Garden Hedges, Screens – Plant Types and Growing

Garden Hedges, Screens - Plant Types and Growing

Hedges, screens and shelterbelts

Screens and shelterbelts are usually essential in coastal areas; also to farmers and fruit growers. In gardens, private and public, hedges can do much to prevent the intrusion of animals and human beings and to act as windbreaks.

Before planting it must be decided what purpose is to be served. If the hedge is simply to make a break between flower garden and vegetable or fruit plot, then a flowering or fruiting hedge can be chosen, eg Berberis stenophylla, or B. darwinii, escallonia or forsythia. For a dwarf hedge, lavender, Mahonia aquifolium, Santolina chamaecyparissus or Senecio laxifolius are suitable.

Where a boundary hedge is planned merely to provide privacy during the summer months, then a deciduous hedge will be suitable: flowering currant (ribes), forsythia, hawthorn or beech are among the possibilities.

If a permanent peep-proof hedge is required, any evergreen, such as holly, yew or one of the many other conifers or even privet is suitable, though the last can sometimes drop its leaves, especially in very hard winters.

Screens or shelterbelts must also be considered from the point of view of their ultimate use. If it is desirable to block out some eyesore such as a factory, a railway line, or to give shelter in the garden so that other plants can be grown successfully, then screening is more than ever necessary, particularly in coastal gardens. If, however, the screen is to add interest to the skyline, then a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees, and conifers is the answer. Farm hedges, screens and shelterbelts are usually designed to break the prevailing wind or to keep in animals and shelter them from wind and rain.

Preparation of site Preparation of the ground for a hedge, screen or shelterbelt must be thorough. Once the shrubs or trees are planted they will remain there for a long time; therefore, see that they get off to a good start.

In light soil, humus must be added: a heavy soil will need to be lightened by digging in peat, leafsoil, rotted farmyard manure or garden compost. In heavy clay soils drainage is important, and path or road sweepings or weathered ashes will help to improve it. When marking out the site, dig a strip 1.2m (4ft) wide; this will leave 46cm (18in) on either side of the hedge. Bastard trench the ground, ie double dig it. This entails digging out a trench 60cm (2ft) wide, removing the top spit of soil and thoroughly breaking up the second spit, ie the sub-soil. Then place the top spit of the next trench on top of the broken up sub-soil; continuing this process until the strip of ground is completely dug. If humus is available this can be incorporated in the top spit at the time of digging. And, of course, if well-rotted farmyard manure can be obtained so much the better. When leaf-soil or garden compost is used, the addition of National Growmore or bonemeal at a rate of 120g (4oz) per square yard will be beneficial. Prepare the ground some weeks before planting time, to allow the soil to settle. Never dig out the trench for the hedge before the day of planting arrives.

If a lot of ground is to be planted, do not attempt to do it all in one day. Therefore, when the plants arrive from the nursery, lay them in or heel them in on a spare piece of ground. By laying the plants in, their roots will be kept plump and moist and they will make new root action more quickly when they are finally planted. If the roots are dry on delivery, give them a thorough soaking before they are laid in.

When all is ready for planting dig out a trench 30-45cm (1-1.5ft) wide and about 30cm (1ft) deep. Throw the soil each side of the trench. If you are planting beside a lawn lay down some old sacks or plastic sheeting to protect the grass. As planting proceeds, cover the roots of each plant, first with fine soil, followed by the coarser soil, firming the ground by treading, until normal soil level is reached. If the day is frosty or sunny or there is a drying wind, see that the roots of the plants are covered until each plant is actually placed in the trench.

Times to plant Deciduous hedges are planted from October or November (according to season) until March. Evergreen hedges are planted from September to October or March to April.

Staking It is not usually necessary to stake hedges, but where large bushes are planted, such as yews or hollies, then posts and one or two strands of strong string or plastic-covered wire will prevent movement at the base of the stem at soil level. Trees planted as screens or shelterbelts are best staked until they are sufficiently established and rigid to stand up to gales.

Pleached screens These are useful for adding height to a wall or fence where privacy is required. A pleached screen entails planting young trees, with good straight stems, 2.5-3.5cm (8-10ft) apart.

All shoots below the top of the wall or fence are removed, while those above are trained out horizontally to long bamboo canes or poles, such as runner bean poles, and wires to which the shoots are tied. Any shoots which grow out at right angles to the wall or fence, back or front, are removed. The result is a living trellis. Watering This must not be overlooked either at the time of planting or afterwards. If the roots are at all dry at planting time, soak them in a bath or bucket of water. After they have been set out, the hedging plants must have sufficient moisture at the roots. See that they are given several gallons of water if the soil is very dry. The foliage of evergreens should be kept moist by spraying the foliage after sunset.

Trimming hedges The time to clip or trim a hedge depends on the type, deciduous or evergreen, whether it is newly planted or established and whether it is to be clipped to form a formal hedge or an informal one.
Newly planted deciduous hedges are best cut hard back to within 20-30cm (9-12in) of ground level in March or April. Some evergreens such as privet and Lonicera nitida may be treated in the same way. On the other hand Lawson’s cypress, yew, holly, etc, are best not trimmed, except for a few of the tips of shoots being nipped back. Beech and hornbeam should not be pruned for two years after planting.

To encourage good bushy growth, train the hedge in a wedge shape, wider at the base than at the top. With big‑leaved evergreens, such as laurel or holly it is better to trim with secateurs
rather than shears, as then there is less likelihood of the larger leaves being cut in half. With established hedges this is not quite so serious. Allow hedges to reach their required height before they are stopped, ie before their leading shoots are cut off.

Overgrown deciduous hedges such as blackthorn, hornbeam, myrobalan plum and quickthorn can usually be rejuvenated by hard pruning during the winter months. Evergreens such as box, laurel, privet and yew are hard pruned in late March or early April. Farm hedges are frequently rejuvenated by laying them., To do this all
unwanted growths are cut out to ground level, while the rest, except thick growths, are partly severed near the base. These growths are then bent over at an angle of 45° to the ground and intertwined with dead stakes driven into the ground, 15-20cm (6-8in) from the center and behind the cut down growths. Suitable stakes can be made of hazel, thorn, beech or sweet chestnut.

General cultivation Once a hedge is planted continual cultivation is necessary. The soil on either side of the hedge should be kept free of weeds and lightly forked over from time to time. An annual mulch given in late spring will help to keep the soil moist and will also feed the hedge. If well-rotted farmyard manure can be obtained, so much the better. If not, leaf-mould or well-rotted garden compost can be used.

Hedging and screening plants described

Shrubs, deciduous and evergreen Acer (maple) A. campestre (common or field maple), makes an attractive deciduous hedge or screen tree which thrives in sun or shade, on clay or chalk soils. Plant 30cm (lft) apart, from October to March. Trim in late summer or winter. Height 1.5-3m (5-10ft). Screens 12-15m (40-50ft).

Alder see Alnus

Alnus (alder) A. glutinosa (common alder) is a hardy, deciduous tree with attractive catkins. It thrives best in a rich soil, dislikes acid, peaty soils. Plant 1.8-2.4m (6-8ft) 15m (50ft) apart for screens from October to March. Height up to 15m (50ft).

Arbor vitae see Thuja (under Conifers below)

Arundinaria see Bamboo

Atriplex A. halimus (tree purslane) is a semi-evergreen with silver-grey foliage, which makes a first-class seaside hedge. Plant 45-50cm (18-21in) apart, from October to April. Trim in early spring. Height 1.2-1.8m (4-6ft).

Aucuba A. japonica and A. j. variegata are evergreens which bear scarlet berries where male and female bushes are planted. Plant 60-90cm (2-3ft) apart during October and November or March andA pril. Trim in April. Height 1.8-2.7cm (6-9ft).

Bamboo The following genera and species are suitable: Arundinaria japonica and A. nitida, Phyllostachys nigra and P. viridi-glaucescens are useful where a screen or wind shelterbelt is needed. Give them good cultivation and avoid water-logged ground. An annual mulch of leaf mould or rotted manure should be given in the spring, plus 30g (1 oz) of sulphate of ammonia per square meter (yard) Plant 90cm-1.20m (3-4ft) apart in May. Trim when required from April to mid-May.

Barberry see Berberis

Beech see Fagus

Berberis (barberry) Suitable evergreen species and varieties are B. darwinii, with orange-yellow flowers followed by plum-colored berries, height 1.8-2.4m (6-8ft); B. stenophylla, golden yellow flowers, height 2.4-3m (8-10ft). Plant both at 45-60cm (1.5-2ft) apart. Trim after the flowers have faded. B. verruculosa, golden-yellow flowers, height 1m-1.20m (3-4ft). Plant 40-47cm (15-18in) apart from October to March. Trim after flowering. Deciduous species: B. thunbergii, B. t. atropurpurea, height 1-1.4m (3-4ft). Plant 40-47cm (15-18in) apart from October to March. Trim in February. B. t. erecta, height 75-105cm (2.5-3.5ft), makes an excellent dwarf and compact hedge. Plant 30-40cm (12-15in) apart from October to March. No trimming is needed.

Betula (birch) B. alba (silver birch) makes a useful deciduous screen or shelter tree. Plant 2.4-3m (8-10ft) apart from November to March. Birches can also be planted as hedge shrubs, spaced at 45-60cm (1.5-2ft) apart. Height as a hedge 2-3m (8-10ft) as a screen 12-15m (40-50ft).

Birch see Betula

Box see Buxus

Buckthorn see Hippophae

Buxus (box) B. sempervirens (common box) makes a superb evergreen hedge with a pleasant musky fragrance. It does well in any soil, likes chalk soils and succeeds by the sea. Plant 45-60cm (1 1/2-2ft) apart during March and April or September and October. Trim in summer or, where hard cutting back is necessary, in April. Height up to 2.7m (9ft) for hedges, screens 4.5-5.4m (15-18ft). B. suffruticosa (edging box). One nursery yard will plant 2-3m (2-3yd) of edging. Plant during March and April or September and October. Trim two or three times during the summer. Height not usually more than lm (lyd).

Calluna (ling) C. vulgaris makes a good low hedge on acid soils. Plant 30-45cm (1-lift) apart during April and May or September and October. Trim in spring Height 45-60cm (1 1/2-2ft). There are many varieties and cultivars in a good color range.

Carpinus (hornbeam) C. betulus is a hardy, deciduous shrub or tree. Its beech-like leaves have a rougher texture than those of beech. It is excellent for exposed places and it mixes well with hawthorn or quickthorn. One hornbeam should be planted to six quickthorn. Plant either in double rows, 40cm (15in)
between the plants and 20cm (8in) between the rows or in single rows 30cm (12in) apart, from October to March. Trim in July. Height 3-6m (10-20ft).

Castanea (chestnut) C. sativa (sweet or Spanish chestnut) is a hardy, deciduous shelterbelt tree for inland planting. It does best on sandy loam. Plant lm-1.8m (3-6ft) apart from October to March. Trim in winter. Height 18-24m (60-80ft).

Chaenomeles C. japonica (Japanese quince) is a deciduous, flowering and fruiting hedge shrub. There are many varieties in varying shades of pink and red. Plant 30-45cm (1-1 1/2ft) apart from October to March. Trim at the end of April or early May. Height 60cm-3m (2-10ft).

Cherry laurel see Prunus laurocerasus

Chestnut see Castanea

Conifers see separate list below

Corylus (hazel) C. avellana (common hazel), a deciduous shrub which thrives in any soil. It is good for a mixed hedge of hawthorn, holly, hornbeam and elm. Plant 30-60cm (1-2ft) apart, from October to March. Trim in late February or March. Height 3-6m (10-20ft).

Cotoneaster There are many suitable evergreen and deciduous species and varieties, including C. frigida, C. rotundifolia, C. simonsii, C. wardii and C. watereri, all with white and pinkish flowers or orange-red berries. Plant 45-60cm (1.5-2ft) apart from October to March. Trim between the end of February and the end of March. Height 1.8-2.7m (6-9ft).

Cotton lavender see Santolina

Crataegus (may or quickthorn) C. oxyacantha, the common hawthorn, is a hardy, deciduous small tree, a most popular hedge plant for garden and farm. It mixes well with holly, beech or hornbeam and will thrive in any soil and grow in sun or shade. Plant in single or double rows 30-38cm (12-15in) apart, 20cm (8in) between the rows, from October to March. Cut back newly planted hedges in March or April to within 15-25cm (6-9in) of ground level. Trim from June onwards. For formal hedges several clippings can be given during the summer. Farm hedges are usually trimmed in the winter months. Height 1.5-6m (5-20ft).

Cypress see Chamaecyparis (under Conifers below)

Erica (heather) Several species and many varieties are ideal for dwarf hedges. Plant 25-45cm (9-18in) apart, according to variety, during April or May or September and October. Trim in early spring. Height 30cm-1.2m (1-4ft). Most ericas need an acid soil, though E. carnea, E. mediterranea and E. x darleyensis will grow in chalky soils.

Escallonia These are hardy and half‑hardy evergreen and deciduous flowering shrubs bearing pink or red flowers. They make ideal hedge shrubs for coastal areas, the best being E. macrantha or one of its varieties such as `Crimson Spire’ or ‘Red Hedger’. Plant 30-45cm (1-1.5ft) apart, in September or during March or April. Trim after the blooms have faded, in late summer. Height 1.2-3m (4-10ft).

Eucalyptus E. gunnii the hardiest species makes a good screen in milder counties. It has attractive evergreen glaucous grey-green foliage and thrives in well-drained soils. Plant 1.8m (6ft) apart in spring. Trim in April when necessary. Height up to 12m (30ft).

Euonymus (spindle tree) E. japonicus is an evergreen, ideal for coastal planting as it does well in wind-swept areas. It makes a good town hedge and it will thrive on any soil. Plant 45cm (lift) apart in September or April. Trim once or twice in the summer; any hard pruning should be done in April when necessary. Height 2.4-3.6m (8-12ft).

Fagus (beech) F. sylvatica (common beech) is a hardy, deciduous tree, its leaves richly colored in autumn, and hanging on well into the winter or spring. Little is to be gained by planting bushes more than lm (3ft) high. The ideal size is 45-60cm (1.5-2ft). For single rows space them 38cm (15in) apart in the rows and 20cm (8in) between the rows. Plant from October to March. Height : hedges 1.5-3m (5-10ft), screens 3-5.4m (10-18ft). F. s. purpurea, the purple beech, has attractively copper-colored foliage which mixes well with green beech.

Forsythia These deciduous shrubs which will thrive in any soil, make good flowering hedges. Plant 45-60cm (1.5-2ft) apart from October to March. If trimmed annually as soon as the flowers have faded, a neat flowering hedge will be maintained. Height 1.2-2.1m (4-7ft).

Fuchsia Some fuchsias make fine deciduous flowering hedges, best suited in Britain to the south coast and the west country. As they are liable to early frost damage they are best planted with the base of the shoots 10cm (4in) below ground level. Plant at 45-60cm (1.5-2ftt) apart in May. Trim in spring by cutting back lightly or severely, depending on frost damage during the winter. After severe winters cut back the hedge to ground level. Height 1-2.2m (3-8ft). F. magellanica and its varieties are chiefly used for hedge purposes, though some of the larger flowered, so called florists’ varieties, can be used. Most fuchsia hedges are treated fairly informally.

Griselinia G. littoralis is an evergreen which does well in London and also as far north as the Yorkshire coast. It is an excellent shrub for a wind-break or for providing shelter. It thrives in any soil. Plant 45cm (1.5ft) apart in March or April. Trim between May and July. Height: hedges 1.5-2.1m (5-7ft), screens 2.1-3m (7-10ft).

Hawthorn see Crataegus

Hazel see Corylus

Heather see Erica

Hebe (syn. Veronica) Hardy and slightly tender evergreen shrubs. There are many species and cultivars, some of the most colorful being varieties of the somewhat tender H. speciosa. Hebes are good for coastal areas. H. bracyhsiphonHippophae (sea buckthorn) H. rhamnoides is a deciduous, hardy and dioecious (ie male and female flowers on separate plants) shrub and only when both sexes are planted will berries be produced; one male to five or six female bushes is most satisfactory. It is an excellent seaside hedge or wind shelter shrub. Plant 60-90 cm(2-3ft) apart from October to March. Trim in late March or early April. Height 3-4.5m (10-15ft).

Holly see Ilex

Holm Oak see Quercus ilex

Honeysuckle see Lonicera

Hornbeam see Carpinus

Ilex (holly) I. aquifolium (common holly). This is one of our oldest evergreens, hardy and dioecious, and like Hippophae, there must be a male bush planted if berries are to be obtained. There are many fine varieties, including golden and silver variegated forms. Holly is very wind-hardy, but resents severe exposure. Plant 45-60cm (1.5-2ft) apart in September, April or early May. Trim during August or September. When overgrown or neglected hedges require to be cut back, do this in April. Height 1.5-6m (5-20ft). Worthwhile varieties are: I. a. polycarpa laevigata, a very free berrying form, ‘Golden King’ (a berrying form), ‘Silver Queen’, a male form which, therefore, does not berry. One of the most vigorous is I. a. altaclarensis, a male form.

Japanese Quince see Chaenomeles Larch see Larix (under Conifers below) Laurel see Prunus

Lavandula (lavender) These evergreen shrubs, which produce sweetly scented flowers are suitable for low hedges. L. spica, English lavender, 90cm-1.2m (34ft) high, L. s. `Twickel Purple’, rich purple 60-90cm (2-3ft), L. s. nana atropurpurea (syn. `Hidcote Variety’), deep purple-blue flowers, 12-18cm (1-1.5ft) high, are among the best of several species and varieties. Plant 60-75cm (2-2.5ft) apart for the tall varieties and 30cm (12in) apart for the dwarf varieties, in March to early April.

Lavender see Lavandula

Lavender cotton see Santolina

Ligustrum (privet) This is the most freely-planted of any evergreen. Ligustrum ovalifolium (oval-leaved privet) should be planted in single rows, 30cm (12in) apart, or in double, staggered rows 38-46cm (15-18in) apart, with 20cm (8in) between the rows, from October to March. Trim at least twice a year, in May and September. Overgrown hedges can be cut hard back in April. Height 60cm-3m (2-10ft). The golden-leaved form is L. o. aureum, height 1.2-1.8m (4-6ft).best is P. atalantloides, very hardy, a vigorous grower, with crimson-scarlet berries. Plant 45-60cm (1.5-2ft) apart in September, October or April. Trim in April, where possible with secateurs. Another good kind is the hybrid P. x watereri, with red berries, and a very twiggy habit. It will reach 2.4-3m (8-10ft) though a hedge 1.5-1.8m (5-6ft) tall is preferable. It makes an excellent town hedge. Other remarks as for P. atalantioides.

Lilac see Syringa

Ling see Calluna

Lonicera L. nitida (Chinese honeysuckle) is an evergreen, with small, boxlike leaves. It is not as hardy as privet, but is neater and denser in habit. Plant 30cm (12in) apart, from October to April. Cut back hedges, after planting, to within 23-30cm (9-12in) of ground level. Trim two or three times during the summer. Height 1.2-1.3m (4-4 1/2ft). Mahonia M. aquifolium (Oregon grape) is a hardy evergreen of the berberis family, with holly-like leaves, dark, glossy green, turning in autumn to a purplish-crimson. It does well in shade and in draughty places, such as, between houses and is also useful for covering banks. Plant 45-60cm (1 1/2-2ft) apart from October to April. Trim as and when required in April. Height 90cm-1.2m (3-4ft).

Maple see Acer

Metasequoia see Conifers below

Monterey Cypress see Cupressus macrocarpa (under Conifers below)

Myrobalan Plum see Prunus cerasifera

Norway Spruce see Picea (under Conifers below)

Olearia The daisy bushes are evergreen shrubs, wind-hardy and excellent in coastal areas. 0. haastii has small, grey, box-like foliage. Plant 30-45cm (1-1.5ft) apart in September or October or April or May. Height 90cm-1.2m (3-4ft) 0. macrodonta, holly-like leaves, dark
glossy grey-green above, with silvery white felt underneath. Space 60-75cm (2-2.5ft) apart. Height 3-4.5m (10-15ft). Both have white daisy flowers.

Oregon Grape see Mahonia

Osmarea 0. x burkwoodii is an evergreen with dark green, box-like foliage, and white, sweetly scented flowers. Plant 38-52cm (15-21in) apart from October to March. Trim in April. Height 2.7-3.6m (9-12ft).

Phyllostachys see Bamboo

Pine see Pinus (under Conifers below) Pittosporum P. tenuifolium, is an evergreen, for hedges or screens, especially useful for coastal areas. It grows best in a rich loamy soil, but will grow in sand or chalk soils. Plant 60cm (2ft) apart in September or April. Trim in April. Height 3-6m (10-20ft).

Poplar see Populus

Populus (poplar) P. alba (white poplar) is a very hardy, deciduous screen tree, resistant to salt winds and suitable for wind-swept cliffs. Plant young trees 1.5-4.5m (5-15ft) apart from November to March. Height 24-30m (80-100ft). P. nigra italica (Lombardy poplar) is a hardy deciduous tree with a fastigiate or pyramidal habit. Plant 1.5-3m (5-10ft) apart from November to March. Height up to 30m (100ft).

Portugal Laurel see Prunus lusitanica Privet see Ligustrum

Prunus This genus includes the ornamental plums such as the deciduous P. cerasifera (myrobalan or cherry plum)
and its varieties, the common laurel, P. laurocerasus, and the Portugal laurel, P. lusitanica. P. cerasifera is often grown as a farm hedge, planted 45-60cm (1.5-2ft) apart from October to March. Trim in July or August. When severe cutting back is needed do this in December. Height up to 6m (20ft). P. c. pissardii and P. c. p. nigra are two good purple and very dark purple-leaved shrubs or small trees. Plant as for P. cerasifera. Height up to 6m (20ft) .P. x cistena. This fairly dwarf growing hybrid with P. cerasifera pissardii as one of its parents, has been known since 1910, but it was not put on the market as a hedge shrub before about 1960. It has purple foliage and large single, white flowers with purple centers. Plant 30cm (12in) apart from October to March. Trim immediately after flowering. Height 1.5-2.1m (5-7ft). P. laurocerasus (common or cherry laurel). Plants of this large-leaved evergreen should be set out at 45-60cm (1.5-2ft) apart during September and October or March and April. Trim with secateurs in April or July. Height 1.5-6m (5-20ft). P. lusitanica (Portugal laurel). This is an evergreen with handsome rich, dark green, glossy leaves. Height 3-6m (1020ft). Other remarks as for the common laurel.

Pyracantha (firethorn) An evergreen shrub, usually grown against a wall or fence for its berrying qualities. However, it makes a first-class evergreen hedge. There are several species. One of the
(syn. traversii) is hardy anywhere. Plant 45cm (lift) apart in September or April. Trim in April. Heights vary from 60cm-1.5m (2-5ft).

Quercus (oak) Q. ilex (evergreen or holm oak). This is an evergreen, with dark green, holly-like but not prickly leaves. It excels on poor sandy soils, is very hardy and does well in coastal areas. It is good as a hedge or screen. Plant 30-60cm (1-2ft) apart for hedges, screens, 3-4.5m (10-15ft) apart, in September, April or early May. Trim in April. Height as a hedge 4.5m (15ft), as a screen 6m (20ft). Q. robur (common oak). A hardy, deciduous tree. Useful for planting in mixed screens. Plant 1.5-3m (5-10ft) apart, from October to March. Height up to 9m (30ft) (considerably taller in maturity).

Rhododendron R. ponticum (common rhododendron) makes a first-class evergreen flowering hedge. It is very wind hardy, good in coastal areas, and in London and industrial areas. It does well in acid, peaty soils, and equally well in clay soils, although it will not succeed in chalky or limey soils. In June its purplish-pink flowers are carried above dark glossy leaves. Plant 45-60cm (1.52ft) apart or where larger plants are used 90cm-1.2m (3-4ft) apart, during September and October or March and April.
Trim in April or directly after the flowers have faded. Height 2.4-4.5m (8-15ft).

Ribes (currant) R. aureum (buffalo currant) is a hardy deciduous flowering shrub, fine for an informal hedge, its golden-yellow flowers spicily fragrant. Plant at 30-45cm (1-1.5ft) apart from October to March. Trim after flowering. Height 1.5-2.4m (5-8ft). R. sanguineum (flowering currant). The variety ‘Pulborough Scarlet’ is the best: it makes a fine hedge. Plant at 45cm (l.5ft) apart from October to March. Trim after flowering. Height 2.4-3m (8-10ft).

Rosa (rose) When considering the planting of a rose hedge one must first decide whether it is to be kept moderately formal or be allowed to grow naturally with the minimum of attention. In the latter instance the wealth of flower or hips, where this applies, will of course, be much greater. The most popular roses are the Rosa rugosa types and the hybrid musk roses, which are especially fragrant. Many of the floribundas are vigorous growers and very free flowering. Many of the shrub roses have very fragrant flowers and shapely hips.

Preparation of the ground for all rose hedges should be thorough. It should be well-dug and enriched with well-rotted farmyard manure or well-rotted garden compost. When actually planting the hedge, cover the bare roots with a mixture of peat and bonemeal-2 good handfuls of the latter to 131 (3gal) of peat—which should be thoroughly moist before it is mixed and used. Having spinkled the roots with a good covering, place some fine soil over this followed by coarser soil, afterwards firming it well with the feet. Plant at any time from November to March at the following distances apart.

Low and medium-sized rose bushes, 60-90cm (2-3ft) apart, more vigorous kinds 1.2-1.5m (4-5ft) apart. Pruning of the species roses and the floribundas should be carried out in February and March. The following species and varieties are a few of the many suitable for rose hedges.

‘Great Maiden’s Blush’ (Rosa alba hybrid), a strong grower, warm blush-pink, fading to cream, fragrant, 1.8-2.4m (6-8ft). ‘Commandant Beaurepaire’ (a Bourbon rose). Strong grower, crimson, striped and splashed with pink and purple, flowering June to July, 1.5m (5ft). ‘Zephirine Drouhin’ (Bourbon). Thornless, cerise-pink, from early June onwards. Very fragrant, 2.4-3.6m (812ft). ‘Kathleen Harrop’ (Bourbon). Clear pink and crimson, thornless, 2.4-3m (8-10ft). ‘Cecile Brunner’ (China rose). Dainty salmon-colored flowers, shaded rose. Tea-scented, 90cm-1.2m (3-4ft). ‘Nathalie Nypels’ (China rose). Double shell-pink, sweetly scented free flowering, 90cm-1.2m (3-4ft). ‘Old Blush’ (common monthly rose) (China rose). Silvery-pink, flushed crimson. June to October, 1.5m (5ft). R. eglanteria (syn. R. rubiginosa) sweet briar or eglantine), single pink flowers, 1.52.5m (5-8ft).

‘Penzance Hybrids’ (sweet briars).Vigorous, single to semi-double pink flowers, attractive hips, 1.5-2.4m (5-8ft). `Georges Vibert’ (R. gallica hybrid). Carmine-pink with white stripes, 60-90cm (2-3ft). R. officinalis (R. gallica maxima) (red damask, apothecary’s rose, red rose of Lancaster). Bushy habit, bright crimson, sweetly scented, June, 90cm-1.2m (3-4ft). R. gallica versicolor (Rosa mundi). Bushy habit, light crimson, striped and splashed pink, 90cm1.2m (3-4ft).

Hybrid musk roses ‘Cornelia’, double coppery-apricot, flushed pink, delicious scent, June to October, 1.8-2.7m (6-9ft). `Felicia’, silvery-pink, richly scented, June to September, 1.8-2.7m (6-9ft). `Penelope’, semi-double, large, shell-pink blooms, richly fragrant, June to September, 1.8-2.4m (6-8ft). ‘Prosperity’, bushy habit, semi-double, creamy-pink, richly fragrant, June to September, 1.8-2.4m (6-8ft). ‘Vanity’, single, rosy-carmine, sweetly scented, June to September, 1.8-2.4m (6-8ft). ‘Wilhelm’, vigorous habit, rich crimson, June to October, 1.5-1.8m (5-6ft). R. rugosa. Single pink flowers in July, with pleasing fragrance, large red hips and yellow and orange foliage, in autumn. Suckers freely, 1.52.1m (5-7ft). `Roseraie de L’Hay’ (R. rugosa hybrid). Crimson-purple, June to September, 1.5-2.7m (5-9ft). ‘Sarah Van Fleet’ (R. rugosa hybrid). Semi-double, light pink, fragrant, 1.5-1.8m (5-6ft). `Schneezwerg’ (R. rugosa hybrid). Compact, upright habit, with rosette blooms. May to October, 90cm-1.2m (3-4ft). `Stanwell Perpetual’ (R. rugosa hybrid). Double flesh-pink, fading to white. June to October, 60-90cm (2-3ft).

Floribunda roses Since World War II the floribunda rose has become extremely popular. Many varieties are very vigorous and exceptionally free-flowering, which makes them ideal for hedges. One variety is better than a mixture, but where the latter is wanted the variety ‘Masquerade’ can be planted, as its flowers are a mixture of yellow, pink and red. Usually a single row is sufficient, planted at about 40cm (15in) apart, from November to March. In their first year prune the bushes back to within 15-25cm (6-9in) of soil level to encourage plenty of growth from the base. In subsequent years prune sufficiently to keep the hedge neat and the plants in good condition.

The following dozen is a good representative selection of floribundas including the `Grandiflora’, ‘The Queen Elizabeth’, ‘Chinatown’, deep golden-yellow, edged cherry, scented, 1.2-1.5m (4-5ft). ‘Dainty Maid’, large single blooms, shaded warm rose and gold, 1.2-1.5m (4-5ft). ‘Florence Mary Morse’, large rich scarlet flowers which make a continuous show, 1.2-1.5m (4-5ft). ‘Iceberg’, the greenish-white blooms are produced right into the early winter, 1.2-1.5m (4-5ft). ‘Korona’, beautiful semi-double, flame-scarlet flowers of great size, 1.2-1.5m (4-5ft). ‘Masquerade’, this harlequin-like variety has buds which are at first yellow but the open flowers gradually change and deepen to shades of salmon pink and flame red. Height 90cm-1.2m (3-4ft). `Orange Triumph’, though the rich reddish-orange dusky colored flowers of this 1937 variety are smaller than those of present-day floribundas, they are quite outstanding. Height 1.2-1.3m (4-4.5ft). ‘Rosemary Rose’, attractive flat rosette, currant-red to crimson blooms quartered and sweetly scented, 1-1.3m (3-4ft). ‘Shepherd’s Delight’, large clusters of semi-double orange-scarlet blooms touched with gold at the base. Slightly fragrant, 1.3-1.5m (4-5ft). `Silberlachs’, with its large clusters of warm pink flowers, replaces ‘Else Poulsen’. Height 1.3-1.5m (4-5ft). ‘The Queen Elizabeth’, very upright, tall-growing variety with rose-pink flowers on very long stems. Height a good 1.5m (5ft) or more.

Rose see Rosa

Rosemary see Rosmarinus

Rosmarinus (rosemary) This evergreen with aromatic leaves is useful where a small informal hedge is needed. R. angusti folius ‘Corsican Blue’, is an upright bushy shrub, with porcelain-blue flowers from April to June. Height 1.21.5m (3.5-4.5ft). R. officinalis (rosemary) has bluish-mauve flowers. Plant at 30-40cm (12-15in) apart, from mid to late April; trim after flowering. Any hard cutting back needed should be done in April. Height 2-2.3m (6-7ft), though 1-1.3m (3-4ft) is usually tall enough.

Rue see Ruta

Ruta (rue) Where an alternative to lavender is wanted, rue is ideal. R. graveolens ‘Jackman’s Blue’, makes an attractive low evergreen hedge with glaucous-blue foliage. Plant 30-40cm (12-15in) apart in March. Trim in April. Height 60-90cm (2-3ft).

Santana (lavender cotton or cotton lavender) S. chamaecyparissus is a hardy, dwarf evergreen, with silver-grey foliage and yellow button-like flowers. Plant 30cm (lft) apart from September to April. Trim off old flower heads, when faded, with shears. To keep hedge neat clip in April. Height 45-60cm (1.5-2ft).

Senecio S. laxifolius is an evergreen, with silver-grey leathery leaves and yellow daisy-like flowers. It makes an informal hedge. It does well in coastal areas, also in industrial cities. Plant 40-45cm (15-18in) apart in October or March. Trim in April. Height 1-1.3m (3-4ft).

Sorbus S. intermedia (Swedish white-beam). This is a hardy, deciduous tree, useful for hedging or screening. It has dull white flowers followed by red fruit in autumn. Plant from October to March, as a hedge 60-90cm (2-3ft) apart, for screening purposes 2.5-3m (8-9ft) or 5-6m (16-20ft) apart. Trim in late winter or early spring. Height 6-13m (20-40ft). Spiraea These are hardy deciduous flowering shrubs. Plant 30-60cm (1-2ft) apart from October to March. Trim spring-flowering kinds after blooms have faded, summer and autumn flowering ones in February or March, at the same time hard pruning can be carried out on either group. S. arguta has white flowers in April and early May. Plant 40-60cm (1.5-2ft) apart. Height 1.3-1.6m (4-5ft). S. japonica ‘Anthony Waterer’ has deep carmine flowers from July to September. Plant 50cm (l.5ft) apart. Height 1-1.3m (3-4ft). S. menziessii triumphans has purple-rose bottle-brush like blooms from June to end of September. Plant 60-90cm (2-3ft) apart. Trim in winter or spring. Height 1.3-2m (4-6ft). S. thunbergii has bright green foliage, and sprays of white flowers from mid-March to mid-April. Plant 40-60cm
(1f-2ft) apart. Height 1.3-1.6m (4-5ft).

Syringa (lilac) S. vulgaris (the common lilac) is a deciduous shrub usually planted for its colorful, scented flowers. It does, however, make a very useful spring and summer hedge, its foliage changing from green to yellow in the autumn. If trimmed formally it will not flower, but if left to grow informally it will. Plant 50-60cm (2.5-3ft) apart, October to March. Trim after flowering or in early April. Height 2-3m (5-10ft). Other species which can also be planted as hedges are: S. chinensis (Rouen lilac), with graceful foliage and lilac-colored, fragrant flowers. Height 2-3m (6-10ft). S. c. rubra, purplish-red, fragrant flowers. Height 3-4m (9-12ft). S. persica, lilac‑colored, scented flowers. Height 1-2m (4-6ft). S. p. alba, white, scented flowers. Height 1.2m (4-6ft). All bloom in May.

Tamarisk see Tamarix

Tamarix (tamarisk) These are deciduous shrubs, much used in coastal areas, as they stand up to salt spray. They will grow in poor sandy soil and also in limey soils. All have attractive feathery foliage and long slender spikes of white or pinkish flowers. Plant 50cm (1 .5ft) apart from October to March. Trim in late February or March. Species available are T. anglica, white-tinged, pink flowers, in late summer, and early autumn. Height up to 3m (loft). T. gallica (common tamarisk), pink flowers in late summer and early autumn. Height up to 3m (loft), T. pentandra, rosy-pink flowers in late July and August, height 4-6m (12-18ft). T. tetrandra, reddish-pink flowers in May, produced on the previous year’s growth. Trim after flowering. Height 3-5m (10-15ft).

Viburnum V. lantana (wayfaring tree) is a deciduous shrub with white flowers in May and June, followed by red fruit in late summer and autumn which eventually turn black; the foliage often colors well in autumn. Plant 60-90cm (2-3ft) apart from October to March. Trim in the winter. It does well on chalky soils. Height up to 2m (8ft), sometimes more. V. opulus (guelder rose) is a deciduous shrub with flat bract-like white flowers in early June, followed by bright red berries and colorful foliage in autumn. Plant 60-90cm (2-3ft) apart from October to March. Trim in winter. Height 2.5-3m (8-10ft). V. tinus (laurustinus) is a most popular evergreen hedging shrub, especially in south coast areas. It thrives equally well on chalk or non-chalk soils. Its white flowers with pink stamens are produced throughout the winter and often throughout the spring. Plant 50cm (l.5ft) apart in early autumn or even in spring. Trim in April. Height 2.3m (6-10ft).

Weigela W. florida variegata, makes an attractive deciduous hedge with silver variegated foliage and strawberry-icepink flowers in May and June. Height 2-3m (6-8ft). W. x hybrida and its many varieties are all equally suitable. Plant 60-90cm (2-3ft) apart from October to March. Trim all species and varieties, after flowering. Height 2-3m (6-9ft).

Whitebeam, Swedish see Sorbus intermedia

Conifers All the conifers recommended are evergreen except Larix (larch) and Metasequoia which are deciduous. Conifers, like other evergreens, have the advantage that they provide a permanent screen for twelve months of the year. Many also have attractive color forms which include varying shades of green, gold and silver through the glaucous blues. The genus with the greatest variety of forms is Chamaecyparis, especially C. lawsoniana, Law-son’s cypress. The two most recent conifers planted as hedges are x Cupressocyparis leylandii and Metasequoia glyptostroboides.

Chamaecyparis C. lawsoniana (Law-son’s cypress). The foliage of this conifer ranges through the palest to the darkest greens to glaucous green and blue. Plant at 50-60cm (1.5-2ft) apart in late September to October, or March to April. Trim in May or June. When severe pruning is necessary this is done in April. Height 3-5m (10-18ft). C. 1. allumii has glaucous blue foliage. Height 3-4m (10-12ft). C. 1. erecta `Jackman’s Variety’ has green foliage and is conical in habit. Height 2-2.5m (5-8ft). C. 1. fletcheri has bluish-grey, feathery foliage. Height 1-3m (4-10ft). C. 1. ‘Green Hedger’ is a very rich green. Height 1.5-5m (5-15ft). C. 1. lutea has golden foliage. Height 2-2.5m (5-8ft). C. 1. pisifera plumosa aurea (syn. Retinospora pisifera plumosa aurea) has soft, golden feathery foliage. Height 2-4m (5-12ft). C. 1. ‘Triomphe de Boskoop’, has glaucous blue foliage.

Cryptomeria C. japonica elegans has feathery juvenile foliage, which is permanently retained; it is a glaucous green in summer, changing from rich bronze to rosy red in autumn and winter. Plant 50cm (l.5ft) apart in September or October, or March or April. Trim in April and again in August. Height 2.5-3m (5-6ft).

Cupressocyparis x C. leylandii. This bigeneric hybrid has, since the end of World War II, become very popular, and has in fact superseded Cupressus macrocarpa which is one of its parents, the other being Chamaecyparis nootkatensis. This tree has the speed of growth of C. macrocarpa with the hardiness of C. nootkatensis, which is a native of western North America from Alaska or Oregon. It makes a fine hedge or first-rate. screen tree. Plant 50-60cm (1 .5-2ft) apart, in September or October or March or April. Trim in July and August. Height for hedges 2-2.5m (5-8ft), for screens 20-25m (50-60ft).

Cupressus C. macrocarpa (Monterey cypress) is a fast growing conifer which is a bright green when young, later turning darker and less bright. It was introduced in 1838 and for 100 years was, apart from Thuja occidentalis, T. plicata and Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, the most popular conifer planted for hedges, particularly in coastal areas in the south. However, in recent years its popularity has waned because of its tender habit and unreliability in frost, coupled with its dislike of regular clipping. Ten to fifteen years is a good average life span for a macrocarpa hedge. Plant 50-60cm (1.5-2ft) apart in late March or April. Trim during the middle of April. Height 3-5m (8-15ft).

Larix (larch) L. decidua (syn. L. europaea) (common larch) is a deciduous conifer with fresh green foliage. It is useful as a screen tree in a mixed planting. It thrives best on chalk or sandy soils. Plant lm (4ft) apart, eventually thinning the trees to 2.5m (8ft). A double row makes an effective windbreak. Plant from October to March. Height up to 20m (50ft).

Metasequoia M. glyptostroboides (the dawn cypress) is an ancient, deciduous conifer introduced to this country in 1948. Its habit of growth and foliage is remarkably like that of Taxodium distichum, swamp cypress. The dawn cypress makes an upright tree with soft-green, feathery foliage in spring which changes to a rich pinky-brown in autumn. It makes a beautiful hedge or an excellent screen tree. Plant 60cm (2ft) apart in September or October or March or April. Trim three or four times a year between spring and late summer. Height for hedges could be anything from 2-3m (5-10ft). The eventual height for screening purposes is at present unknown, but is likely to be at least 15-20m (50-60ft).

Picea (spruce) P. abies (common or Norway spruce) is a hardy conifer with deep glossy green needles or leaves, the tree usually grown as the Christmas tree. It is a useful conifer to plant among deciduous trees. Plant 1.3-2.3m (4-8ft) apart in September or October, or March or April. Height up to 30m (100ft).

Pinus (pine) P. laricio (Corsican pine) is a very hardy tree, with dark green foliage. It is a good wind resister, but does not transplant well, and it is best to plant 30cm (1ft) high specimens. Plant lm (3ft) apart in September or April, thinning them later. Height 25-30m (80-100ft). P. 1. nigricans (Austrian pine) has dark green foliage, is very wind-hardy, and thrives on chalky or poor soils. Plant at 30cm (ift) high, lm (3ft) apart in September or April, thinning later. Height 25-30m (80-100ft). P. radiata (syn. P. insignis) (Monterey pine) has beautiful grassy-green foliage, is very fast growing, does best in maritime areas and is wind-hardy. It prefers deep, rich well-drained soils. Plant 1-1.5m (4-5ft) apart in September or April. Height 2530m (80-100ft). P. sylvestris (Scots pine) is one of the most beautiful and stately conifers when mature. It has a rugged reddish-brown trunk, grey-green needles and small brown cones. Plant at lm (3ft) apart in September or April, thinning as and when needed. Height 25-30m (80100ft).

Taxus T. baccata (common yew). This is without a doubt the oldest and most revered conifer which we plant for hedging purposes. It makes a wonderful wall-like hedge, is excellent for topiary and can be grown in any soil, lime ,clay or sand; and for full measure it flourishes in coastal areas, and is equally accommodating in industrial areas. Yew is not slow growing as it is so often thought to be and a well established hedge will make as much as 30-45cm (1-l.5ft) of growth a year. However, you have to be patient with a yew hedge; young bushes transplant better than older ones and they usually make quicker growth. Yews must have good drainage, they also require ample humus in the soil. Before planting, bastard trench or double dig the ground. When preparing the soil, add rotted farmyard manure, or good garden compost, plus bonemeal at the rate of 160g (6oz) per sq m (sq yd). Bushes should be 30-90cm (1-3ft) high. Plant them 30-60cm (1-2ft) apart, in September or early October or late March or April. Trim in August or September. When hard pruning is needed do this in April. Height for hedging 3-5m (10-15ft); for screens up to 7-10m (20-30ft).

Thuja T. occidentalis (American arborvitae) is a useful, pleasantly scented conifer, greenish leaved during the summer, turning a brownish-green color in autumn and winter. Plant at 45-60cm (1.5-2ft) apart in late September or October or March or April. Trim in late summer. Young hedges need trimming in early life, though the top is best left until it reaches the required height. Height for hedging 2-4m (5-12ft), as a screen 10-13m (30-40ft). T. plicata (giant thuja). For a time between the two world wars this thuja was not much planted because of a fungus disease to which it was prone, but fortunately this trouble became less evident in the 1960s. Its dark, glossy green foliage makes it a most handsome hedge. Plant 45-60cm (1.5-2ft) apart in late September or October or March or April. Trim in late summer. Height as a hedge 2-4m (5-12ft), for a screen 15-17m (50-60ft). T. p. zebrina, a golden variegated form requires the same treatment as T. plicata. Height for hedging 2-3m (612ft), screens 10-13m (30-40ft).


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