HEDGES FOR EVERY GARDEN!
Whether you want extra privacy and security, a haven for wildlife, fine fragrance or fabulous flowers, a hedge can provide the answer, as Louise Curley reveals
What’s good for wildlife, flowers, scent and foliage
It can be hard to get excited about hedges. they quietly do their thing, defining the boundaries of our gardens and providing a useful backdrop to other planting.
But they can be so much more. It’s possible to make a feature of hedging by incorporating it into your garden’s design and capitalising on the extra planting opportunities a hedge offers. this could simply be using traditional hedging plants such as yew, box and privet in a less conventional way – cloud pruning them into loose, undulating curves, perhaps – or it could mean growing less commonly used plants to create a hedge.
Within a garden, the humble hedge can have a multitude of functions. they provide privacy, screen off unsightly areas and muffle noise, while hedging plants that form dense, prickly structures can also add a degree of security. Shapewise, there are plenty of options, too – from the neatly trimmed to looser, more fluid effects.
When it comes to design, they play a vital role: you can use hedges to divide your space into different garden ‘rooms’; taller ones will help you create secret places, or you can cut a hole into a hedge to capture a view – either taking the eye beyond the garden or giving a glimpse into a hidden corner.
Hedges needn’t be high, however. Naturally low-growing or clippable plants can be used to make formal parterres or to line a path. these may also add fragrance, with both rosemary and lavender working well as lowgrowing hedging structures.
the right hedge can bring colour to a garden, whether that’s fresh vibrant new growth in spring, the rust-brown dry leaves of beech and hornbeam in winter, deep red berries or the attractive blooms of escallonia or fuchsia. they can even be a source of food – top choices include hazels for nuts, species roses for hips, and blackthorn for sloes to flavour gin. And they are unbeatable for attracting wildlife, providing shelter, nesting spots and sustenance.
In fact, hedges are far from boring, and autumn is prime planting time. the ground is still warm and workable, and bare root plants of deciduous hedging will become available over the next few weeks. Inexpensive and easy to establish, these are an ideal way of growing a hedge that will do a lot more than just enclose your plot.
“Hedges play an invaluable role in garden design”
Hedges offer lots of design possibilities and are great for creating garden rooms. Pliable willow is ideal for arches