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Hedges are actually the better garden fences. They are cheaper, more opaque, do not need a coat of paint, can vary in height and, with good care, last for centuries. The space requirement is limited, if you use suitable plants. With shade-tolerant species such as hornbeam, red beech or yew, you can build a vibrant privacy screen just 50 to 70 centimeters wide. More light-loving species such as thuja or privet, on the other hand, tend to lose ground in narrow, box-shaped hedges near the ground. Summer green hedges are usually more natural than ever when cut. They also let a little more light into the garden during the dark season. If you use your green realm right from the spring, the living walls are opaque in time.
The field maple is one of the most popular hedge plants
Plants for cut hedges
The choice of plants depends, among other things, on the desired height of the hedge. A boxwood hedge takes about 20 years to reach two meters in height. Many barberry species never reach this height. In contrast, field maple, grove or red beech grow into opaque green walls within a few years. The other side of the coin is that these plants produce more clippings due to their strong growth. If you want a year-round dense hedge, which should be as fast as possible, then tree of life or cypress are the right choice for you. However, many hobby gardeners reject them because these hedges look quite stiff and unnatural. The cypress has a more upright growth compared to the tree of life. Therefore, one has to trim the side surfaces of false cypress hedges only a little each year. This plant is available in many different varieties with different colors, from green yellow ('Kelleriis Gold') to golden yellow ('Golden Wonder') and blue ('Blue Surprise') to blue gray ('Ellwoodii' or 'Alumii'). Although the Tree of Life has not produced this range of different foliage colors, there are some very good hedge varieties such as 'Emerald' or 'Holmstrup'. They stay slim and have a relatively weak growth.
A false cypress hedge is opaque all year round and can be embellished with original ideas. Here, a yellow wooden window frame was simply inserted between two plants
Figures with cut hedges
Cut hedges offer many design options. For example, you can accentuate the entrance to your garden with a round arch of tall-growing hedge plants such as European beech, linden or field maple. Very interesting are also individual hedges, which give the view of a sculpture or a particularly beautiful garden situation. Hedges can also be used selectively to highlight flower colors. The calm, dark green of a yew hedge, for example, is a suitable background for a bed of roses. The luminosity of the rose petals is particularly effective in this way. The contrast becomes even more intense when you place yellow roses in front of a blood-beech hedge. Pure matter of taste is mixed cut hedges, for example from red and blood beech or various false cypress varieties. All plants should grow about the same size so that one does not suppress the other over time.
The ten most popular hedge plants
Free growing hedges
If you prefer it better and also do not like to cut hedges, you should create a freely growing hedge. However, you have to allow for such plantings, however, a lot of space, so that the shrubs can undisturbed, that is without pruning, grow. The minimum width of a freely growing hedge is about two to three meters, depending on the growth character of the plants. This type of hedge is basically a narrow, relatively narrowly planted woodland discounts. Therefore, there are no limits to the species selection. Depending on the location within the hedge, however, the trees should be able to thrive in partial shade and be relatively competitive. If you want the hedge to be opaque, you will need to plan two rows of plants. Arrange the higher trees in the background, as in our example on the top right. Due to lack of light, most of the flowering shrubs below become bare as soon as the interstices have closed. A second, offset series in the foreground hides the resulting gaps. These species should be lower and leafy to the ground as well. For example, plants such as the hydrangea, various spars or St. John's wort are ideal. Even with shadow-tolerant, higher perennials such as the record sheet or the silver candle and various fern species, you can plant single-row shrub hedges so that they are opaque.Such a screen remains quite narrow, but is completely sealed only from late spring to autumn.
A freely growing hedge of red summer spider (Spiraea x bumalda)
Free growing hedges can be put together according to different criteria. The most popular variant is a colorful combination of different flowering shrubs. It is also possible fruit-hedges or hedges from herbstfärbenden shrubs. Also very attractive are freely growing hedges from a plant species or group, for example, in spring white flowering Brautspieren hedges, summer shrub rose hedges or fruit-bearing ornamental quince hedges in autumn. Free-growing hedges are treated like normal flowering shrubs when cut: Spring flowering plants like the weigela or the Deutzie are cleared about every three years after flowering. Summer blooms like the butterfly shrub are cut back strongly every spring.
Fancy hedgerow ideas
Many hobby gardeners are always on the lookout for unusual plants and design solutions. The design of a privacy screen does not have to be limited to the use of the classic hedge plant assortment. For example, plant a hedge of spring-flowering shrubs such as forsythia or ornamental currant. This is unusual, but quite possible and attractive. Like all simple flowering shrubs, the plants are very cut-friendly and will readily budge even after a strong rejuvenation cut. You just have to accept that such hedges in the lower area will never be closed properly. From Linden or other tree species can form a real tree hedge, a kind of "hedge on uprights". You could also seal the lower area with a hedge cut from shady shrubs.
Bamboo is well suited for sight hedges
A popular style element of Asian gardens are bamboo hedges. Best suited for the umbrella bamboo (Fargesia), because it forms no foothills and is also relatively close to the ground by the many shoots. Interesting plants for freely growing hedges are summer flowers like the butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii). The one-year shoots are cut back vigorously in early spring and have a dense, richly flowering screen with southern charm until the summer, which can also be enjoyed by the butterflies.