Hedge Your Bets in the Yard
When landscaping your yard you want to find things that will complement each other. Flowers, trees and hedges should all be part of a uniform plan that enhances your yard and beautifies your home. Planting hedges to ensure some privacy is an ideal way to incorporate them into your overall design.
Hedges are plants that are placed in the form of a wall and are available either in deciduous or evergreen varieties. Evergreen include both broad leaf and standard needle types and deciduous shrubs include lilac, rose of Sharon, azaleas and forsythias, just to name a few. Your choices when it comes to such shrubs will be strongly affected by your choice to have flowers in the warm months, or continued privacy in the cold months. Clearly, for privacy the evergreen hedges are superior year round.
Broadleaf evergreens like holly are perfect for privacy and security. Their prickly leaves discourage both people and animals from entering your yard, potentially protecting your vegetation. In cold, windy climates where you are required to put up a snow fence each winter, many municipalities will accept a proper hedge in lieu of fencing. Hedges are unquestionably more beautiful than an orange net fence.
For summer time beauty there are a variety of flowering shrubs that can be included in your landscaping. Forsythia is often the first of the spring bloomers. As soon as the winter snows start to melt, forsythia shrubs send out busts of yellow, cheerful flowers that will make you smile in anticipation of the returning warmth of spring. Azaleas, a much shorter shrub, can be used to make moderate hedges, and produces beautiful blooms in dozens of colors. While flowering shrubs can make beautiful hedges and give you some privacy during the warm months, come winter they lose their leaves and they spent the cold weather bare and see through.
For taller hedges you might want to consider adding some arborvitae trees to your landscaping. These Cyprus relations grow more like shrubs and don’t tend to reach the heights of traditional Cyprus trees. The can provide a good windbreak, a wonderful boarder or just privacy in a large area. They grow well in zones 2-7, making them ideal for a large portion of the country.
If you grow a hedge, especially if you want a formal look, you are going to have to do some trimming. A hedge is, after all, composed of various plants placed closely together, and each will grow in its own way and at its own pace. The result is disharmonious. Properly pruned hedges will be wider on the bottom than on top. This allows adequate light to reach the bottom of the plant. Invest in a light but effective hedge trimmer and use stakes, string and guides, placed before you start, to create an even line and appropriate look for your landscaping. If you try to shape a hedge by eye, you will end up with an uneven mess.
Hedges are wonderfully useful things. They add beauty, drama and a touch of elegance to your landscaping. Well worth the effort of planting and maintaining, hedges have been with us for centuries, and will be here for a long time to come.