There are many different types of hedging available out there, and choosing the correct one can be tricky. It really all depends on two things. Firstly –why are you putting the hedge there? And secondly – what are theconditions like?
If the purpose for your hedge is to provide privacy, then the chances are that an evergreen hedge would be the preferable option. An evergreen hedge is one which keeps it's leaves year-round, and won't be bare during the winter (something that could leave visible gaps in the hedge). The likelihood is that you will also require the hedge to be reasonably quick-growing in order to provide privacy as soon as possible.Laurel (prunus laurocerasus rotundifolia) hedging ticks both of the above boxes. It has glossy attractive green leaves which it maintains throughout the year, is a quick grower (putting on up to potentially a foot or more of growth in a season once established) and is tolerant of both harsh weather and tricky conditions.Photinia 'Red Robin' is another evergreen which is a reasonably quick growing shrub. As well as having attractive foliage, the new growth which comes through is a strong red. This adds colour and interest to the hedge. Leylandii the most commonly knownconifer in Britain is a traditional favourite for those looking for a quick and easy, cost effective hedging, guaranteed to grow quickly and maintain it's greenery all year-round.Bamboo – Although not a traditional choice, few shrubs can match Bamboo for their tolerance to wet conditions and extremely quick growth habit. As well as attaining a tall height in no time, they automatically thicken out, producing more and more stems and this eventually creates a dense thicket. The varietyPhyllostachys Aurea is a rapid growing variety which can attain heights of 12 foot + quite easily. Another Bamboo –Fargesia Murielae is a variety which is much easier to control and will not grow as tall as the Phyllostachys.
If you are looking to use your hedge to add extra security to an area then it goes without saying that the best varieties to use are those that will quite literally put a thorn in to the side of anyone daring to try and clamber through!Berberis are a great hedging option as not only are they thorny, they also produce yellow flowers during the spring. They are evergreen and tolerant of tough conditions.Pyracantha – again, like Berberis they are both useful and colourful, with dozens of berries appearing during late autumn. They are also tough, ideal for exposed locations.Holly – Although more ornamental than some of the other options, Holly is a great hedging solution due to it's density, the fact that it is evergreen, and the berries which it produces. Variegated Holly's are also available to provide more interesting foliage too.Hawthorn hedges are usually the choice where pure necessity for security exists. Having said that, they can be grown alongside Beech or Holly to provide a little more interest.
Beech – Beech hedging is a great choice for many different locations. It is good value – there is a choice of Green or Purple Beech (or a combination of the two), and it will tolerate exposed locations well. It is deciduous but short of an extremely blustery winter, it will retain most of it's brown leaves through to Spring.Yew – A Yew hedge is ideal for situations where only a short run of hedging is required. The negatives of it being rather slow growing and compact in shape are far outweighed by the unique evergreen appearance which they provide.Escallonia – Once established Escallonia hedges will flourish and form a great spectacle all year-round. As well as being evergreen, they fill with flowers in June.Buxus – A Box hedge is for those situations where you may be looking to create a neat and tidy outline within a garden, along a path for example. They are evergreen and extremely easy to maintain. Their slow growth means that they require only light pruning every so often.
Many of the varieties listed above will be tolerant of certain conditions to an extent. For example, Leylandii conifers are likely to thrive in most soils and don't particularly mind exposed spots. The same is true of Laurels. The likelihood is that in many gardens, even if the location isn't ideal for the type of hedge that you want, you can turn this around with good preparation such as improving the soil conditions or improving drainage. However in some cases such as when a site is particularly exposed, the option of which hedge to use comes purely down to necessity rather than choice.
Wet, heavy soils
Hornbeam is an ideal hedging to be used in locations where drainage is poor, for example at the base of a sloping garden. It is tolerant of such poor conditions and yet despite being deciduous, retains many of it's brown leaves over winter much like Beech.Privet – It is usually chosen more out of necessity than anything else, but Privets will thrive in poor conditions, retain most of their leaves over winter and are quick growers too.
This depends on the level of shade as many varieties of hedging will tolerate some shade to a degree. For densely shaded areas though a couple of choices include:Holly will tolerate both sun and shade. As mentioned earlier, it will form a dense, secure hedge. Berries are produced as long as both male and female varieties are present and varieties with a variegated leaf are available.Aucuba Japonica or Japanese Laurel is an evergreen shrub, tolerant of most garden conditions including one of the toughest – dry shade. It has green leaves with speckles of gold and produces small red berries. Although more of an informal hedge, a cluster of them can still form a strong, evergreen barrier.
For areas that are really exposed to the elements (such as on windy hillsides) some ideal hedging choices include:Beech – Beech will tolerate windy, exposed sites whilst still offering the benefit of looking great through the summer.Privet is another option for exposed spots.Pyracantha will tolerate tough windy spots and chalky soils. It produces an abundance of berries as well as being a secure option due to it's thorns. More information can be found on our hedging page too.
All gardens and their conditions vary, so if you are still not sure on which hedging is the best for you, then please don't hesitate to phone us up on01457 764686.
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