What are the best plants for hedging?
This is question we are often asked, and our reply is usually a question (or two!)
Where is the hedge for? How fast does it need to grow? Does it need to be evergreen? What grows well there already?
This important information can help us guide you in the right direction. You might say for example that the hedge is for a garden, in which case we can recommend our Garden Hedge Pack, which has a variety of species that are attractive, but don't have any thorns. On the other had it could be a traditional hedge such as farm/field boundary in which case to make it stock proof you would need about 70% thorn with 30% other species mixed which gives it diversity e.g. Hazel, Dogwood or Wild roses. You might be looking for plants that can be shaped for formal hedging such as Box, Lonicera, Privet or Yew.
Often customers ask us for fast growing hedge plants, Leylandii is often frowned upon these days, however it can be a useful species in the right place putting on up to 90cm in a season – you just need to remember to tame it a few times a year! Other species that are faster growing include Laurel, Western Red Cedar, Portuguese Laurel, Viburnum Tinus, Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Field Maple and Crab Apple, these species can put on 40 – 60 cm a year in good growing conditions. A native hedge planted small at 40/60 cm, will be putting on a good show in 3 – 4 years. If you are after a more instant effect you could plant larger plants such as our mixed native hedge troughs, larger Laurels or Griselinia.
Many of the faster growing species are also evergreen, for example Western Red Cedar give the same dense conifer hedge as Leylandii but is more easily contained, Portuguese Laurel, Eleagnus, Escallonia and Viburnum tinus are also suitable. If you are looking for a slow growing evergreen species, Holly is perfect - it takes a while to establish but is then very low maintenance.
If you are not sure what to chose, it is always good to have a look around and see what else is doing well in your area - what do you like the look of? Please do give us a call on 01404 43344 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be able to offer you some advice. Whichever species you chose we can provide you with the best, strong healthy plants which we have carefully tended in our Devon based nursery.