People plant hedges for all kinds of reasons so if you’re wondering how to choose what hedge to plant in your garden, you may want to start by asking yourself one simple question, and that’s “what purpose is the hedge going to serve?”
Do you need it to mark the boundary to your property? Is it going to be planted with the goal of increasing your privacy? Do you need to filter out some of the toxins from a nearby road?
By determining your primary purpose for planting a hedge, you’ll get a better idea of the kind of hedging you need to plant.
The simple way to decide which hedge is right for your garden
While, of course, there is a myriad of different kinds of hedge, your choice of hedge comes down to two factors – shade and damp.
If your hedge is going to be planted in an area that’s mainly shaded from the sun, you’ll need a type of hedge that doesn’t mind the shade. If the hedge is going to be in damp and heavy soil, you’ll need one that doesn’t mind the damp.
You’ll also need to decide whether you’d like your hedge to be deciduous or evergreen. While you’ll get more privacy with evergreen hedges, they don’t allow as much light through as the deciduous variety.
Different hedges for different purposes
Now that you’ve worked out whether your hedge will be in the shade or the sun, and whether it’s going to be in damp or well-drained soil, you can start thinking about the purpose of your hedge and what type of hedge you’d like.
Create rooms within your garden
Hedging is a great option if you want to break up your garden into ‘rooms’, with evergreen privet, box and yew making a neat, traditional style of hedging.
Use hedging as a backdrop for your planting
Yew, box and privet hedging are also a good choice as a backdrop to show off the colours in your planting, as their uniform green colour and tight structure work well against flowering plants.
Other species that work equally as well include deciduous hornbeam and beech hedging, with hornbeam doing better in damper, heavier soil.
Hedging to attract wildlife
If you’re looking to attract wildlife into your garden, a mixed edible hedge will offer birds and animals shelter and food. So, choose bird and animal-friendly hedging such as dog rose, hazel, elder and ivy to encourage the wildlife population to move in.
Provide shelter with a hedge
Hedges are a better choice than fencing if you’re looking to protect your garden from the wind, as the wind is broken up by the hedge rather than simply being forced over the top.
For this type of hedging, you can choose anything that takes your fancy, and you can even mix hedging to make a more interesting feature.
Hedges for privacy
Many people choose to add hedging to their garden to provide privacy, but before you plant your hedge you should always check with your local council to see if there are any rules or contracts which specify what you can plant and how high it can grow.
Planting your hedge
Whichever type of hedge you ultimately choose, the best time to plant your hedge depends on the age of the plant. Bare-root hedging should be planted in October, while container-grown plants can be planted at any time of year.