The COVID-19 pandemic led to a huge trend in property owners refurbishing and refreshing outdoor living spaces. Increasingly, folks sought ways to increase beauty, and especially privacy, for patios and yards. A hedge is the perfect plant-based solution for creating a retreat! There are many reasons to consider a hedge in your landscape:
- A wall of green can be a barrier between your space and the outside world
- A hedge can dampen road noise
- A green boundary provides a soft, nature-inspired line where a wall or fence may feel like too strong of a statement
- Hedges direct the eye to specific spots in your landscape
- Hedges add environmental benefits
- Going green can increase the value of your property
- Hedges can do all this affordably!
Let’s explore why hedges might work for your lawn and garden plan.
A hedge is a cheaper investment than a fence or wall, and can last a lifetime. Research that shows that house prices tend to be higher in neighborhoods that are greener. Greenery in general, especially if it's well maintained, contributes towards the curbside appeal and overall value of your property.
Environmental Benefits and Wildlife Habitat
A hedge gives far more back to the environment than it takes away, making it much more sustainable than a wall or a fence. Hedges and hedging screens can absorb harmful toxins and particles emitted by traffic. In fact, studies have shown that this dense wall of greenery can filter around 50% of toxins and particulate matter to provide cleaner air near where they are grown. Dense evergreen hedging is an environmental asset particularly in areas where children play in the yard or where edible gardens are grown.
Importantly, hedges offer habitat and shade for pollinators and other wildlife. Some hedges, such as laurels and other hedges that bloom, are an important food source for birds, bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects.
A hedge serves as a living privacy fence to provide a buffer from street traffic and neighbors. Evergreen hedges with dense foliage and small leaves are almost impossible to see through and are an ideal privacy screen for homes in busy areas with lots of passing footfall, or for creating a private garden space for porches, patios, pools and balconies. A nicely planted hedge can hide your garden bench or your trash bins! Evergreen hedges guarantee this buffer benefits your property all year round.
All hedges require some maintenance in terms of watering and clipping, some more than others. But for many hedges, like knock out roses, laurels, hollies and arborvitae, you can plant, feed and largely forget. Maybe you'll need to apply an occasional pest or disease mitigation, but these hardy plants don't need as much attention as many others.
Needless to say, watering, feeding and general care for a hedge is much less than the hours spent repairing and painting a fence!
Help With Drainage and Excess Groundwater
Hedge plants act as natural sponges for excess water and can help with soil drainage. Hedges can help companion plants and perennials or annuals planted alongside them to have better growing conditions. Importantly, hedges can also protect against water ingress from garden to home, or to reduce sitting groundwater in fields and paddocks after periods of heavy rain.
Protection from Wind
One big reason to plant a hedge is to provide shelter from winds. Unlike a wall or fence, which divert the wind up and over the structure, a hedge filters and calms the breeze or blow, which leads to improved air circulation and the formation of a sheltered micro-climate. In the garden, this gives better growing conditions as a result of warmer soil. In seaside areas, a hedge is particularly useful in reducing salt erosion and damage to foliage from salt and sand.
In severe windy weather, a hedge won’t fall and sustain damage in the same way as a fence or wall, as its construct is strong yet flexible, allowing some of the air to pass through and lessen the pressure being exerted on it. Loss of foliage or broken branches may occur but require no intervention as they will grow back naturally.
A hedge offers unlimited ways to bring beauty, color and interest to your garden. Hedge plants essentially delineate a space. Therefore, they can be low growing evergreens, medium height roses, or tall junipers and arborvitae. Get creative with your hedge plan! Check out our blog on how to build a hedge, or call our landscape department. We can't wait to hear about your hedge success!