Hedges form an attractive boundary, as well as providing a place for wildlife, especially nesting birds. Autumn is
the best time to plant hedge rows. The soil is nice and warm still, not inundated with water and easy to dig. Early
autumn is ideal for hedging plants such as box, privet (semi-evergreen) and yew. However, they can be planted at any
time from late autumn until late winter Deciduous hedges such as beech, hawthorn and hornbeam can be planted any time
from leaf fall. This is typically from mid-autumn until late winter.
There are a variety of hedging types to look at depending on your particular need or situation. We have outlined below
four of the most common hedging types: Instant hedging; screening trees, hedge plants and bare root hedging.
If your budget allows, instant hedging is the perfect way to create an instant impact in your garden. Instant
hedging can come in pots, troughs or 1m hedging bags with handles.There are a variety of hedging plants that are
available in this form such as Native mix hedging, Laurel, Beech, Box, Hornbeam and Thuja.
Instant hedging is perfect for screening off your boundary, softening fence lines or for instant privacy. There are
many benefits to hedging that is already established. The plants in troughs will already be spaced out for you; you
can double plant to get a very dense hedge. When planted, trim across the top to give you a uniform height and an
instant effect! Great for wind or sound reduction. Planting native mix hedging is great for our wildlife. Your
instant hedge will add security and will act as a deterrent.
If the problem that you face is lack of privacy in your garden or unsightly and imposing views then there are a
few ways that you can achieve a good level of screening.
Although more costly, panel-pleached trees (as shown in the photo above) can be an instant and elegant solution to
this problem. They are excellent for screening up to about 3.5m high.
Hornbeam and beech are popular choices. They partially loose their leaves in winter, although as they mature this
lessens. Evergreen varieties that are available include Red Robin Photinia, Magnolia Grandiflora and Quercus Ilex.
Another option is to mix a range of evergreen and deciduous trees which can add some interest as well as draw the
eye away from the views behind. In this case a mixture of heights works well.
Hedging plants are a cheaper alternative to instant hedge troughs. They form an attractive boundary and provide
privacy. When kept under control they make an effective hedge.
As well as providing a boundary to your garden or softening fence panels, hedging is enviromentally friendly and
perfect for nesting birds and wildlife.
Conifers are a popular choice and despite the bad press when kept under control they make an effective hedge. Buxus
and Taxus are often used for formal hedging. Hawthorn or Viburnum can be chosen for their colourful foliage.
Aftercare Remember to keep plants well watered for dry spells over the next two years after planting. Keep the
hedge on each side weed free- about 18 inches each side. Top-dress annually with a general-purpose fertiliser.
Bare root hedging is available from November to March. There is a wide range of bare root plants and they are
significantly cheaper than the instant hedging or container grown material.
The more important point to mention is that the roots must not be exposed to the sun or wind between being lifted
and planted. So the roots must be kept covered until you are ready to plant.
Hedging species are very useful for forming low barriers in a garden –sometimes low hedging is better than
taller hedging – if the hedge length is short, if a tall hedge would take up too much width, if it would create too
much shade or be too difficult to maintain. Low hedging is also very useful to separate off areas without forming
structural barriers eg around a veg garden.
Plants are defined as “native” if they grew here before the formation of the English Channel. The benefits of
planting with native hedging species are: You can be sure they are acclimatised to UK weather conditions, and soils
and have low maintenance requirements. Once established, native plants usually withstand long periods of dry