Hedges are important: they regulate the winds, offer shelter to the local fauna, compartmentalize and obscure, reduce noise, decorate ... And their choice is vast!
“We distinguish between classic hedges and live or free hedges,” explains the English gardener Geoff Hodge, author of Tailler comme un pro. Classic hedges, pruned closely, are covered with leaves to the ground, with compact foliage ", these are mostly conifers.
"For living hedges, choose plants with colorful foliage, pretty flowers, bearing berries if possible to prolong the spectacle in autumn and attract birds at the same time."
- Discover our articles dedicated to the hedge
Three classic hurdles
Photinia Red robin : its red color in the fall is its great aesthetic asset. The photinia is classified as conventional hedges if you prune it twice a year but can become a freer hedge if the annual pruning is unique. Be careful of frost for young plants (adult, it is very resistant).
Finally, it requires a little attention: fertilizer in the spring for the first few years.
Lonicera nitida : an excellent alternative to boxwood, “boxwood honeysuckle” grows quickly, is easily cultivated and multiplied. In spring, it is adorned with small white flowers.
It has a few requirements: it prefers rich, moist but well-drained soils, and a sunny exposure.
Always to replace boxwood, also think of charcoal (Euonymus), holly and myrtle.
Viburnum tinus : darling of trendy landscapers (such as Pierre-Alexandre Risser of Horticulture & Gardens), the laurel tin is one of the semi-classic hurdles. Persistent, it is easy-going (it does not require any maintenance apart from a good watering the first two years) and delightful with its white flowers and spring pink buds.
Be careful to choose a place in partial shade: not in full sun in summer but with good light in winter.
The viburnum tinus Adapts well to container culture, making it an excellent choice for urban terraces.
Other classic hedge options: privet, cherry laurel, pittosporum, rhododendron, choisya, charm, beech. Also the thuja and the boxwood but the first is intrusive and obsolete; the second currently in danger because of the scourge of boxwood moth.
Three living and rural hedges
Forsythia : the luminous forsythia features beautiful yellow flowers and heralds the spring festivities. It blooms in March and wakes up the whole garden. Hardy and easy, it only needs one pruning after flowering to bloom again the next year and a little fertilizer at the same time. It likes the sun or partial shade and does just as well in the ground as in a container, on a terrace (be careful only to properly dose its watering and drainage).
Also watch for any pests and diseases to treat at the right time.
Shrub cinquefoil : this shrub is also adorned with yellow flowers, however paler than forsythia, but resembling charming yellow roses. Long flowering period (May to October), very simple maintenance, adaptation to all soils, resistance to frost and heat waves ... it has many advantages! Only reserve it a very sunny location to optimize its flowering.
Medium in size (about 1m high), the shrubby potential well suited for small gardens and even balcony terraces.
Ribes sanguineum : also think of small fruit trees! The ribes, also called "flowering currant"Or" hedge of blackcurrant flowers ", is very floriferous, pink in color, and forms a real wall of flowers in summer. Its leaves are even fragrant. However, they are deciduous, like those of most hedges. Its black berries are non-toxic, it is resistant and easy to grow, it grows quickly. It is also at ease in the ground as in pots.
Other country hedge options: berberis, Japanese spirea, hazelnut, burning bush, cotoneaster ... If you have trouble making your choice, combine several varieties to compose a free hedge that will be unique!
- To read: Prune like a pro, published by Marabout, in the L’expert du jardin facile collection.
Visual credits: Classic hedge: © Eden - stock.adobe.com Forsythia: © Nikolay100 - stock.adobe.com Ribes: © Vodolej - stock.adobe.com