Ornate hedging in garden

Hedges are a great way to partition different areas of your garden
Image: Stephanie Braconnier/Shutterstock

A hedge is an integral part of any garden, providing privacy and security while supplying wildlife with food and shelter too. A practical way to partition your outside space without the need for a fence, a hedge is undoubtedly a beautiful thing in its own right too. Here are five of our favourite hedge plants to provide ideas and inspiration for your own garden.

1. Green beech

For good security and wildlife benefits, Green Beech has to be one of our top choices. Growing to almost any height, it provides a dense barrier and only needs to be clipped or trimmed once or twice a year making it ideal for busy people. This hedge also tends to hold most of its leaves over winter even after they’ve died off, only shedding them in spring as the new growth appears. Loved by wildlife, Green Beech also has an Award of Garden Merit from the RHS. This hedge is a great choice for its tidy habit and outstanding performance year after year.

2. Golden Privet

The evergreen Golden Privet adds all year-round interest to your garden and is the perfect hedge for providing protection from bad weather and high winds. This pretty hedge grows well in both sunny and deep shady positions where its golden leaves brighten even the dreariest patch of shadow. If left untrimmed, you’ll get to enjoy delightful clusters of white flowers during the summer. An ideal hedge for any garden size, Golden Privet is easy to grow and provides superb screening through all the seasons.

3. Dog Rose

Coastal gardening can be difficult, but for a hedge which deals well with the salty conditions, the Dog Rose makes a fine choice. This simple rose has thorny stems that act as both a deterrent and a barrier. Easy to grow and maintain, it’s vigorous during the growing season, proving plenty of cover. With pink and white flowers in summer and bright red hips in autumn, this hedge is a favourite among birds and hedgerow-foraging humans too. Not only are dog rose petals edible but the hips make excellent vitamin C-laden jams and jellies.

4. Rowan

Need a hedge in a hurry? Rowan is fast growing, once established, and a familiar sight in Britain. Clip it regularly both to keep it neat and tidy and to encourage new growth and branching out which thickens its habit, creating a delightful looking hedgerow. With pink and white springtime flowers, rowan makes a pretty hedge especially during the summer when it ‘s in full flush. Orange and red berries appear during autumn feeding birds and other wildlife.

5. Lombardy Poplar

Lombardy Poplar hedge plants from Thompson & Morgan

Lombardy Poplar hedge
Image: Lombardy Poplar hedge plants from Thompson & Morgan

Lombardy Poplar often towers over the landscape but with regular trimming it’s easy to control and will form neat rows and bush out beautifully. A favourite with farmers who use it for wind screening, come autumn, the almost triangular shaped leaves turn to lovely shades of yellow before they fall to reveal the rough bark. Perfect for nesting birds and insects alike, this hedge is one of our favourites, not least because its inner bark is edible and can be cut into strips and cooked like noodles or even dried and added to flour used to make bread.

Perfect for providing an effective barrier from the UK weather, planting a hedge also gives garden wildlife a place to live – a real win-win. For more hedging advice be sure to check out our trees and hedges hub page.

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