5 hedges with a dif­fer­ence

Amateur Gardening - - Your Gardening Week -

Wil­low fedge

This liv­ing fence uses wil­low rods for the struc­ture, then in win­ter the bendy new growth can be wo­ven in place. Fo­liage in sum­mer gives the feel of a hedge, while in win­ter those bare stems ap­pear more fence-like.


Go for bold sum­mer colour with this mixed hibis­cus hedge (avail­able from Bakker and oth­ers). Hardy in most parts of the coun­try, it does re­quire freedrain­ing soil and full sun. It’s de­cid­u­ous, so best used as a di­vider within the gar­den.


For year-round struc­ture with­out the rigid lines of tra­di­tional top­i­ary, try cloud prun­ing – a Ja­panese method of trim­ming ever­greens into loose, cloud-like shapes. The idea is to prune to mimic dis­tant hills and trees, and to help con­nect your gar­den to its sur­round­ings.


A com­bi­na­tion of hedg­ing plants cre­ates a tapestry of greens, punc­tu­ated with shots of coloured fo­liage. Hedg­ing spe­cial­ists will sup­ply a mix –horn­beam, pur­ple beech, field maple and golden privet are par­tic­u­larly ef­fec­tive.


Pleach­ing cre­ates trees with a straight, bare stem be­low a nar­row frame­work of branches that are trained onto canes. The re­sult works like a hedge on stilts, and can be a great way to screen out an ugly view. For ad­vice on pleach­ing see rhs.org.uk.

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