Choosing a Hedge
Traditionally hedges were planted to keep animals from going astray, but nowadays we plant them mainly for privacy and to mark boundaries.
If you know that you want a hedge but canít decide what to plant, here are a few basic ideas for deciding what kind of hedge would suit your garden.
To start with, what height do you require and do you want an evergreen or deciduous hedge? Is it an internal or a boundary hedge?
If you want a quick 6 ft evergreen screen for privacy then leylandii or laurel are the favourites. (Laurel can be cut right back and will recover, but does not like it wet and is poisonous to cattle.) If you are prepared to wait a bit longer or have a slightly lower hedge in mind yew, holly, western red cedar or privet are good choices. (Yew has poisonous berries, is poisonous to cattle and does not like it wet.)
If a native hedge is more the thing use hawthorn, with a bit of blackthorn, hazel & dog rose, all the little birds will love it but it drops its leaves in winter. A bit of holly here and there can make a native hedge more evergreen. A halfway house between native and evergreen is beech hedging. It keeps the dead leaves over winter giving a little more privacy, or for a wet spot hornbeam is more successful.
For security prickly plants are very effective, top of the list being berberis. But holly, hawthorn, and pyracantha are good too. Pyracantha can also make fence panels more attractive looking with flowers and berries. itís prickly too.
For a more ornamental hedge coloured leaves are good such as gold leylandii, golden privet, lonicera nitida baggensens gold, photinia red robin, or purple beech. For flowers escallonia, fuchsia, pyracantha, or berberis are good. It is hard to garden in front of a very colourful hedge all you can do is play with contrasts. A green hedge provides a good background for more colourful planting.
For low ornamental hedges box is favourite followed by fragrant lavender.
Don Morgan, Morgans Nursery
Stonehouse Lane, Bulkeley, Nr. Malpas, Cheshire, SY14 8BQ
Web Site: www.hedgeit.co.uk