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The decorative hedge

Click here to see my suggestion (with photos) for a decorative hedge...

By choosing shrubs which flower during different periods, you will have a hedge which has a continually changing aspect during the course of the season.

Here is a list of shrubs suitable for decorative hedges. Many shrubs on this list can form a free growing or a trimmed hedge :
  • Buddleia (buddleia davidii) : The butterfly bush is grown for its profusion of fragrant flowers, these are borne in slightly arching, dense, plume-shaped clusters. It is suitable for a decorative flowering hedge. Although hardy it prefers the full sun. Pruning in winter is  essential.
  • Cotinus (Cotinus coggygria) : The smoke tree forms colouful plumes in summer, but it is the purple colour in spring and its golden foliage in autumn which will adorn your decorative hedge. It must be planted in a sunny position.
  • Hornbeam (Carpinus orientalis) : This tree has a winter foliage and is suitable for both a free growing hedge or  trimmed into an arbour. Tolerates all soils and positions.
  • Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragantissima and nitida) : This hardy shrub with its richly fragrant flowers can also be placed in a hedgerow. It is a twining climber, also ideal for walls, fences, archways and pergolas.
  • Japanese quince (Chaenomeles x superba) : This shrub flowers during March. It is particularly suitable for hedgerows but its growth is relatively slow. It also likes to grow along walls. Careful of its thorns !
  • Kerria (Kerria japonica) : This shrub with its yellow pompom flowers is slightly stoloniferous (producing suckers), but if you limit its growth by pruning after flowering it will not be invasive.
  • Dogwood (Cornus mas, sanguinea and alba) : The dogwoods are suitable for hedgerows. Only the cornus sanguinea can be trimmed. Their autumn foliage tolerates the sun and shade. Plant in a humus-rich, moist soil.
  • Deutzia (Deutzia scabra and x hybrida) : This shrub with its white flowers is suitable for a free flowering hedge. It needs pruning after flowering. Plant in a sunny position in a humus rich soil.
  • Forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia) : This is a shrub suitable for a spring flowering free growing or trimmed hedge. It is hardy and tolerates all soils but it prefers a sunny position.
  • Spindle tree (Euonymus europaeus and alatus) : The foliage and the berries of the spindle tree  brighten a hedgerow. A vigourous trimming is necessary to keep it in shape.
  • Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla, paniculata, querifolia and serrata) : This shrub should be allowed some space in a large hedge. Plant in a humus-rich soil in shade, or partial shade for preference. Do not remove dead flower heads until the end of winter.
  • Kolkwitzia (Kolkwitzia amabilis) : This bush of beauty is grown for its attractive small pink bell shaped flowers. It is suitable for a free growing or trimmed hedge. Plant in ordinary soil in sun or partial shade. Plant this one without delay !
  • Lilac (Syringa) : This shrub with its magnificent perfumed flowers is suitable for a medium sized hedge. Although hardy, lilacs do prefer a sunny position.
  • Cob-nut (Corylus avellana) : This is a shrub suitable for the hedgerow, it bears long yellow catkins, they are followed by the nuts which mature in September and October. Do not prune at planting. Prefers a humus-rich, but well-drained soil.
  • Ribes (Ribes sanguineum) : This flowering currant is hardy and can be associated with the forsythia for a free growing or trimmed hedge. Plant in staggered rows.
  • Rose (Rosa divers) : Certain hardy roses like the rugosa and the old varieties can be suitable for an average sized hedge.
  • Mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius and x lemoinei) : This hardy shrub is suitable for a large sized free growing hedge. Give a light prune after flowering to remove the old wood.
  • Spiraea (Spiraea x arguta, nipponica, prunifolia, thunbergii and x vanhouttei) : This drooping or spreading shrub is suitable for a large sized free growing hedge. Give a light trim after flowering.  Plant in sun or partial shade.
  • Black elder (Sambucus nigra) : This is suitable for a high hedgerow. Its black fruit is appreciated by the birds and can be made into excellent jams.
  • Snowberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus 'Whyte Edge') : This hardy shrub is also called the Indian currant. It is suitable for hedgerows. Its white berries borne in autumn are not edible. It has a tendancy to produce suckers.
  • Viburnum (Viburnum opulus, bodnantense, burkwoodi, lantana and plicatum) : This shrub with fragrant flowers is suitable for a free growing or trimmed hedge. Plant in a humus-rich soil.
  • Weigela (Weigela florida and hybrides) : This shrub with its clusters of flowers is suitable for a free growing decorative hedge. It prefers a sunny position and a rich soil.
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