When choosing what type of hedging to plant, there are a few points to consider:

  • When the Garden is planted with many non-native species, it will be beneficial for wildlife to plant the hedge with native species. Many beneficial insects especially live on specific native plants and shrubs.
  • Insects also like flowering shrubs.
  • Native shrubs are better adjusted to our climate than imported species, making it likely they will be more successful and provide shelter from the wind and the deer faster. I would advise choosing traditional hedging species, as they have been used for this purpose for centuries, so are clearly up for the task.
  • To provide food for birds, who play their own role in establishing a healthy eco-system, it is good to choose species that bear fruit.
  • Many birds feel more at home in thick shrubs than in tall trees. To keep the hedging shrubs compact we will need to cut them back every three to four years or so.
  • If you choose to have a very compact hedge, choose species that can withstand more regular cutting. As we have quite a lot of space, it is probably better to let the hedges grow quite big though, as that way they give more shelter, provide more place for birds and have a better chance of producing fruits.
  • If we want the hedge to act as a windbreak hedge, it may be good to include some evergreen shrubs, as they will give more cover in winter.
  • By choosing a mixed hedge, we create a greater variety of fruits and flowers for the insects and birds.
  • We can include some taller species, like crab apple, bird cherry or even oak, although we don’t want to create too much shade for our neighbours. When we cut the hedges, we can leave these to grow.
Hedge plants
Hawthorn Blackthorn Spindle Barberry, berberis darwinii
Holly Ramanas rose, rosa rugosa Field maple Hazel
Crabapple Guelder Rose June berry Cornelian cherry
Dog rose, rosa canina Wild Cherry Alder