Wooden fences, hedges and stone walls. All perfectly suited in providing a boundary for your property.
Rather than opting for the man-made variety, why not stay natural and plant a hedge! Rather than just a boundary line, hedges attract a number of benefits and can do wonders for the visual appeal and use of your garden.
When people think about garden hedges, they may be put off by the cost, maintenance and the time it takes to nurture what will become a well-established healthy hedge; but have you considered the positives?, there are benefits that only a hedge can provide.
Insects, birds and butterflies – Not only is a hedge a food source for natures creatures, it also offers shelter. Imagine a luscious hedge row, when in bloom with flowers or berries attracting butterflies and birds, a perfect picture of British summer!
Wind & noise protection – Unlike fences and stone walls, hedges are able to absorb a level of both wind and noise; thus providing a level of protection for your grounds during windy spells, and a quieter outdoor space should your garden be close to road/heavy foot traffic.
Crime prevention – Thorny or spikey hedge rows are a great deterrent for unwanted visitors; particularly important if your boundary is vulnerable.
‘Cover-up’ – Do you have an unsightly area outside, perhaps where you store your bins? Does your property have a view which isn’t picture perfect? Hedges are excellent for providing a natural attractive looking screen for areas best kept out of sight.
Visual – With so many varieties of hedge to choose from, will you opt for leaves in shades of green, yellow or copper, to name just a few, or; will you opt for hedges with flower blossoms, fruits or berries? Whatever you decide, the right hedge can be visually appealing, adding natural beauty to your garden with the colours and blooms that the seasons bring.
What is right for you?
As well as the number of benefits you’ll gain, choosing the wrong variety of hedge can cause problems. These can range from poor growth due to the wrong location/ type of soil; fast uncontrollable growth which prevents natural light entering your garden/property. A hedge can even take over its area of the garden resulting in nearby plants/shrubs losing out on water and essential nutrients.
All are reasons to select your hedge carefully, keeping in mind:
Maintenance – All hedges require trimming at least once a year. Faster growing hedges will require regular pruning.
Time frame – Nurturing a hedge to its full potential takes time, remembering the reason for a hedge you may need temporary screening. Don’t opt for a fast growing variety just to reach the end result quicker, these hedges will continue to grow quickly, which means frequent maintenance.
Size – Once established how big will the hedge grow? Will it interfere with your property? Could it cause any damage? Or outgrow its location?
5 Top Tips
(1) Think about why you want to plant a hedge. Is it for aesthetic purposes? Security? Privacy? Or simply to mark out boundary lines.
(2) Decide on the level of maintenance you can commit to. An annual trim? Regular pruning? Will you need special tools for the job? The advice of a professional?
(3) Research the most suitable variety of hedge based on its intended purpose, planted location and surroundings. Local garden centres can offer advice on suitability, planting and maintenance.
(4) If you have adjoining neighbours, and your hedge will act as a boundary, talk to them! Hedges need trimming on both sides; will you have the access to do this?
(5) Finally, review the deeds of your property and grounds, or contact your local council if you are unsure of your boundaries. It’s too late once the hedge has taken up root!