After a frozen start to the month, this week has brought sunshine and birdsong – spring is definitely in the air! As the weather improves, the sap begins to rise, and before you know it there will be a new flush of foliage everywhere you look!

This signals that the bare root season will soon be drawing to a close. But there’s still time to plant bare root shrubs and trees if you’re quick about it.

Hedging plants

©Thompson & Morgan Hedging plants

Bare roots are often far cheaper than potted plants. These young ‘whips’ establish quicker than more mature specimens, and will soon catch up in size. Bare root hedging is by far one of the greatest savings you can make in the garden.

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. Time to spend that hedge fund!

I often think the value of hedging is overlooked by many gardeners. Hedges provide the bare bones of the garden creating structure, securing boundaries and providing a backdrop for your borders. The right hedging plants will attract wildlife and create wind breaks in gusty locations.

Beech is one of my favourites – it forms a dense deciduous hedge that stays neat and manageable, but retains its tawny brown autumn leaves for months over the winter. So you are never faced with completely bare branches.

Fagus sylvatica f. purpurea

© Shutterstock Fagus sylvatica f. purpurea

If you prefer an evergreen hedge then Yew is the traditional choice for a formal look, or try Privet for a quick growing, trouble free hedge that will thrive in most conditions. Box is always a 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.

Euonymus japonicus Jean Hughes

© Shutterstock Euonymus japonicus Jean Hughes

Wherever possible, choose species that will benefit wildlife. Hedges are 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. Better still, these thorny plants also make very effective security hedges too.

Prunus spinosa

©Shutterstock Prunus spinosa

Whatever type of hedge you need, there are plenty to choose from at Thompson & Morgan. Take a look at our range of hedging plants online. For advice on how to plant a hedge, check out this helpful guide

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