Why Plant a Hedge?
Hedges, fences and walls all provide boundaries around our gardens, but hedges have many advantages over the man-made alternatives.
Planting a hedge is a DIY project and all you need is a free day, a spade, see our fabulous range of gardens tools here
, plants and some compost to give your hedge a good start (unless you're in a rural area where you might need rabbit guards
). The cost is considerably lower if you use smaller cell grown
hedging plants or the even less expensive bare root
plants most of which are deciduous but there are some evergreen species (Cherry Laurel
We've designed our website so that you can quickly compare the cost of various hedge plants, a lot depends on whether you have the patience to order smaller plants (which are much cheaper) and wait an extra year or two for them to mature.
Thorny or spiny hedges are tremendously off putting to burglars. Particularly where your boundary is vulnerable, think about Hawthorn
. It is thought that crime rates are lower in green areas and even that people are inclined to drive more slowly down a hedge lined street.
Attraction for Insects, Butterflies and Birds
You can hang a bird feeder off a wall, but it doesn't compare with providing a Hawthorn
hedge with luscious red haws in Autumn, or the berries on a Laurel
, or Pyracantha
. Insects that are beneficial to the garden love Lavender
. As well as feeding the birds, butterflies and insects, hedges give shelter. Always check that fledglings have left their nest before clipping your hedge. The occupied nests of all wild birds are protected by law.
The overwhelming reason to plant a hedge is to provide shelter from winds. Unlike a wall or fence, which divert the wind upwards over the obstruction creating turbulence, a hedge filters and calms it, which leads to improved air circulation and the formation of a sheltered micro-climate. In the garden, this gives better growing conditions as a result of warmer soil. In seaside areas, a hedge is particularly useful in reducing salt erosion and damage to foliage from salt and sand.
Hiding Unattractive Features
We don't all have great views from every window and a hedge can quickly mature to whatever height is appropriate to block the view of rubbish bins, washing lines, compost heaps, or ugly buildings. This is particularly useful if you need a high screen, when the cost implications of walls and fences becomes even more persuasive in favour of hedges.
Framing a Feature
The dark background of an established hedge can help to focus the gardener's eye onto the plants in the foreground. Hedges are used by garden designers to help enhance a view and herbaceous borders are shown to best effect in front of a hedge.
All hedges require some maintenance, but fences need to be painted and panels which need to be replaced when rotted or wind-damaged. Ok, perhaps walls don't need a lot of maintenance, even we'll admit that wall's have the edge over a hedge when it comes to low maintenance. But when you factor in the cost, the visual aspects and environmental appeal, we naturally think a hedge is the better option overall. Think carefully though when choosing a hedge about the maintenance requirement - we specify the frequency of clipping needed for each species on the "Pruning Advice" tab on each species page.
Dense evergreen hedges are a useful way to reduce noise levels (reduce but not eliminate). The degree of sound deadening is directly influenced by the height, maturity and density of a hedge, and particularly by the elevation of the source of the noise, a noise from above the garden level being more difficult to reduce. Hedges planted for sound proofing are also known to absorb air pollution, which is particularly useful for use near herb and vegetable gardens, as well as children's' play areas.
Leaves in shades of green, grey, yellow, cream, lime and copper, as well as blossom, flowers, fruits and berries - a carefully chosen hedge will reward the gardener with colour throughout the seasons. See also our range of hedging with colourful foliage
We have seen research that shows that house prices are higher in streets in green areas. So, get the neighbours to plant a hedge!