Trust me, hedges are not just gentrified walls that adorn the palatial manors of the British countryside. There are loads of reasons why planting a hedge in your garden is a fantastic idea, even here in Australia. They are unquestionably more attractive than your typical wall or fence. Just because you would like some privacy doesn’t mean your property has to look like a prison. Beyond just your property’s boundary, they can be superb for breaking up spaces in the yard, making for individualised areas. Where necessary, they serve as a highly effective windbreak, helping to create ideal little microclimates and they are also far more likely to attract wildlife than a concrete wall. If that’s enough to sell you on a hedge the main thing you need to be conscious of before furiously planting your new green wall is that it will require maintenance. Whilst you might not need any hedge trimming with a concrete wall, the maintenance of a hedge isn’t something to be afraid of, just aware of. With good planning, pruning and the right tools to do so, there is no reason to hedge your bets on anything else other than a gorgeous garden hedge.
Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance
When planning out your hedge, think long term. Consider how large you actually desire your hedge to be and then match that with the size guide for a mature plant. Word to the wise, the size guide provides a size based upon an unpruned plant so factor this in when picking what you are after. We will cover this in more detail later but pruning is key to the gorgeous hedge you are after so you can easily knock half a metre off the mature guide size. As far as how many plants you will need, this can be figured out through a bit of a formula, where you measure the planting area from end-to end, right out to where you want the actual foliage of the hedge to end up and then divide that length by the desired width and then add another for good measure. Don’t be afraid of overlap, as it’s really important that the plants intertwine so your hedge doesn’t end up looking like an orchard row of separate plants.
Not all hedges are created equal
Evergreen plants make for the best hedges as they wont lose their effectiveness in winter by dropping all of their leaves. Hedges make for poor privacy and wind breaks when they are skeletal. Another key factor to consider is fast growing varieties of plants, as you don’t want to be waiting a decade to get the result you are after. Some species that are worth checking out are Camellia, Laurel and Hawthorne, as all three of these tick the boxes of being evergreen and fast growing.
Prune and trim your way to success
Remember at the top of the article I said there would be some maintenance? Hedge trimming is the key to ensure that you have a grand hedge and not an unruly eyesore running the length of your property. Just like how your hair thrives from a trim, so will your hedge. The reason being that when a plant is growing it is sending all of its energy out to the tips to try and gain more length. What you achieve through hedge trimming is a redirecting of all of that energy away from the tips and redirecting it towards the buds. This should help to get you two buds per branch, making for a much healthier and fuller looking hedge.
Now that you are a hedge expert, you’re going to need the right tools to ensure your hedge is up to scratch. Check out this article for a thorough list of the best hedge trimmers available on the market. You thankfully don’t have to break your wrists with a set of secateurs to enjoy the hedge you want.