Use it as a backdrop to a colourful border or grow one as a garden room divider. Big or small, a hedge is more than your garden's outer frame. It can be an intrinsic part of your whole design.
Best hedge plants
1. Weeping lilly pilly (Waterhousea floribunda) grows tall and has an informal look.
2. Dwarf lilly pilly (Acmena smithii 'Minor') is small, formal and pushes out attractive bronze new growth.
3. Camellia (C.sasanqua) has small leaves that make it an ideal hedging plant and the bonus of brilliant red, pink or white flowers in autumn.
4. Orange Jessamine (Murraya paniculata) has sweet orange-scented flowers in spring that often linger in summer and autumn.
5. Box (Buxus sempervirens) is most common formal hedging plant, because it's easy to maintain and is popular if you want topiary.
How to grow a hedge
- The hardest part of building a hedge is determining how many plants you'll need and how far apart you will need to position and plant them.
- Allow each plant half of its expected width when mature - if it will grow 2m wide, give it 1m of space. If you position them too far apart, the plants won't join up. If you put them too close, you expose them to pests and diseases.
- When choosing your hedge plant, don't choose large ones for a small garden area because the roots may tear up your patch - although smaller plants make a great feature in large gardens.
- Always aerate and nourish your soil before you plant - there'll be a lot of demand on it with all the new plants. And don't forget to water in your new plantings.
Best shears for hedges
There's nothing like a good haircut, and it all comes down to your tools.
1. Heavy duty straight hedge shears
The anti-friction pivot bearing reduces user fatigue as transitional handles deliver power towards the blades.
2. Wavy telescopic hedge shears 945mm
Wavy shears are ideal for wet, slippery stems. They have a telescopic extension that goes from 650-845mm.
3. Hedge shears 590mm
The straight blades are ideal for precise pruning and come with a notch for cutting larger stems.
4. Sharpening and maintenance kit
Keep your tools sharp with graphite stone and maintenance oil.