Choosing the Right Hedge

Hedges have a wealth of uses, being highly effective whether being used to delineate boundaries, for architectural effect, being strategically placed for use as an intruder deterrent or to help provide shelter and food for birds and wildlife.

There are many considerations when choosing the right hedge suitable for your needs and the choice of plants is endless. It is therefore a good idea to try and determine the key requirements of purpose the proposed hedge is being planted for before selecting the most suitable plants for the job.

Are you looking for all year round screening for privacy, something formal or informal, a hedge that provides delightful seasonal variation with colourful flowers or beautiful autumnal colour, something providing architectural interest or are you hoping to attract birds and wildlife to the garden?

Possibly the first few decisions are, do you require and evergreen or deciduous hedge? What is the ideal ultimate height you are hoping to keep the hedge at? Do you require a fast or slow growing variety thinking about the maintenance? How dense do you require the fully grown hedge to be?

Evergreens such as Yew and Box are extremely popular choices, often used to create formal tightly knitted hedges and being fairly slow growing are low maintenance only requiring trimming once a year. Laurels and Leylandii are also commonly used evergreens to create faster growing screening to great effect. If choosing a deciduous variety the choice is huge, the most popular are Mixed Native Hedgerow mixes, Beech and Hornbeam. The latter two often retaining a large proportion of russet brown leaves in the autumn therefore offering the possibility of more cover than other deciduous varieties.

Once the basic decisions have been made, the soil type, climate and site need to be looked at to determine what plants will tolerate the conditions. It is always a good idea to walk around your neighbourhood to see what is growing and thriving, giving a good indication of plants that will work in your garden or fields.

All these factors considered, budget and patience are always a huge factor as well. There are four options available when buy hedging, the cheapest financial option is to buy bare root plants, then there are root ball and potted options with the fourth being Instant Hedging.