If you want a prettier and eco-friendlier option to fencing in your garden, hedges are the way to go. They're relatively easy to grow and some hedgerows take less time than you'd think to get to full height, with some at their full size within three years. They provide a safe environment for nesting birds and can attract pollinators too.


Hedges can also help muffle noises, especially handy for those of us living in a busy city, and can even help protect against pollutants in the air.

When choosing hedging plants, it's best to go for evergreen shrubs that will provide full coverage and privacy throughout the year.

How to grow a hedge

Good soil conditions are essential for healthy hedge growth. The RHS recommends preparing the ground by digging over a strip 60-90cm (2-3ft) wide and one spit (or spade blade) deep. It's also important to remove all weeds from the area and ensure the soil does not get waterlogged (a soil drainage system may be required).

When it comes to the actual planting, check the full height and width of each plant to determine how close together your shrubs should be planted. Planting distances normally vary from 30-60cm (1-2ft), according to the RHS. Check out their guide here for more information.

Best hedgerow plants

Read on for five of the best hedging plants to create a stunning and helpful hedgerow in your garden...


Honeysuckle Goldflame hedge
Honeysuckle Goldflame hedge via Watters Garden Centre

The evergreen variety is a must for year-round privacy. In particular, the shrubby honeysuckle is loved for its dense leaves, which must be trimmed regularly due to its speedy growth. The leaves produce flowers in the spring and berries in the autumn.


Oval leaf privet hedge
Oval leaf privet hedge, 2L pot, £14.99, Crocus

With dense foliage and bright green colour, this formal looking hedge offers optimum privacy to those who require it. Privet is very fast-growing, mainly if plant food is used, and it will need pruning several times a year to look its best and is ideal for shaping.

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Midwinter fire dogwood plant
Midwinter fire dogwood plant, 2L pot, £16.99, Crocus

More commonly known as red twig dogwood, this shrub is sure to make an impact. These fast-growing hedges create a bank of bright red stems, which look just as good in winter as in spring. It is also easy to propagate and a very affordable way to build privacy around your home or garden.


Umbrella bamboo plant
Umbrella bamboo plant 'Jumbo', from £44.99 for a 3ft plant in a 10L pot, Primrose

Bamboo is surprisingly perfect for those looking for a plant to provide screening without inhabiting too much space. Variations called goldenly, or fountain bamboo, add the thick foliage needed for privacy whilst adding a lush and exciting texture to any garden landscaping.


Lilac hedge
Lilac hedge via The Daily Gardener

Loved for their sweet smell and colourful flowers, lilacs are a beautiful addition to any garden. They can grow around two feet per year and require pruning to stop them from taking over the landscape. While providing privacy and comfort, they also brighten up and add life to homes.


Ideas courtesy of GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk