Clipping and shaping plants introduces a formal element to a garden. Plants can be trained as a living fence such as a hedge or shaped into a border to edge a path. To bring structure and form to a garden, select an evergreen hedge. Choose shrubs, small trees or even climbers to make your sculptural statement. Some great hedging plants include Camellias, Syzygium, Buxus, Azalea, Duranta, Murraya, Photinia and Conifers.
Remember that where plants are closely grouped together such as a hedge, they face root competition and need extra water and food to compensate.
Hedges need to be clipped regularly while they are growing. Expect to clip most hedges 2 to 3 times a year, from spring to early Autumn.
Here are a few plants that will perform well as a hedge:
1. Buxus varieties- Box
A very slow growing hedge. But well worth the wait. There are many varieties of Buxus including English Box, Korean Box, Japanese Box and even miniature varieties. The Box hedge is very self sufficient, once established and requires little to no fertiliser. Plant Buxus at 500mm centres.
2. Camellia varieties- Camellia
Also a slow growing hedge with beautiful Spring and Winter blooms. Camellias are available in 2 species. Sasanqua and Japonica. Sasanqua will give you a smaller more compact hedge and Japonica will be much larger, also with larger leaves and flowers.Because they are slow growing, plant Camellias at 1-1.2m centres.
They prefer a lightly shaded spot preferably with morning sun. Full sun especially in the Summer months will burn the leaves and flowers.
Fertilise in spring with camellia and azalea food, and mulch with compost (such as composted autumn leaves) or milled cow manure.
3. Murraya paniculata- Orange Jessamine
A wonderful and fast growing plant. Glossy green leaves and scented flowers make this a very popular choice. It prefers full sun but will take some light shade. If you put Murraya in full shade it will appear stunted, it wont flower for as long and the leaves will appear less glossy. Plant at 1m centres for hedging.
Heavy feeders. Apply Dynamic Lifter once every 4-6 months.
4. Photinia varieties- Photinia
Popular for its bright red foliage and gorgeous white Spring blooms. Photinia is a great choice for a hedge. Prefers full sun.
Plant at 1.2m centres.
5. Viburnum odoratissimum- Glossy Viburnum
Beautiful glossy green leaves. Viburnum is a fast growing hedge and will also need regular pruning. They prefer full sun, and do not need long term care in terms of fertilising. These are large plants, so a spacing of 1.5m is required for hedging.
6. Syzygium varieites – Lily Pily
There really are a huge amount of Lily Pilys on the market now. It depends on the height and also the look you are aiming for. I have to admit that Lily Pilys have been one of my favourite hedging plants for a very long time. They do grow a small fruit…which is great for Lily Pily Jam .-) So this plant is not suitable for everyone, particularly if you are looking for a hedge close to a driveway or footpath.
They get fluffy flowers that will attract the native birds, and prefer full sun.
Lily Pilys will benefit from a regular fertilise using blood and bone.