Planting Hedges (part 2 of 2)

Planting Hedges (part 2 of 2)

It will come as no surprise that I have planted bare root hedging! I wanted native plants for the perimeter hedge which meant beech, hornbeam, hawthorn and field maple. Despite the wildlife potential of hawthorn I decided against it partly because it looks scruffy, especially when affected with mildew, but I hate picking up the spiny prunings. Beech and hornbeam have the advantage of retaining their leaves through winter, adding to privacy and both only need one trim a year, in August.

Beech is less tolerant of wet ground than hornbeam so was a risk in my garden which has some surface water in winter but I hope I can improve that. I splashed out and planted copper beech, with purple leaves, for the main drive. You can mix green and copper to create a ‘tapestry hedge’ but I prefer one or the other!

And for another hedge I planted field maple (Acer campestre). This is more unusual in this country as a hedge but it used a lot in Europe. It is very hardy and makes a nice hedge with small, glossy leaves that are tinged with red when young and that turn butter yellow in autumn.

On the west side I have been more adventurous and have planted a more ‘natural’ informal hedge of hornbeam mixed with amelanchier and Rosa rubiginosa which has apple-scented leaves.

Around what will be my winter garden I have planted Cotoneaster franchetii. This makes an evergreen hedge 2m high with rather greyish green leaves and lots of flowers for bees and berries for birds and around what will be the ‘seaside’ garden I planted a mix of sea buckthorn (hippophae) and tamarisk, both classic seaside plants.

It will be several years before any of these are effective screens but it shows that there are lots of plants that can be used as hedges that are attractive in their own right and a lot more ornamental than fence panels.

Post written by our resident gardening guru Geoff Stebbings from

Did you miss part one of this post?

Planting hedges (part 1 of 2)

Embrace your inner gardener with Geoff’s enlightening advice and ideas.

Don’t forget you can catch Geoff in person at this year’s Show.


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