Ornamental feature of a garden.

A hedge can be a great addition to your garden. Firstly, they add an attractive border to your property that is softer in the landscape than say a fence or wall. They also provide a sound barrier from neighbouring roads or the neighbours themselves! Thirdly, a hedge will provide a great habitat where birds can safely nest away from predators as well as supporting an abundance of other wildlife.

It’s surprising just how many types of plants you can use for a hedge and listed here are plants commonly used for hedges, along with some not so common but will make for an interesting contrast in your yard.

The heights given in this guide are the maximum height the plant will grow un-pruned. It is of course usual to keep a hedge confined to the size you require it in your garden. Also listed is the growth rate in which you will expect it to mature at and also the minimum width you should expect to be able to keep it at, as some plants require more room than others.

  • Proper planning and preparation is essential im creating an attractive and long-lived hedge. Planting and spacing the plants correctly will give it the best chance of establishing successfully. A hedge is technically the simplest form of topiary, so bearing that in mind there will be at least some amount of maintenance required each year.

  • When planting your hedge it is always best to bring in some fresh soil or compost for planting in combination with bone meal. Incorporating rich organic matter (Sea soil, compost etc.) with the bone meal will allow the roots to establish more quickly and reduce the stress on the new plants. Mixing the new soil with native soil already present is also recommended to reduce stress.

    Depending on your requirements and the amount of space available, you may want to plant a single row of plants for your hedge or a double, staggered row. The latter will provide you with a much more stronger and resilient hedge in the long term and is also the better option if you want your hedge to act as a sound barrier. This option will inevitably take up more room width ways so is not always convenient in smaller lots. As long as a hedge is kept trimmed properly, a single row is normally sufficient.

  • With our ever more common periods of hot and dry weather during the summer months, it is highly recommended to install some method of irrigation. In its simplest form this can be a soaker hose attached to an outside tap or for larger projects it may be worth considering an irrigation system controlled by a timer. Watering when establishing a hedge is best done less frequently but for longer, this encourages the water to penetrate deeper and therefore encouraging the roots to travel deeper too.

  • Spacing of plants depends on what size you buy them at. When looking at a plant we usually recommend leaving at least 1-2 feet between the widest parts of the plant. For example a 6’ cedar will usually be spaced at 2 per linear metre or 3’. Therefore you would calculate this by taking your total length and then dividing it by 1.5 to get the total number of plants needed. If you want your hedge to be taller, such as 9 feet or more, you should space your plants further up to 3’ apart so that they have room to mature to that size. Adding a couple of extra will take care of each end of the hedge.

    Our customer service staff can further advise you on the number of plants you may need depending on your requirements.

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