Edible hedge

Hello I'd like to put a hedge at the bottom of my garden, approx 25ft wide. It would be nice to use native British species, that I could eat, drink or use. I was thinking about using hazel and elder. It will be against a fence that faces west and gets shade from a few surrounding deciduous trees. Has anyone else done this? Do you think it's a good/bad idea? How far-apart should I plant them?
Thanks AJ Staffordshire, England
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Hi All,
the only trouble with elder is that black fly overwinter on it. so you could have a big problem in the summer when they become active. hope this helps you.
Richard M. Watkin.

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On 4 May 2004 02:36:53 -0700 in

would some kind of hedge of berries on fencing work?
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snipped-for-privacy@roastbeef.net writes:

Another thing to consider is grapes. There is a house in our neighborhood that has a grape hedge kept at a height of about four feet. It looks great, even in the winter. They have kept the horizontal branches fairly evenly spaced to have a thick hedge when it's leafed out. When it's leafed out, you don't even notice it is grapes. It's really cool the way they have trained it, much like espaliering (sp?) fruit trees only better. :-)
Glenna
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On Tue, 04 May 2004 02:36:53 -0700, aj wrote:

Hazel grows rather slowly, and is gobbled up by hares as it grows.
Neither hazel nor elder are used in fences over here, probably because they can't take the regular cutting a hedge would need.
Why not go for hawthorn (Crataegus)? You can use the berries in juice and jelly, but they are rather dry. I use berries and flowering twig in herbal medicine. Then again, hawthorn flowers on last year's twig, and you cut that last summer, in a hedge...
Some people make juice and jelly of the pyracantha, too; I haven't tried that myself. I've seen pyracantha in hedges, though. Pretty pretty.
Another border plant (but not a hedge plant) is barberry (Berberis). It has edible (but extremely sour, if you're lucky) berries, too. I use the root in herbal medicine; the juice of the sour berries can be used instead of lemon juice, or vinegar.
Henriette
--
Henriette Kress, AHG                      Helsinki, Finland
Henriette's herbal homepage: http://www.ibiblio.org/herbmed
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aj said:

Where I used to live my neighbor had a row of red currants which made a nice informal hedge. The currants never got out of boundsand needes only minimal pruning. The area was also partly shaded.
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Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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I've had a lavender hedge and a sage hedge. Both were wonderful.
Anna
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What happened to them, did you eat them? :)
Boxer
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Nope.
Anna
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Hello All Thanks to Henriette, Pat in Plymouth, Richard and Glenna for your ideas. I have gone for hazel as the hedge. This looks easy to grow and I might get a few nuts (and a few canes to use for growing beans etc). I think I'll try a few haws or redcurrants later on, as bushes. I spoke to the Woodland Trust http://www.woodland-trust.org.uk/ and the lady there was very helpful. Actually Anna, I've started a small (20ft) lavendar hedge as well; around part of the the lawn. Very nice. Okay Boxer, not edible, I admit, but useful in the cat litter tray.
Thanks AJ
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