20 Feb 2016

It’s no news that neighbours can be noisy and overwhelming at times. But even if you’re lucky enough to have a great relationship with the person who lives next door, it’s fair enough if you have a desire for a more private garden area. It’s your home after all; privacy comes with the territory. Growing hedges is a great way to create private spaces around your home.

It’s no news that neighbours can be noisy and overwhelming at times. But even if you’re lucky enough to have a great relationship with the person who lives next door, it’s fair enough if you have a desire for a more private garden area. It’s your home after all; privacy comes with the territory.

Growing hedges is a great way to create private spaces around your home. They grow densely, generally require low maintenance, are natural and provide a nicer view than a fence. Here, we’ll list ten of the best hedges that you can grow – so that you can make the best decision possible.

1. Box (Boxwood)

Boxwood (Buxus) sets a standard for formal clipped hedges. It has a small leaf and has the ability to withstand frequent shearing, and probably looks the same as the hedge you are now currently imagining – it’s a typical style of hedge plant that can be trimmed into a variety of geometric shapes and styles. There are many different varieties of boxwood, allowing you to choose a variety that is perfect for a small screen, or even an epic maze, with some varieties growing up to 20 feet tall. It is generally a slow growing plant, while this makes establishing a decent hedge a bit of a process – ongoing maintenance is substantially reduced once it is established.

2. Glossy Abelia

Glossy Abelia (Abelia x grandiflora), a part of the abelia genus, is a shrub that naturally forms an arching mound that grows to around 3 – 6 feet tall. It features trumpet shaped flowers throughout summer and is perfect for small to medium sized garden hedges, as it can be sheared if you feel its size is too large.

3. Amur Maple

Amur Maple (Acer ginnala) is a tree that can be trimmed back to a medium plus size or allowed to grow into a fully fledged hedge. In autumn its leaves turn red and change colour, it is a beautiful tree in its own right. If you are utilising it as a hedge however, be sure to grow multiple trunks and shear the limbs to increase branching. They also enjoy a reputation for being easy to maintain.

4. Sawara False Cypress

The Sawara False Cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera) is a slow growing evergreen that matures at 20 feet tall. It is available in a variety of colours ranging from blue grey to green and gold, and has leaves that are needle-like and yet somewhat resemble the structure of a fern. A word of warning though, they do not thrive in hot and dry or windy conditions and will do far better in moist soil.

5. Juniper

Juniper (Juniperus) is a versatile plant that can be planted side by side with military precision and formation, or merged into a continuous square edged hedge. It is a versatile evergreen and as it responds well to pruning can be carved into a variety of shapes – a very useful quality for a hedge. They are also a relatively low maintenance plant and are easy to grow.

6. Privet

Privet (Ligustrum x vicaryi) is a gentle, evergreen shrub that can refer to a number of species belonging to genus Ligustrum. There are also varieties that are perfect for pruning and are easy to use for that hedge you have been thinking of. Most varieties feature an ovalish shaped leaf, and bear white flowers and small berries. They are also drought tolerant, making it more suitable for dryer areas and can reach 10-12 feet tall.

7. Variegated False Holly

Variegated False Holly (Osmanthus) leaves closely resemble those of holly. It’s a tough plant that responds well to pruning and make a dense impenetrable hedge. It grows slowly to 15 feet and is useful in a winter garden. It can survive in a range of different sunlight conditions and is best used as a more informal hedge.

8. Japanese Pittosporum

Japanese Pittosporum (Pittosporum) is a popular slow-growing shrub that forms a dense compact mound to 12 feet tall. It is suitable for screens and informal hedges, and bears white flowers with a delicious scent. It is also drought hardy and comes in a number or varieties.

 9. Lilly Pilly

A garden classic, the Lilly Pilly (commonly Syzygium smithii) is a wonderful plant that is loved by many. There are an enormous number of varieties of Lilly Pilly however you should make sure you get a variety that is ‘psyllid-free’ which is a disease that will ruin the aesthetic of your plant. There are varieties suitable for growth all over Australia.

10. Murrayas

Murrayas (Murraya Paniculate) are easy to care for plants that are disease free however they lack the distinctive colour of some other hedge plants. They can form a taller hedge with a box look and also produce flowers through summer.