Creating the perfect hedge for your garden

Choosing the perfect hedge plants for your garden will largely depend on the size, shape and style of your garden, and of course, your location in the world.

Some of the considerations to make when thinking about your hedge are:

  • What will grow well?
  • How tall will the plants grow?
  • Will I be able to cut them myself, or will I need to pay someone?
  • Are the plants going to be easy to maintain?
  • Will they create enough privacy from the neighbours?
  • How many will I need to create a decent hedge?

When my parents began their garden, they were starting from scratch. Their ‘garden’ was a field. A field with no trees, just weeds. They were very set at the outset on planting trees and shrubs, in order that they could get the garden established as early as possible. They thought very carefully about what to plant where, considered the type of soil (more like clay in their case) and thought about how they could best make use of the space. One of the things they wanted to plant as soon as possible, was a hedge.

They chose a Laurel hedge to be the divide between their garden and their neighbours. The tiny trees were less than a metre tall when they planted them, but, in what seemed like no time, they had grown into an established, enormous thick hedge, with glossy leaves and offering amazing privacy.

We have quite a few laurel in our own garden these days and they really do make a great hedge. The growth is fast and they not only grow well in height, but also thickness too. If you want really good coverage, these would be a fantastic option.

You will need to trim them, once a year should be fine, so if you opt for this sort of hedge, make sure you keep on top of the growth and don’t allow them to get out of hand.

A Cypress hedge is another great option. From experience, these need a little more TLC than some other hedging plants, they can be quite sensitive to extremes of temperatures, so do keep an eye on them. Nevertheless, once established these can offer great privacy in a garden and look lovely all year around too. One of the great things about a Cypress hedge is that these grow in most types of soil and can easily grow up to 10 metres.

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If you are looking to add some security to your garden boundary, you could opt for something like a Hawthorne hedge – if you’ve ever spiked yourself with one when gardening, you will know what I’m taking about! This type of hedge will grow quickly, around 60cm each year, and will look attractive for part of the year as it will flower. The spikes on the Hawthorne can be huge, so don’t allow them to get out of hand. They will form a dense boundary and they also support the wildlife, so a double win.

Do you have any of these as your current hedge? What do you feel is the most effective?

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