A good hedge goes a long way, especially in terms of privacy, decoration, and formal landscaping. There is a dazzling variety of handy and handsome hedges that will help to highlight, conceal, and even protect your garden. The secret to a flourishing hedge is simple – fertiliser, mulch, and consistent pruning. If you’re still a little nervous about the world of hedging, here is Life is a Garden’s heroic hedge guide to the rescue. Plant fearlessly and level up your gardening game this August.
The handiness of hedge-tech
- Medium and tall-growing hedges create eco-friendly, peaceful privacy.
- Low-growing hedges create boundaries around beds and help to highlight areas.
- All hedges can be used to separate design elements and bring depth to the garden.
- Hedging also helps to protect the garden from the elements, such as wind and hail.
- Thorny hedges pack a painful punch and can easily be utilised as a security feature.
- Maintained hedges are sophistically decorative, blending nature with architecture.
Plant these small hedges to edge your beds, direct visitors along a walkway, create landscaping patterns and designs, box-in feature plants, and accentuate focal points or art pieces in the garden.
- Lavender varieties – try Dentata
- Natal plum (Carisa macrocarpa)
- Spekboom (Portulacaria afra)
- Iceberg roses
- Buxus (Buxus sempervirens)
- Dwarf bamboo (Nandina pygmaea)
- Abelia varieties – try lemon & lime
- Duranta ‘Sheena’s Gold’
Medium height hedges
Plants can be added to increase privacy, corner off sections of the garden, bring in bold decorative elements, add greenery to barren spaces, and assist in reducing outside noise.
- Abelia varieties – try Schumannii
- Buxus Microphylla ‘Faulkner’
- Blousyselbos (Plumbago auriculata)
- Blue honey-bell (Freylinia tropica)
- Star jasmine
- Natal plum (Carissa macrocarpa)
- Saltbush(Rhagodia spinescent)
Tall and large hedges
Rethink fencing with these living walls that will create privacy, structural intrigue, texture, neat landscaping features, increase garden security, and filter noise pollution in urban areas.
- Budlejavarieties (false olives)
- Sweet viburnum
- Viburnum sinensis hedge
- Pittosporum hedge
- Yellowwood tree
- Bamboo – aggressive
- Olive trees
Perfecting the art of pruning
The overall success and appearance of your hedge is largely dependant on how and when you prune it. Prune new hedges along the sides to encourage faster and fuller re-growth. After that, keep pruning to achieve the height and shape you desire. Flowering hedges should only be pruned back after flowering as premature pruning could lead to no flowers at all, and that would be very sad indeed. Do not prune hedges during winter as soft new shoots may get damaged by the cold. A good pair of pruning shears is your best friend in the hedging world and they really aren’t that scary. Many gardeners actually experience hedge pruning as a therapeutic and meditative practice, give it a try!
Top tips for a handsome hedge
- Plant new hedges with plenty of compost, bone meal, or superphosphate to encourage strong and fast root development (all available from your GCA Garden Centre).
- Avoid planting hedges up against walls or fences and rather leave a 1m space between the plants and any form of existing barrier. Smaller hedges, however, can even be planted on top of walls for added height and décor.
- The distance needed between hedges will depend on what type of plant you choose. Rather give them enough space to prevent overcrowding and root competition. Your GCA Garden Centre assistant will be able to give you some advice on the space needed for your hedge.
- Trim your hedges as they begin growing to ensure a nice bushy density at the base.
- Mulch your new babies regularly to save on water and prevent weeds.
- Feed hedges with a tasty organic fertiliser (available at your CGA Garden Centre) to keep them growing at a steady pace. Remember to enquire about feeding intervals.
- Remember to be patient. Hedges do need some time to form in all their glory but they are defiantly worth the time and effort.
Head on over to your favourite nursery and hunt down the hedge of your dreams! Come springtime, your new plants will be ready for a fresh haircut and you will soon begin to reap the rewards of having nurtured them so well throughout the winter. Make sure to get a good pair of pruning shears and enjoy levelling up your green fingers with this new, cutting-hedge technology.