Different types of shrubs for hedges. Advice for choosing hedge shrubs. How to choose flowering shrubs suitable for hedging. Tips for pruning hedges. Where to buy discount shrubs online.
Box parterre at Pinewood Estate in Lake Wales, Florida.
Boxwood - Green Velvet
If I had to nominate a single genus for best hedge shrub, I would have to go with box. The various (there are at least 70) Buxus species make extraordinarily attractive hedges.
Boxwood hedges are dense and long-lived. The small, glossy leaves of box were made for close clipping.
Boxwood shrubs can be trimmed into any shape imaginable.
There are dwarf and tall varieties, variegated leaves and different shades of green. These features make Buxus the most versatile of ornamental shrubs.
Boxwood shrubs form a low-growing, formal hedge in a Savannah, GA front yard landscape design.
Juniper - Blue Point
Landscape hedges are functional plants.
They form the walls of an outdoor space and act as dividers.
Unlike annuals and perennials, they provide permanent structure in the landscape. Hedges can be used to mark boundary lines and to keep things in of out or an area.
Before you can choose shrubs for hedges, you must know what you want the hedge to accomplish.
Do you want a low-growing, purely decorative hedge like the one in the image just above? Or are you looking to plant a privacy hedge?
The same plant might not serve both these purposes.
Do your neighbors have a dog you would like to keep out of your flower beds?
Something dense, thorny and tall enough to prevent the wandering canine from jumping over it is what you need.
Privacy Shrubs for Hedges
A tall Podocarpus hedge forms a dark backdrop for a blue Agave plant.
What looks like a low hedge in front of the Agave,
is actually a wall draped with vines. This is a sneaky way to make hardscape look like softscape.
Privacy shrubs need to grow tall and densely enough to keep out prying eyes. Podocarpus macrophyllus is one such plant. Others include:
All types of citrus
Nellie Stevens Holly
Buckthorn - Fine Line®
Holly - Nellie Stevens
A low hedge of 'Louis Philippe' roses.
Rose - Easy Elegance® Kiss Me
Rose shrubs are the number one choice for fragrant flowering hedges.
'Louis Philippe', a.k.a. the cracker rose, is an antique China rose which is easy to grow but may be hard to find.
The similar and more readily available double Knockout rose could be substituted for it.
Characteristics to look for in a landscape hedge rose:
Pruning Hedge Roses
Informal pruning will be necessary as shearing will remove most of the flower buds.
Fragrant Hedge Plants That Can Take Shearing:
All of the above will retain enough blooms when sheared to scent the area near the hedge.
Flowering Evergreen Shrubs
Azalea shrubs add color to the landscape even when sheared.
Azalea - Hot Shot Girard
Azaleas are low maintenance spring flowering shrubs. There are dwarf and tall types and, although azaleas are best known as shade loving shrubs, they will adapt to full sun if enough moisture is supplied.
The fragrant shrubs listed above are all flowering evergreens, as well. Indian hawthorne, Viburnum, Gardenias and Skimmia japonica could also be used.
The red hedges make this parterre garden even more attractive.
Burning Bush Shrubs 50% Off!
Flowering shrubs go in and out of bloom. The following bushes will add color to your landscape designs 24/7:
Red or Purple
Red tip (Photinia)
Burgundy or Ruby Loropetalum
Purple leaf plum
Gold or Yellow
Weeping 'Gold Mop' false cypress
Thuja orientalis 'Aurea Nana'
Euonymus fortunei 'Gold Splash'
Above, Podocarpus macrophyllus is used as a low hedge around the vegetable garden at Pinewood Estate. This is a perfect example of a large plant being kept small with trimming.
The same thing is often done with box.
While you can do this, you don't have to. There are many dwarf shrubs you could use to make low hedges instead.
There are dwarf azaleas, dwarf varieties of Indian hawthorne, Boxwood 'Wee Willie' and other dwarf Buxus varieties.
Garden of Sculpted Shrubs, France.
There are three types of hedges: formal, informal and naturalistic.
Most of the hedges depicted on this page are formal. These are pruned by shearing.
Naturalistic hedges are never sheared but may be pruned to shape each year or allowed to grow as nature dictates.
Natural hedges require more space than sheared hedges. This is why they are so seldom used in today's smaller landscapes.
Informal hedges are comprised of different types of shrubs. Due to the variability in the growth habits of the different plants, they are always pruned naturalistically. This is done by removing weak, broken or crossing stems each spring.
You may also remove wayward shoots that mar the beauty of the planting at any time of year.
Sheared Hedge Pruning Tips
The Gold Dust Plant: Illuminate the Shade Garden
Variegated Bouganivilleas 'Raspberry Ice' & 'Golden Ice'
The Green and Yellow Scheflerra arboricola
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