where to plant a hedge on your property boundary, then it would be wise to leave a gap of at least two to three feet between the boundary and your hedge.
  • You or your neighbour can cut any branches or remove the bits on your own side of the boundary.
  • The law states that a high hedge is anything more than 2m (approx. 6.5 ft tall) although if a hedge is below that height and blocking too much light from the house next door or their garden, they can speak to the local council to issue a notice to remedy the problem and prevent it reoccurring.
  • Boundary hedges between properties are the responsibility of both neighbours and each side is permitted to trim back any branches or roots that creep onto your property, take a look at The Handy Cordless Shrub Shear & Grass Blades, it is light and comfortable to use weighing just half a kilo it’s a perfect tool to shape the smaller hedge or grass edge in your garden.
  • Just be careful not to go over the boundary line or legally your neighbour could take you to court for damaging their property!

Nesting birds, they come first

  • All bird nests are protected by law and it is illegal to intentionally disturb or destroy active bird nests. Find out more (https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/advice).
  • Birds love hedging plants such as Yew or Privet, it’s a great nesting homes for them as the dense foliage creates a safe environment where they can shelter and breed in warmth.
  • Just remember birds usually nest between March and August as it is the main breeding season, while it is not generally recommended to cut your hedge in this time-period, if you do it is very important to check carefully for active nests before cutting.

A home for hedgehogs

  • Hedges are important to hedgehogs, they offer them protection and cover from predators while allowing them to rest in daytime or bury a hole in the ground out of sight.
  • Hedges are a great food source for them with snails, slugs, caterpillars and beetles living here too.
  • An ideal hedge for these creatures will have no gaps and is connected with other hedges to allow them to move freely and safely.

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