Bare root hedging plants collection from T&M
Bare root hedge plants are a cost-effective way to create a boundary
Image: Thompson & Morgan

Bare root plants are often far cheaper than potted plants. These young ‘whips’ establish quicker than more mature specimens and will soon catch up in size. Given the quantity of plants that are normally required to create a hedge, it’s a ‘no brainer’ to buy your plants as bare roots – in fact bare root hedge plants are by far one of the greatest savings you can make in the garden. Here’s the best way to spend that hedge fund…

Bare root season

Red Leaf Rose hedging from T&M
Available as bare root plants, the purple leaves and pink flowers of Red Leaf Rose make a striking hedge
Image: Red Leaf Rose hedging from Thompson & Morgan

The bare root season stretches from November all the way through to March, so make sure you get your roots planted while they’re still in their dormant phase. Once the last of the hard frosts gives way to sunshine and birdsong, the first flush of spring foliage will soon signal that you’ve left it too late – don’t hedge your bets, get your roots in while there’s still plenty of time for them to establish themselves.

Why plant a hedge

Sea Buckthorn from Thompson & Morgan
Sea Buckthorn has small silvery leaves and yellow flowers followed by orange fruits 
Image: Sea Buckthorn from Thompson & Morgan

The value of hedging is sometimes overlooked, but these green barriers provide the bare bones of many gardens, creating structure, securing boundaries and providing a backdrop for your borders. The right hedging plants not only look attractive, they also attract wildlife and create wind breaks in gusty locations.

Which plants make the best hedges?

Copper Beech hedging from Thompson & Morgan
Copper beech hedging turns a gorgeous tawny brown through the winter
Image: Copper Beech hedging from Thompson & Morgan

If you’re growing a new hedge, beech is an excellent choice. It forms a dense barrier that stays neat and manageable and only needs clipping a couple of times each year. Contrary to expectations, a beech hedge doesn’t turn into a bare skeleton over the winter but retains its tawny brown autumn leaves for many months, only shedding the dead leaves as the new season’s growth appears. 

If you prefer an evergreen hedge, try planting Yew, a traditional choice that lends a formal look to your garden. Or, if you’re after a quick growing, trouble-free hedge that thrives in most conditions, try Privet. Box is another popular choice, but in recent years the fungal disease Box Blight has decimated Box hedges up and down the UK. A good alternative, with a similar growth rate and appearance, is Ilex crenata or Euonymus japonicus.

Wherever possible, choose a hedge that benefits wildlife. Native and wildlife hedge varieties form essential wildlife corridors allowing birds, mammals and insects to travel freely between areas. Hawthorn and Blackthorn both provide berries for birds, nectar for insects, and shelter for many different species while their thorns help you to create an extremely effective security screen around your home and garden buildings.

Whatever type of hedge you need, there are plenty to choose from at Thompson & Morgan. Take a look at our full range of hedging plants online. For advice on how to plant a hedge and tips to help you choose the best hedging variety to suit your needs, do head over to our dedicated tree and hedge hub page.

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