Choosing hedges for your garden is one of the most important decisions you will make. There are many varieties of hedges available but they all have their place in a garden. Some are better than others for different types of gardens. A good rule of thumb is to choose a variety with the least amount of dead wood in its branches so it won’t cause problems when pruning or cutting back other trees or bushes in your yard.
When choosing hedges, there are several factors to consider such as size, shape, color and type. Size refers to how large the hedge is relative to the space you want it in. Shrubs like ferns or even small trees may need smaller hedges than larger ones because they don’t require as much room.
If you’re looking at hedges that are too big, they could potentially block sunlight from reaching your flowers or fruit trees. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a hedge that’s small enough to fit into a corner without blocking anything out, then those hedges might work well for you.
Shape refers to the way the hedge is shaped. Deciduous hedges tend to look like little pine cones while flowering hedges tend to resemble tiny pomegranates. There are many other types such as columnar (pyramid shaped), globular (round) and vase shaped.
You can also create your own unique hedge by trimming one that’s spherical into a pyramid shape.
Color is another important factor when choosing hedges. Deciduous shrubs tend to have different shades of green leaves but some are more yellow or brown in the fall. Evergreen shrubs tend to have darker green leaves year round but some are lighter or even blue-green in color.
Another important factor is the type of hedge you’re looking for. Deciduous hedges lose their leaves in the fall and grow them back again in the spring. Evergreens, as the name suggests, remain evergreen all year long.
There are also flowering or ornamental hedges that have flowers on them as well as foliage. There are also hedges that are a combination of evergreen, flowering and deciduous.
Now that you have an idea of what types of hedges are out there, here are some more suggestions for specific types of hedges and the different benefits they bring to your garden:
Clipped or sheared hedges: These hedges generally consist of thin, spreading leaves that can either be dark green or some other color depending on the type of plant material. They can be shaped like pyramids, globes or other fanciful shapes. These hedges can also be found in many different colors, depending on the type of plant being used.
English boxwood: This type of hedge is generally used for hedges because its leaves are more stiff and straight than other types of plants. These hedges can be pruned into any shape you wish but are typically in the form of pyramids or globes. These hedges are generally dark green in color.
Evergreen holly: This type of hedge is often used in topiary shapes. Since the plant has spiny leaves, it’s not the best plant for small children or pets that like to grab things. It can be found in many different colors and types including ones with berries on them.
Underground hedges: These types of hedges grow on the surface but send their roots underground. They generally need some type of support but can be pruned into any shape you wish. These hedges can also be found in a variety of colors.
English yew: This type of hedge is very hardy and doesn’t require much maintenance. It can be trimmed into many different shapes and is typically dark green in color.
There are many other different types of plants and hedges you can use for your privacy screen. Just remember to look at the individual characteristics of each hedge to see if it’s compatible with your particular garden and climate.
Using other plants and bushes: While different types of hedges offer privacy and other benefits to your garden, there are many other types of plants and bushes that can be used instead. Here are some suggestions of various types of plants you can use to provide a screen between your house and neighbors as well as the sun:
Dense shrubs: Shrubs come in many different sizes and shapes. Typically, they are smaller than trees but larger than grass or flowers. Shrubs that are located close to each other can form a screen that can be used for privacy as well as a nice backdrop or frame for your yard.
Evergreen shrubs: As the name suggests, evergreen shrubs remain green all year long. Some types of evergreen shrubs include holly, junipers and yews.
Deciduous shrubs: This type of shrub loses its leaves during the late fall and winter months. They can provide a nice frame for your garden but won’t block out your neighbors when it’s fall. Some types of deciduous shrubs include azaleas, forsythia and lilacs.
Trees: Trees are the largest plants in any yard. They provide a nice backdrop for your garden and can offer privacy from neighboring houses. Most trees need a great deal of room so they won’t be growing close enough to each other to create a problem.
Some types of trees to consider are maple, oak and ash.
Annuals: This type of plant is temporary and doesn’t remain in the same location for more than a year. Some annuals can grow quite large but must be replanted each year. These plants will add color and interest to your yard but won’t provide the privacy that other plants will.
Some types of annuals include bell flowers, impatiens and petunias.
Herbaceous perennials: This is another type of temporary plant since the plant isn’t around for the second year. They typically are smaller than most annuals and stay in the same location for at least two years. Some herbs perennial include day lilies, bleeding hearts and poppies.
Bulbs: These plants are also temporary since the bulb will grow, flower and die each year. Most bulbs need to be planted each fall or early spring. The bulb will then send up leaves the next summer and bloom the following year.
Some types of bulbs to plant are daffodils, tulips and onions.
Shrubs: Shrubs are generally smaller than trees but larger than herbs or flowers. They come in many varieties and can be deciduous or evergreen. Typical shrubs include azalea, juniper and holly.
While there are many different types of plants you can use to create a privacy screen, remember that most of these plants need to be planted in groups in order to block out your view of the neighbors The closer they are together, the better they’ll serve their purpose.
Most importantly, have fun when you’re choosing your plants. To learn more about different types of plants, consider taking a nature walk in your area. The best way to learn about nature is to experience it.
You’ll be able to see various types of trees, shrubs and flowers closeup. You’ll then have a better idea of what you’d like to plant in your yard.
Before you know it, the plants you choose will grow to give you a nice background as well as provide a screen between your house and the neighbors.
Good luck building your natural screen!
Sources & references used in this article:
Selecting plants for screens and hedges by P Dinius, CA Brun – 2015 – research.wsulibs.wsu.edu
Wyman’s gardening encyclopedia by D Wyman – 1986 – books.google.com
Selecting landscape plants broad-leaved evergreens (2014) by DH Trinklein – 2014 – mospace.umsystem.edu
Selecting landscape plants: Boxwoods by AX Niemiera – 2018 – vtechworks.lib.vt.edu
Urban hedges: A review of plant species and cultivars for ecosystem service delivery in north-west Europe by T Blanusa, M Garratt, M Cathcart-James, L Hunt… – Urban Forestry & Urban …, 2019 – Elsevier
Hedgerows and hedgerow networks in landscape ecology by RTT Forman, J Baudry – Environmental management, 1984 – Springer
Herbaceous perennial plants: A treatise on their identification, culture, and garden attributes by AM Armitage – 2008 – books.google.com