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Garden Design

Design elements – hedges

Marianne Cannon

Marianne Cannon

November 30, 2012

I talk with landscape designer Louise McDaid about using hedges in garden design, hedge sizes and shapes, plant choices and maintenance.

(Don’t forget to read my original post about living walls where Louise and I discussed pleaching, vertical gardens, hanging baskets and climbing plants.)

Living walls – Hedges Part 1

Generalife near the Alhambra, Granada, Spain [Photo: M Cannon]

Do you have a hedge in your garden? Is it the right plant choice for the right situation? Hedges are so much more than growing alongside a fence. You can also have more than one row of hedges in your garden because they instantly add structure, or add bones to your garden layout.

The months leading up to and including spring and early summer are an excellent time for planting hedges, but a note for cooler districts, allow of course for the passing of frost danger. Apart from providing a visual barrier around a property, a dense hedge can muffle traffic noise from a busy street or act as wind break. A spiky hedge will deter unwanted guests and that pesky neighbourhood dog that likes to dig up people’s yards.


Living walls – Hedges Part 2

I talk with Louise McDaid about straight hedges, curvy hedges, hedges for privacy, secret rooms, and windbreaks.

Salzburg, Austria [Photo: M Cannon]

If your hedge is too much work, gives you hay-fever, or just doesn’t look nice, pull it out. Yes, you can do it.

There are so many varieties of plants that make great hedges don’t spend any more time looking at that sad excuse of a hedge. Plant a better one, or plant another one alongside – you’ll be glad you did. So many hedges to talk about.

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Catherine Stewart
11 years ago

I’ve either designed gardens, or thought and written about them for a couple of decades now but the conversations between you two always turn up some new angles and ideas. You work really well together.