A natural, green hedge offers a privacy solution
We all surround our homes with walls and high fences, but growing a natural, green hedge is an easy way to obtain privacy without the stark reminder of security.
Homes around the country have high walls and fences that make us feel protected and offer some level of privacy for our gardens. But with gardens getting smaller, walls make a garden feel claustrophobic and closed in, while a tall hedge of green offers both privacy and security without making you feel like you live in a concrete jungle.
For centuries, hedges have been used as a feature for both decoration and privacy and there are many species of plants - both low growing and tall - that you can select from, depending on your location, to hide your garden from nosey neighbours and still offer a level of security. In fact, it is far harder to breach a tall, thorny hedge than climb over a wall.
Advantages of a privacy hedge
You can establish and grow a hedge that offers privacy from prying eyes, but a compact hedge can also be used to dampen noise, making this type of privacy ideal for homes situated close to busy roads.
If you already have a wall or fence around the property, adding a hedge is an easy solution for added privacy that doesn't require you to remove these. A hedge can be planted next to a wall or fence with ease and will take up very little extra space, depending on the plant species you select.
How to start a privacy hedge
Wherever you are located, visit your local garden centre to be advised on the best plants for your specific region. Once you have selected the plant species, make sure you obtain advise on the proper planting procedure. You want to distance the plants depending on their growth habit but still have a compact hedge with as few gaps as possible.
If you are placing a new hedge alongside a wall, make sure to allow space all round each plant for growth. You don't want to place the plants too close together, as this will hinder the growth and cause overcrowding. It might take a bit longer for a thick hedge, but at least you will have healthy plants.
When planting, dig up the soil and plant at the correct depth and be sure to add the recommended dose of fertilizer to get the root system established. A regular, seasonal dosing with fertilizer will ensure healthy growth.
Regular trimming will ensure a dense and bushy growth from the base to the top. Trimming on a regular basis will also ensure plenty of new growth that will quickly fill up and form a hedge as the plants grow in height.
What height for a hedge
The height of a privacy hedge is entirely up to you. You may only need a medium-height hedge to obtain privacy, or you may want a tall-growing hedge to block out noise. Whatever height you need for your hedge, your local garden centre will be able to advise on the best plants for your particular location.
Plant specified for growing a hedge
While there are plenty of shrubs that can form an established hedge, there are some favourites that do well in our local climate:
Sweet Viburnum (Viburnum odoratissimum):
Fairly fast growing when you need a privacy hedge quickly, this shrub is hardy and evergreen and produces dainty white blooms. Viburnum is one of the fastest growing shrubs for a hedge.
September Bush (Polygala myrtifolia):
This pretty evergreen shrub produces colourful lilac flowers during the summer. It's also a fast-growing, evergreen shrub that can be planted for a compact yet pretty hedge.
Honey Bell Bush (Freylina tropica):
This indigenous shrub grows tall and produces lovely lilac flowers. Water wise and fast growing shrub, this plant requires regular trimming to keep it neat.
False Olive (Budleja):
Another easy plant to grow for hedges and screening, False Olive is a fast growing, evergreen, hardy and frost resistant shrub with small white flowers.