Design Tips

Design Tip #6 – In praise of the living hedge

Pamela Rawlins

Things to consider when choosing a hedge.

1. Function – Why might you want a hedge?

• As a wind-break

• For privacy or security

• As a backdrop to an herbaceous border and shrubs

• To attract wildlife

• To subdivide the garden into rooms

• To make a feature of a particular area for example enclosing a bench

 2. Form – Make a shortlist of the possible plants.

• What type of soil do you have? Is it clay or sandy?

• What is the drainage like? Yew, for example, doesn’t like sitting in water.

• What height do you want it?

• Do you want it to be evergreen or not? Should it be a native hedge?

• How fast do you want it to grow?

• What colour do you want to introduce into the space?

• How permeable or dense do you want it?

• Would you benefit from a ‘stilt hedge’ (One which is made up of a row of trees)

 3. Cost and Source it.

• What is the length of the run?

• How many do you need to plant per metre? Is it single or double planted?

• Consider whether it can be planted bare root or root ball? (If so, you might have to wait till next winter/spring)

• Do you want an instant effect – if so look at mature hedging suppliers.

4. Finally, plant & maintain it.

• Make sure you can take delivery and offload the plants and heal them in till you are ready to plant (i.e. don’t get it delivered too soon).

• Find the right person to plant it or if you are doing it yourself make sure you get advice on the right things to do.

• Make sure you have the right tools for the job! A good spade and set of hedge trimmers or better still employ someone to do it for you!

• Enjoy it and take photos regularly – it’s amazing how quickly it will grow.


Download: Tip #6 – In praise of the living hedge

If you need help answering these questions then do contact me.

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