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I live in a semi-rural area and am regenerating a hedgerow in my garden. It was left unmaintained for a long time by the previous owner, with ivy having taken over quite dramtically. The hedge is about 10-12 m long and has about three sections with slightly varying stock of shrubs. It has holly, some hawthorn and blackthorn, a little bit of wild cherry and a lot of what is either a privy or elderberry on the outer side (road side). I am looking for advice on what goes with what. I am looking to (re)plant mainly holly in one section and looking for a complementary shrub. The other section has hawthorn, blackthorn, and some wild cherry. Any ideas on how to combine these sensibly?
The original hedge has two rows of planting, where the shrubs on the outside row have degenerated into small trees and will require careful trimming back.
My plan is to plant a double row on the inside and a row along the outside part (once a gardener has been able to conclusively tell me whether I have privy or elderberry). I am thinking that once the additional row along the outside is tall enough i may cut down the original outside row to give the new row the space it needs.
Question: Is that too many rows, am I overdoing it?
Any thoughts will be kindly appreciated.
It sounds to me as if the hedge is very overgrown, by planting more rows outside the original hedge you will make a very wide hedge and be unable to control the centre where the problem lies.
My advice would be as follows:-
Remove the elderberry, this makes a poor hedge and will outcompete any new planting.
Cut the remaining hedge back hard to around 4ft, and remove all dead material. This will allow it to regenerate and keep it bushy.
Finally replant the gaps as required.
The only other alternative to the above would be to remove the whole hedge completely and replant from scratch.
I hope that this is helpful.
Kate (ornamental trees)