Hedges are widely utilized in commercial landscapes and in the yards of private homes. These green or living fences are composed of plants planted closely together, so the canopies touch.
They can be short, tall, sculptured or left to mature naturally. They are used for privacy, windbreaks, property line demarcation, and for decorative purposes.
Hedge plants that are used for privacy purposes can be formally trimmed or allowed to grow naturally. Even Boxwood can be left alone to grow into a fluffy, natural shrub.
Modern aesthetics now call for landscapes to be natural sanctuaries. Try a mix of both formal and informal...or let your formal hedge go wild for a season to see if you like it!
Evergreen hedge plants can be narrow-leaved or broadleaved. Deciduous plants can be grown as a flowering asset, or primarily for foliage or fall color.
Considerations for the choice of a hedge plant include:
Hedges make very effective dividers that can separate an area, such as a dog run or a patio, from the rest of the landscape. We sell many types of hedging plants from the classic, to the nouveau.
Your available time, sunlight, location, and size are the limiting factors in plant selection. You can grow them in full sun to partial shade.
Formal hedges are usually evergreens and are carefully trimmed and have a stately appearance. A living fence offers more flexibility than a hardscape one...and is cheaper, too!
Cut topiary cones and balls to bring focus to either side of a staircase. Dip a swag at regular intervals to keep the eye moving through your landscape with a touch of grandeur.
There is a restful, yet expansive feeling, living with manicured hedges. They signify that all's right in your creation, and all it takes is a bit of maintenance (a nice task outdoors on a cool, cloudy day!)
Informal hedges tend to be deciduous and they will also have to be pruned for good health. However, in this case, the end product will have a natural or informal appearance.
Run a long row of Red Twig Dogwood along your driveway for a burst of winter interest and charming blooms and berries. Or, add a short row to block your neighbor's view of your back door.
Keeping a hedge informal is a good choice to support butterflies and birds. Viburnum delivers flowers, textured foliage and pretty berries, all wrapped up in an excellent landscape performance.
Plant low hedges along the base of "leggy" shrubs as a facer. You can even run a low version in front of a tall hedge for a pop of polish.
Front sidewalks make a natural location to jazz up with a low hedge. Try scented Lavender subshrub plants in sharply-drained soil.
Quince is one of the earliest shrubs to bloom. Enjoy a garden moment each year with a low flowering hedge running the length of your sunny side yard.
Make the most of your garden with low hedges. They add distinctive style, and help bring personality and life to your landscape.
Live life to the fullest with thoughtful landscape planning. Today's busy families have plenty of activities in an average yard...carve out space to achieve everything you want to do with stylish hedges.
Living walls turn a ho-hum section of your yard into an outdoor room! Place your entertainment area in one area...and use the other side for a private Secret Garden with a beloved hammock.
Every shrub has a Mature Spread, or width listed on the Plant Highlights. Often, these are ranges with the largest number in optimal growing conditions.
For a hedge, you'll want to plant your bushes using one foot less than the smallest number listed for Mature Spread. Measure from the center of one shrub to the center of the next.
Get faster results with larger plants. You'll still measure the same distance apart...but you'll see more immediate results with larger plants.
Go for the largest container size we have in stock. You'll get a real leg-up on a solid hedge with larger plants to start with.
You can also plant a double row with a staggered, zigzagging planting pattern. This gives the fastest fill, and looks great with an informal hedge.
Good hedges start with great choices. Ensure that your new hedge is hardy in your growing zone, and will receive adequate sunlight in your chosen spot.
All of our product pages have Plant Highlights with more specific details on sun exposure and preferred soil type. Most shrubs do fine in well-drained soil, but Rose of Sharon will tolerate wetter soils than others.
Place your order anytime you see your preferred plant in stock. We hold your order until the time is right for planting your hedge.
We pause shipments during extreme summer heat. However, please know that you can plant anytime of year as long as the ground isn't frozen.
Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball, but no deeper. Always use Nature Hills Root Booster during planting, as it supports the tiny feeder roots over the entire life of your hedge.
Water carefully the first season, using the "Finger Test". Poke your finger into the ground next to your plant...if it's still damp, skip watering and check again tomorrow.
Thereafter, most plants prefer a consistent water schedule. This is especially important during dry times without adequate rainfall.
Mulch helps keep the root system cool and moist. Apply a three-inch layer, then pull it back away from directly touching the stems.
Trim hedges into a symmetrical, well-maintained wall of green for a beautiful presentation all year-round. Depending on the species, achieving that goal may require up to four trims a year.
When pruning a formal hedge, always remember that the lowest branches need sunlight as much as the top branches do. Keep the top slightly more narrow than the base of your formal hedge; and reduce snow damage with a rounded top and a cold hardy selection.
Maintaining that desirable pyramidal shape will help your hedge maintain green foliage from top to bottom. The goal is a lush, dense hedge, after all!
Use a string guide with a pair of temporary stakes on either end. Keep the string a bit higher than where you'll be pruning.
Keep vigorous hedges in check by removing lighter green foliage back into the older growth. Don't forget to step back and check your work frequently...you'll get the hang of it quickly!
Pruning timing really depends on what kind of hedge you've selected. Evergreen hedges have different needs than deciduous ones do.
An evergreen hedge like Boxwood can be pruned just as the plants come out of dormancy in early spring. Clean up the flush of new growth in mid-season...but do not prune any later, or you'll put new growth at risk for winter temperatures.
Showy deciduous Privet grows tall...quickly; so set your desired hedge height and keep it there. We recommend that you wait until after the fragrant spring blooms are done to support honeybees with their nectar.
It's tempting to rely on electric trimmers on Privet hedges, and they certainly speed up the process. But don't neglect to trim dead branches out at ground level, and use hand pruning header cuts as the last step for a polished look.
Hedge shrubs that can be clipped periodically include:
Clean up these flowering deciduous hedges once the amazing spring blooms are finished. Use a combination of thinning and heading cuts to shape up your informal shrubs.
If your deciduous shrub blooms on new wood, like Spireas, you can shape your deciduous hedges as they come out of dormancy. Depending on the variety you've selected, a single trimming may be all you need to do.
Butterfly Bushes, Barberry and Burning Bush do "too well" in certain locales. That's why NatureHills.com was the first online plant nursery to partner with Plant Sentry™, an online shipping tool for regulated plants.
By the time we list them for sale on our site; our expert growers have put many years of care into these special shrubs. A #5 Boxwood may be up to 7 years old, for instance.
We groom our bushes for strong branching and lush appearance that starts low down in the canopy. We don't do "short cuts" at NatureHills.com...which gives you a big head's start!
Let your creativity soar with the beautiful boundaries brought about by garden hedges. They'll grow into a steadfast, classic backdrop for fountains, ponds, gazebos, arbors, outdoor seating areas, "she-sheds" and so much more!