Hedge instead of fence

Hi,
I am currently doing up my garden and it's a bit of a project. I have a pretty pathetic excuse for a fence separating my garden from my neighbours on the right and altho I get on with them , I would like something a bit more...
My husband, last year, cut down 9 Leylandi trees on the right and we currently have just the stumps left. A quote to remove the stumps and roots has come in pretty pricey, so we decided to just cut them as low as poss and maybe utilise a couple by nailing some rustic wood between two to make a bench for the children.
However, I had a guy round tonight to quote me to erect a 6' fence down the right hand side of the garden. Upon inspection he has told me that he thinks it will be very difficult to put in the posts due to the roots from the trees and that we should try to remove the roots... which we wanted to avoid doing, argghhhh!
So I'm wondering, would it be best to have some kind of hedge instead of a wooden fence (we have a hedge on the left)? And this leads me to some more questions:
Which type of hedge is best for boundaries? How long would it take to establish and grow? How easy is it to plant/grow? Should I get permission from my neighbours as they will have to trim the thing back on their side?
Sorry for the massive essay, any replies will be greatly appreciated, I'm new to all of this (gardening, not forum posts!)
Cheryl.
--
chelly100


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On 5/24/10 1:03 PM, chelly100 wrote:

I prefer good, durable fences or even masonry walls. They keep your own children and pets in your yard and the children and pets of others -- including some of nature's wild "pets" -- out.
Furthermore, depending on what you have in your garden, you might have what is legally called an attractive nuisance, in which case a fence or wall is mandatory. Of course, "attractive nuisance" includes a swimming pool; but it also includes a hot tub, garden railroad, and some types of children's play equipment.
On the other hand, a fence or even a well-designed wall might not be very attractive. I suggest that you install a 4-foot high chain-link fence. The fence posts (steel pipe) will be easier to install through the tree roots than other kinds of posts. Then plant either shrubs or vines right against the fence to hide it. Allow the plants to grow higher than the fence and through it so that it is also hidden from your neighbor.
The first step would be to discuss this with your neighbor to ensure that the concept is mutually acceptable. With the right approach and an aesthetic design for the planting, your neighbor might even pay part of the cost.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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Agree but think you should go for 6' or more, depending on local regs. Also agree good to consult with neighbor on design. Neighbor may indeed pay for part of the cost; maybe they have been wanting a fence too!
Decades ago I had a block wall installed between me and (urgh!) neighbors, and to my amazement, they paid for part of it w/o even being asked!
Of course you will want to keep good relations, so much of David's advice is on target: Consult. Steel Posts.
But I think it should be 6' or more, and I also suggest two-sided handsome dog-eared cedar, which looks the same on both sides, so makes neighbor happy, and doesn't need plantings to disguise it.
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If you're planning on becoming old, I'd suggest hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha, specifically). It is in the European pharmacopeia and is prescribed for Angina pectoris, Atherosclerosis, Congestive heart failure, Hypertension (high blood pressure). It is an antispasmodic, cardiac, sedative, and vasodilator. It can be huge, or it can be small, and it is covered with the most discouraging thorns. You'd definitely want to get your neighbors approval for this. The more of them you plant the faster the hedge would fill in.

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chelly100 said:

My thoughts:
Trying to plant a hedge through all the roots would be as much or more of a hassle than trying to set a few fence posts.
My neighbor's hedge (which is along my driveway) ends up being trimmed by me or my daughter almost as much as by the neighbor. And my daughter is the only one who has ever made an effort to pull out the weed trees and shrubs that keep infiltrating it -- she hates the mess more than she hates yard work.
AS for my own hedge (came with the house) if it didn't shade / hide the air conditioning unit, it would be so gone...
(Feeling grumpy, as it is near record heat, and humid, with lots of work to do outdoors, and the first mosquitos are out and relentless. Two showers yesterday, one before dinner and one before bed.)
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

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Cheryl,
You could always get what most homeowners put in instead of a wooden fence, and that's Arborvitaes.
You plant the Arborvitaes about 3 feet apart, and when they get bigger, they grow not only up, but across as well, and form a natural type of fencing.
There are DIFFERENT TYPES of Arborvitaes for you to choose as well. You can get something like the "Emerald Green Arborvitae" which is a SLOW grower, that gets to a maximum height of 10-15 feet.
You can get the "Dark Green Arborvitae" which grows a little faster, and can get a maximum height of 25 feet tall.
Or you can get one of the fastest growing Arborvitaes which is called the "Green Giant Arborvitae", which grows 3-4 feet PER YEAR, and can get 35-50 feet tall.
You could also get a type of Evergreen Shrub called a "Blue Point Jupiter" which grows 10-12 feet tall, and 6-8 feet wide. You plant these 6 feet apart from one another because of their wide growing widths. The "Blue Point Jupiter" has a nice Blue-Green foliage color like the "Colorado Blue Spruce" Christmas Trees.
Here are some images below of natural Arborvitae fencing:
Arborvitae Fence - Google Search
http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&gbv=1&ie=ISO-8859-1&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=2&q=Arborvitae+Fence
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I forgot to also mention, that you could also go with "Dwarf Alberta Spruce" as well, on the property border. "Dwarf Alberta Spruce" only grows to a height of about 8 feet tall, and 3 feet wide. But don't expect "instant privacy" from them. "Dwarf Alberta Spruce" only grows like 2-3 INCHES PER YEAR, so if you plant one when small, it will takes many, many years before getting 8 feet tall.
Here are some other images for you to check out, of the shrubs I mentioned:
1)
Dwarf Alberta Spruce - Google Search
http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&gbv=1&ie=ISO-8859-1&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=2&q=dwarf+alberta+spruce
2)
Blue Point Juniper - Google Search
http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&gbv=1&ie=UTF-8&tbs=isch:1&ei=7uj7S7yCDYK78gby5-HpBQ&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=blue+point+juniper&spell=1
3)
Here is a random picture that I found on craigslist.org of what an "Arborvitae Fence" would look like almost fully grown, on your property line:
ARBORVITAE'S (EMERALD)
http://albany.craigslist.org/grd/1695107346.html
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Did any of our info. and suggestions help you??
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wrote:

I'd not recommend planting a hedge that necessitates relying on the owner of the adjoining property trimming those portions that grow on their side or to cooperate in any way. You may get along with the present neighbor famously but there are no guarantees that they will still be your neighbor next year or even tomorrow, or that you don't have a falling out. I'd not plant anything that would encroach onto the adjoining property, I'd also be sure enough space exists for me to maintain the plantings without my trespassing. All that said if you live in a cold clime I highly recommend Canadian hemlock, makes an excellent privacy screen that can be kept trimmed/sheared to a manageble size, but needs to be placed a minimum of 5' inside your property line. When I decided to plant a row of specimen trees along my property line I made sure to place them 15' inside my property. If you don't have adequate space for plantings then I strongly suggest you erect a privacy fence, and still leave enough space for you to walk on the other side in order to do any maintenence without your trespassing. I subscribe to the Robert Frost school of good fences make good neighbors.
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