How do I choose the right hedge plants for 3 foot deep raised bed?

My husband and I recently moved house to our dream retirement cottage about 16 miles inland and 350m up from the North Sea - and discovered the drain lines for the entire neighbourhood (four properties) run right through our little postage stamp front garden! We've removed the weeping willow the previous owner was told was a dwarf (HA!) and got all the roots out from around those drains and now we want to put a raised 'trough' style closed bottom (to keep roots from the drains) bed for some kind of hedging.I'd love privet as it is fast growing and creates a quick dense hedge if planted properly - but I'm not sure of the depth the plants would require for a long healthy life. We've also considered box or holly but the eye-watering cost of decent sized bare root plants+slow growth rate means we'd be shuffling off this mortal coil just when the hedges were reaching their full glory. Any suggestions? I'm a keen (and US trained) gardener but this one has me flummoxed. The US 'hardiness zone' would be 2A/2B(ish).

  2 answers
  • Pamela Pamela on Jan 21, 2019

    Hi , I am not familiar with your weather climate for planting , but I am wondering why you removed the weeping willow tree ? You stated that you have 4 drain lines running into your front yard...weeping willow trees are generally planted in areas to help absorb excess water. I would suggest looking into another type of plant that also absorbs a lot of water. Hopefully someone in the hometalk community can help you with some suggestions ! Good luck !!!

    • See 1 previous
    • Pamela Pamela on Jan 21, 2019

      Ok, well in that case , it was absolutely necessary !!! Good luck with your new plantings ! 😊

  • Zapple Zapple on Jan 21, 2019

    Absolutely removing the Willow was the right thing to do. Those roots can travel long distances, get into any size crack to do damage and trying to dry up

    an area by planting one doesn’t work. Besides they are extremely dirty and get huge.

    • Bianca Mitchell Bianca Mitchell on Jan 21, 2019

      Thank-you:) We love to see weeping willows in the right place but that wee front patch was not the right place at all! Huge doesn't begin to describe how very big that so-called dwarf was - the base trunk was 6in around and apparently was cut to the base every year to 'keep it in check'. The tree surgeon was surprised it hadn't lifted the house - it was lifting the common footpath paving stones. He took photos of the damage done to the drain lines (cracked and broken with roots growing into the drains, it wasn't going to be long before the drains were choked off completely) as a teaching tool for future apprentices.