Easily the most popular choice for natural privacy in the back garden – the humble hedge allows gardeners to literally shape and cultivate a living fence or barrier between them and their neighbors (or any other external environment that they want privacy from) in a very easy and manageable manner.
However, much like anything pertaining to the garden or plant maintenance, there are a few must-knows about utilizing hedges and some issues which may arise when trying to find the best one for your circumstances. Make sure to read this quick guide and you’ll be ready to erect those walls!
Why plant a hedge over other methods of privacy?
The obvious question is why choose a hedge over any other sort of privacy? A lot of people shy away from erecting ugly fences in their garden out of fear of it looking a little too imposing or rude to neighbors; plus the appeal of having a wall of natural, flowering plants can really add a lot to the overall aesthetic or atmosphere of a back yard.
Why choose hedging instead of planting some sizable trees? Hedges are, generally speaking, relatively easy to maintain. In terms of privacy, they are best suited to smaller gardens, or for those who don’t require massive heights to give themselves a little privacy. Hedges can also be fairly successful deterrents or security measures if you choose a species which boasts prickly leaves – almost like a natural barbed wire fence .
Additionally, believe it or not, hedges can be great sources of noise reduction and filters against dust and dirt – particularly useful if you live near or on a roadside, as well as some shelter from winds if you choose a larger species. This being said, larger species of any plant or tree in the garden is asking for an argument from your neighbors, so make sure to at least make them aware that you intend to impose upon their view, first .
How do I decide which hedge to plant?
Before you decide which species or type of hedge you need/desire for your garden, it’s important to know what you want from it first. If it’s intense height, then look for species which boast this – or perhaps it’s something a little more aesthetic to lend to your garden’s overall look, either way – do a little research.
If it’s something of the latter that you desire (a more superficial sort of privacy wall), then the boxwood hedge may be the choice for you. The boxwood is one of the most common types of hedge, and lends itself well to repeated shaping and pruning over the years, which make it perfect for some creative design, or simply just shaping it into a well formed, midlevel barrier.
For something a little more heavy duty, with a serious deterrent edge, a species like the Pyracantha (also known as the Firethorn hedge) is one of the best available to gardeners. This strain has very sharp, dangerous thorns but flowers into bright fragrant flowers in the summer and berries during the winter months.
You will also want to look into the different types of plant in general, i.e. evergreen or deciduous hedges. Evergreen, naturally, will flourish throughout the year, but these avid growers tend to require more maintenance and pruning. On the flipside, deciduous plants will wilt a little and brown during the colder months, but require less pruning. Really, it’s all down to your individual tastes and requirements for privacy.
Planting a hedgerow is one of the most popular avenues of retaining some privacy in the garden, with a little thought beforehand and careful management once planted, you could shape your back yard into something a little more impressive and a little more secret in no time!