Hedging is something we get asked about on a very regular basis, specifically, what hedge will give privacy but doesn’t need much maintenance and won’t cost a fortune. These things are actually contradictory because if a hedge gives you the best privacy at the least cost, then it is fast growing, so will need more trimming to keep it at the required height.
The cheapest evergreen option is usually Common Laurel, as it grows fast and provides great privacy. However, the cons are that it can grow very wide, taking up space in the garden and it will need cutting twice annually to keep it in shape. Portuguese Laurel is easier to maintain but doesn’t grow as fast, so tends to be more expensive.
Beech hedging is a popular choice as it is the least expensive of the household hedges, is very slow growing and semi-deciduous. It will lose most of its leaves in the first year but will then retain a good percentage of its copper leaves through subsequent Autumn / Winters.
Hedging comes in such a wide variety of sizes these days from the smaller 2-3 feet options (smaller again for things like box hedging which regularly comes in sizes as small as 8-10 inches) right through to some amazing plants for screening, privacy and instant maturity at 8-10 feet tall.
These more mature sizes of hedging are where we have really made our name and become specialists in. We always hold a range of hedging up to 8 feet tall and usually have several options bigger than that again, providing instant cover, privacy and screening when you need it.
Mature hedging can create a strong framework for the garden, so that it looks good in midwinter and provides an attractive background to carry the colours of your spring and summer garden. As well as providing structure to the garden, and creating a more attractive boundary than a brick wall, hedging provides a sanctuary for wildlife and particularly nesting birds.
Planting a mature instant hedge has numerous benefits, not least the fact that we have taken the time to grow the hedge, so you don’t have to. As well as providing privacy and screening, it will create shelter on your site, reducing wind strength better than a solid barrier and lowering noise levels from roads or neighbours.
A prickly hedge is a great intruder deterrent, increasing security on your property. Pyracantha, Holly and Berberis are great specimens for this. Deciduous hedging encourages beauty and interest from seasonal changes and scented hedging, like Evergreen Jasmine adds another element to the garden that will compliment other plants.
Cotoneaster and Blackthorn hedging is particularly attractive for wildlife, as they provide food and shelter for a wide variety of native insects, birds and mammals. A mature hedge is far more economical in the long term than fencing and brick work, it will provide greater weather resistance over time and is more durable as hedges can last for hundreds of years.
Regardless of the type of hedge you decide to go for, it is important to keep a careful maintenance routine in mind. While soil should be kept adequately wet from Spring to Autumn, watering during winter is not usually required unless the hedge is evergreen and there have been long periods with little or no rainfall.
At this time of year, feeding your hedge is not necessary, save the fertiliser until after Saint Patrick’s Day when it will get the best benefits from the feed. The best time of year to prune a hedge depends on the type of plant. If the plant buds in the early spring, it can be trimmed late summer. If it blooms in late spring, then later in the autumn or winter will be better. For non-flowering hedges, pruning can take place in the autumn.