All about Hedges – Jeremy’s blog

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All about Hedges – Jeremy’s blog

Dec 31, 2018

Hedges can be any plant, they are just planted closer and in rows. Normally to give a barrier between one part of the garden and another. They can be decorative, usually evergreen or deciduous (lose their leaves and dormant in the winter), keep livestock in an area or make a room. Hedges can be short or tall and all heights in between.

Listed below are some examples of popular hedging plants, but that is not an exhaustive list.

One of the most common forms of hedging are known as native hedges. These hedges can be found in many country areas. They consist of a double staggered row of plants. Envisage two parallel lines where every 225mm or 9” you plant is on alternating lines (like a zip zag pattern). I would personally suggest Crataegus monogyana (Hawthorn) as your native hedge. Although, depending on preference you can mix different hedging plants.

Below is a list of suitable native hedging:

  • Fagus sylvatica – Common Beech
  • Fagus sylvatica atropurpurea – Purple Beech
  • Carpinus betulus – Hornbeam
  • Crataegus monogyna – Hawthorn
  • Acer campestre – Field Maple
  • Euonymus Europaeus – Spindle Tree
  • Corylus avellana – Common Hazel/Cobnut
  • Prunus spinosa – Sloe/Blackthorn
  • Ligustrum ovalifolium – Golden Privet
  • Ligustrum japonicum – Evergreen Privet

We normally offer these as bare root from November to March, subject to availability and customer demand. We prefer to sell English grown plants which are suited to our heavy soil and not cheaper foreign imports which do not take so well to our soil.

Other hedging favourites include:

Prunus laurocerasus

English Laurel is an evergreen hedge often planted in a single row, 3 plants to the metre, depending on the size. If planted closer together they make a solid hedge good against road noise and privacy. Can be pruned hard and to shape and can be grown as big and tall as desired.

Prunus lusitanica

Portuguese Laurel is an evergreen hedge or tree which are fast growing. Spacing again depends on the size of the plants, which can be purchased as root balls. This laurel has dark glossy leaves with white flowers and black berries. These berries, also found on English laurel, cannot be planted next to livestock as the berry can be poisonous if eaten.

Osmanthus burkwoodii

Known by its Latin name, this personal favourite of mine is an evergreen shrub which possesses dark green glossy leaves and white scented flowers. These shrubs can be planted three to the metre, or as a single plant in a mixed border where you can enjoy the scent in the spring by a pathway or a window.

Taxus baccata

English Yew, one of the Queens of hedges, is an evergreen tree or large shrub. It can be trimmed and shaped easily, if cut to the ground it will sprout again even bushier, making a brilliant hedge. Often sold as a root ball, but beware cheap imported root balls, quality does count. Also available in potted and shaped into balls and cones, which we supply, but are hard to come by.


Box. Another Queen of hedges. Box is a perfect evergreen hedge which can be clipped into any shape or design desirable. Varieties such as ‘sempervirens’ are perfect for shaping. We offer many different sizes and shapes.

Please ask a member of the team if you have particular requirements, such as quantity, price or size. Another variety is ‘suffruticosa’, known as Dwarf Edging Box, is slow growing and should only be under to edge small tubs and troughs. When pruning your box, make sure you have sharp, clean loppers to ensure clean cuts (perfect winter job).

Another thing to consider is that mixed hedges help promote wildlife and biodiversity. Encouraging bees, hedgehogs and birds into your garden throughout the different seasons.

I hope this helps for those currently considering any new hedging plans. I am enjoying taking the time to write and share my thoughts with you.

Jeremy Homewood (founder of Bumbles Plant Centre)

Buxus sempervirens mono ball on stem at Bumbles Plant Centre

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