Eight (out of the ordinary) great hedges

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on 14 May 2021, 15:40

Great for separating areas of your garden, creating privacy, or screening that fence or wall, hedges are the bones and structure of your garden. There are some common hedges that you will see in gardens everywhere - Buxus sempervirens, Griselinia littoralis, Prunus lusitanica, Choisya ternata, Viburnum, and Elaeagnus. These are all great plants, there's a reason why they have become some of the most planted and reliable hedges around. But what about all the other great hedging plants out there? Here are some other species that we love that will create some texture, colour, and sometimes delicious aspects to your garden. 

NATIVES 

Pittosporum

Pittosporum makes a great hedge, and there are plenty of varieties to choose from. A New Zealand native, pittosporum produces soft, dense foliage, quickly - in some instances it can grow up to a metre a year. Easy to prune and maintain, but you will have to keep on top of it if you want to keep it in shape. Choose your variety depending on what height hedge you want. Some taller varieties we recommend for form a screen or privacy are Wrinkle blue, black mapito, or tenuifolium if you are wanting extra height. Pittosporum Golfball and Pittosporum pom pom make a great low hedging when planted closely and pruned to shape.

Pittosporum

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Coprosma lobster

An unusual New Zealand native, coprosma lobster is a great low hedge if you are after some texture and colour in your garden. With its fine, twiggy stems, and vibrant red colour, this coprosma is sure to catch your eye. When planted on mass, the interwoven branches form excellent structure, responding well to clipping, and can be kept low or mid-height. 

Lobster

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Corokia

Corokia is a fantastic hedging plant. A native shrub, we have several varieties all of which make a great hedge. Producing bright yellow star shaped flowers in spring followed by berries, this species is a year-round, all-rounder. Very hardy, they will grow in almost any condition but prefer to have some sunshine. An added bonus to corokias is that the flowers and berries will attract bees and native birds to your garden - if you want to plant corokia hedging for this reason make sure you go lightly on the trimming! Varieties we recommend are the corokia bronze and bronze king for more ornamental hedging, while the frosted chocolate has larger foliage that intensifies during the winter months. 

Corokia

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Lophomyrtus

A native to New Zealand, this shrub will bring a beautiful dark red colour to your garden. With darker coloured foliage in winter, and cream-white flowers during summer, this shrub makes a great low hedge all year round. Lophomyrtus likes free-draining soil and will cope well near the coast, tolerating moderate frosts. For hedging, we love lophomyrtus Indian chief, lophomytus kathryn, or lophomyrtus obcordata. 

Lophomytrus (1)

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EDIBLES

Myrtus ugni

Myrtus ugni, also known as Chilean Guava or New Zealand Cranberry, is a great option for a low hedge - the berries produced are also edible! If you aren’t a fan of the structure of a buxus hedge for edging or borders, go for the myrtus ugni. It maintains great shape and height but is less dense and formal compared to buxus. Although not an actual cranberry, the fruit produced looks and tastes very similar. Frost hardy, this edible hedge can be grown (and eaten) around the country. 

Myrtus ugnii hedge

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Feijoa

Feijoa is another excellent edible hedging option, providing you with fruit, flowers, and aroma! If you're a feijoa fan, this hedge is for you. The foliage of the feijoa creates a dense hedge, and gives privacy and screening from the neighbours with some height. We recommend planting a mix of varieties if you are wanting to produce plenty of fruit, allowing cross-pollination. Varieties we recommend planting together are mammoth and triumph - these will produce sweet, juicy fruit and a great-looking hedge. Feijoa Unique can be planted on its own as they are self-fertile, however, planting two or more varieties gives you more fruit, for longer! 

Feijoa sellowiana

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DECIDUOUS

Hornbeam

Adding a hornbeam hedge is a great option if you want to add seasonality to your garden. Golden yellow in autumn and a crispy green in summer, and although it is deciduous it holds rusted coloured leaves throughout winter creating privacy and screening all year round. Hornbeam is able to be pruned to a variety of heights and trimmed to be more or less formal depending on your personal preferences. Hornbeam grows in a variety of conditions and will tolerate wind and cold, making it a great option for gardens top to bottom of New Zealand. 

Carpinus betulus - Hornbeam

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Copper beech

If you are wanting to make a statement, this is your hedge. Bold and dark, a copper beech hedge is an excellent contrast to the usual greens of surrounding plants or to break up a lawn. Although a slow grower, this hedge will be worth the wait. An excellent specimen tree growing up to 8-10 metres in height, the stateliness is not lost when trimmed into a tight formal hedge. Both the hornbeam and copper beech are also favourites for pleached hedging. 

Fagus sylvatica Purpurea - Copper Beech

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