A hedge planting is one way to build an enclosure without breaking the bank. It can be made of evergreen materials, like an arborvitae hedge; deciduous plants, like a lilac or privet hedge; or even a mixed planting that combines both.
Some hedging materials, like privet or boxwood, look best when sheared or hand-pruned regularly to maintain an appropriate size and breadth.
Other live screening looks good when left to grow to its natural height, such as lilac and rhododendron hedges.
right • Because it is so easy to prune, boxwood is a satisfying hedging material that can be trimmed into architectural or curving shapes. In this garden, it acts as a soft low wall that encloses more shrubs that billow above it.
Mixed hedges add variety in color and texture; imagine evergreens growing with climbing roses and a contrasting foliage shrub. Given the right growing conditions, and depending on the plant selection, most hedges will mature quickly.
right • Flowering hydrangea hedges encircle a small bluestone patio, creating a low enclosure, while a high privet hedge screens out neighbors.
above • This elegant bamboo hedge (Bambusa multiplex ‘Alphonse Karr’) grows to a neat 7-ft. height. Clumping bamboos, unlike running bamboos, will stay within their bounds.