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The hedges

The hedges

The hedges

The hedges are made up of rows of plants, often evergreen, cultivated to perform some particular functions; they are used as a dividing line of a border, as a protection of particular areas of a garden, as a shelter from the wind or noise, as shading. Evergreen plants are often used, as, by keeping the leaves throughout the year, they perform protective functions even during the winter months; many hedges however, they also consist of deciduous plants, or often also of flowering plants.

Most of the shrubs and small trees grown in the garden are suitable for forming a hedge, but it is good to choose the essence to be used wisely, depending on the needs for which you want to put the hedge in place.

Generally the hedges they consist of plants of the same species and of the same variety, as if to compose a compact and uniform vegetable "wall"; to make the hedge more pleasing to the eye, it is also possible to use plants of the same genus, for example all evergreen, but of different species or varieties, in order to create an alternation in the color of the leaves or flowers, which makes the hedge more decorative .


Evergreen hedges

In the event that we need a hedge that shelters from the wind or noise that remains thick and dense throughout the year, it is good to plant evergreen plants, so that they do not lose their leaves. Most hedges are of this type, and for this purpose plants that are easy to grow and with few needs are used.

We list some essences commonly used in evergreen hedges

Aucuba: variegated leaves and red berries in winter; suitable for shade

Bamboo: very vigorous plant, it is often good to contain its development

Berberis: many varieties on the market, even with very decorative leaves; thorny hedge; also dwarf varieties

Boxwood: slow-growing hedge, there are dwarf varieties; widely used in rose gardens and botanical gardens

Cotoneaster: very widespread, there are erect and even prostrate varieties, red berries

Pyracantha: thorny hedge with vigorous growth; orange, red or yellow berries; there are varieties with compact development

Eleagnus: there are many varieties, even with variegated leaves

Evonym: also deciduous varieties and with decorative berries

Eucalyptus: aromatic plant, slightly sensitive to frost

Ilex: vigorous and decorative plant, there are thorny and even dwarf varieties or with variegated leaves

Laurus: very common aromatic plant, sometimes it is severely infested by cochineal

Privet: also used in topiary art, there are varieties with large and variegated leaves

Lonicera: fairly slow development, it keeps within medium or small size

Mahonia: fragrant flowers in spring, golden yellow, thorny leaves

Nerium: very popular summer flowering; poisonous plant

Nandina - leaves turn red in winter; red berries, white flowers

Osmanthus: in autumn it produces very fragrant flowers, many varieties available

Pieris: acidophilic plant, spring flowering and young red leaves

Photinia: vigorous plant, the new leaves in spring are bright red

Pitospore: fragrant flowers in summer; there is also a dwarf variety with a prostrate habit

Prunus laurocerasus: a typical hedge plant, very vigorous and rapidly developing

Viburnum: there are many varieties, including flowering and deciduous; dark berries in winter

Quercus ilex: the classic holm oak, also widely used along roads and avenues

Arbutus: very particular, beautiful foliage; white flowers in winter, edible fruits in summer-autumn

Phyllirea angustifolia: shrub with decorative berries

Callistemon: plant of Australian origin, can stand the intense cold

Prunus lusitanica:

very vigorous evergreen plant

Rosemary: a medicinal plant widely used also as a hedge

  • Olivagno - Eleagnus

    The Olivagno or Eleagnus is a genus that includes about 50 species of evergreen or deciduous trees or shrubs, native to Asia. The stems are erect, dark in color, densely branched, hardly ...
  • Pittospore - Pittosporum

    The pittospore belongs to the pittosporaceae family. It is a plant native to East Asia, Africa and Australia, from which most of the species come, which are about ...
  • Pyracantha and Cotoneaster

    Pyracantha and cotoneaster are two genera of evergreen shrubs belonging to the rosaceae family; both genera are native to North America, Europe and Asia, with num ...
  • Flowering hedges

    Many of us have a hedge in the garden or on the terrace, small, large, enormous, with thorns, evergreen; there are various types of plants suitable for creating a hedge, even if they are often used ...

Flowering hedges

When we want our hedge to give us also a decorative flowering, accentuated by the presence of more plants placed nearby, we can choose flowering plants; in this case too, essences that are easy to cultivate and free from diseases are usually chosen. We can also plant plants that produce decorative berries, in order to have a pleasant hedge even during the winter months.

Here we recall some species of flowering or berry shrubs that are easy to find.

If desired, you can compose a mixed hedge, choosing plants with different flowering periods, in order to obtain a flowering hedge from March until the first cold weather, with different colors.

Chaenomeles japonica: pink, white or red flowers, in early spring

Pyracantha: Small white flowers and orange or yellow berries

Azalea: spectacular spring flowering, evergreen or deciduous plant

Camelia: evergreen plant with showy flowering in spring

Forsithya: flowers as early as February-March

Abelia: long summer flowering

Amelanchier: white flowering in late spring, edible berries

Caryopteris: flowering that lasts from May until the first cold

Callistemon: particular plant of Australian origin

Deutzia: flowers in spring

Hibiscus: blooms all summer

Kerria: yellow flowers in April

Hiperico: ground cover shrub with yellow flowers, produced from May to October

Kolkwitzia: summer flowering

Weigelia: flowers in spring

Mahonia: fragrant flowers in early spring

Philadelphus: abundant flowering in late spring

Hydrangeas: large flowers all summer, also suitable for shade

Pink: Many species have very long blooms

Spirea: white or pink flowers in spring

Ginestra: very suitable in sunny places

Acacia: there are various species, they generally bloom in March

Oleander: produces clusters of flowers throughout the summer

Cotoneaster: small white flowers and decorative red berries

Potentilla: yellow or red flowers

Tamerix: shrub or small tree with abundant spring flowering

Callicarpa: white flowers, not very decorative and violet-colored winter berries

Cestrum: fragrant flowers, gathered in clusters

Lagestroemia: shrub or small tree, dwarf varieties also exist

Lavender: very fragrant aromatic plant

Cotinus: purple leaves and particular feathery flowers

Flowering Prunus: many species, spring flowering

Myrtle: aromatic plant with small white flowers and dark berries

Viburnum opulus: flowers in round clusters

Buddleja: very fragrant summer flowers

Symphoricarpos: white berries in winter

Lilac: flowers in panicles, in spring

Hawthorn: white flowers and red berries

Jasmine nudiflorum: yellow flowers in late winter

Camelia: flowers in shades of pink


Flowering hedges

When we want our hedge to give us also a decorative flowering, accentuated by the presence of more plants placed nearby, we can choose flowering plants; in this case too, essences that are easy to cultivate and free from diseases are usually chosen. We can also plant plants that produce decorative berries, in order to have a pleasant hedge even during the winter months.

Here we recall some species of flowering or berry shrubs that are easy to find.

If desired, you can compose a mixed hedge, choosing plants with different flowering periods, in order to obtain a flowering hedge from March until the first cold weather, with different colors.

Chaenomeles japonica: pink, white or red flowers, in early spring

Pyracantha: Small white flowers and orange or yellow berries

Azalea: spectacular spring flowering, evergreen or deciduous plant

Camelia: evergreen plant with showy flowering in spring

Forsithya: flowers as early as February-March

Abelia: long summer flowering

Amelanchier: white flowering in late spring, edible berries

Caryopteris: flowering that lasts from May until the first cold

Callistemon: particular plant of Australian origin

Deutzia: flowers in spring

Hibiscus: blooms all summer

Kerria: yellow flowers in April

Hiperico: ground cover shrub with yellow flowers, produced from May to October

Kolkwitzia: summer flowering

Weigelia: flowers in spring

Mahonia: fragrant flowers in early spring

Philadelphus: abundant flowering in late spring

Hydrangeas: large flowers all summer, also suitable for shade

Pink: Many species have very long blooms

Spirea: white or pink flowers in spring

Ginestra: very suitable in sunny places

Acacia: there are various species, they generally bloom in March

Oleander: produces clusters of flowers throughout the summer

Cotoneaster: small white flowers and decorative red berries

Potentilla: yellow or red flowers

Tamerix: shrub or small tree with abundant spring flowering

Callicarpa: white flowers, not very decorative and violet-colored winter berries

Cestrum: fragrant flowers, gathered in clusters

Lagestroemia: shrub or small tree, dwarf varieties also exist

Lavender: very fragrant aromatic plant

Cotinus: purple leaves and particular feathery flowers

Flowering Prunus: many species, spring flowering

Myrtle: aromatic plant with small white flowers and dark berries

Viburnum opulus: flowers in round clusters

Buddleja: very fragrant summer flowers

Symphoricarpos: white berries in winter

Lilac: flowers in panicles, in spring

Hawthorn: white flowers and red berries

Jasmine nudiflorum: yellow flowers in late winter

Camelia: flowers in shades of pink


Coniferous hedges

Much used, especially in the central-northern regions of our peninsula, are conifer hedges; they are evergreen, very dense and dense, and generally do not need much care to give excellent results. There are many species and varieties of conifers suitable for growing in a hedge, many varieties are also the result of hybridizations, implemented to create varieties with showy or particular colors, or small sizes; usually the most used are species of the cypress or juniper genus. We report some of them

Cupressocyparis leylandii

Juniperus virginiana

Cryptomeria


Large deciduous hedges

In ancient times in the Po Valley the plots of land were divided with hedges consisting of broad-leaved trees, generally poplars, ash trees, plane trees or other native species, also used to consolidate the banks of the irrigation channels; this type of hedges, still present today in many areas of Italy, have rapid growth, offer good shade and high protection from strong winds. For a good maintenance of a hedge of tall trees, however, it is good to periodically cut all the plants 50-100 cm from the ground, in order to form a dense stump. Once upon a time the periodic pruning treatments of the stumps along the canals also provided a good supply of firewood. Today this type of hedges, generally large, are used in the case of large plots of land, given the final dimensions they can reach: 3-5 meters in height; always present in many areas, it is also favoring their reintegration into the countryside, also considering the importance they assume as shelters for many animal species, especially birds that nest in the branches of the stumps.

Today many tree or shrub species are used for hedges of this type, we report some of them:

Mulberry

Wild cherry


Plant a hedge

Once the plants have been chosen, it is advisable to plant them all together; first of all it is good to work the soil, adding manure and sand, to improve and enrich the substratum, in order to make it fertile and well drained; if we have chosen plants that love soils with an acid pH, it is also necessary to add peat to the soil.

Then we prepare the place in which to arrange the row of plants: with a cord and two sticks we prepare the reference line, so that the hedge is straight and tidy; then we proceed by preparing a sufficiently deep excavation to contain the root bread of the plants; generally hedge shrubs, 40-50 cm tall, are planted at a distance of 65-75 cm; if we have smaller plants we will have to plant them at a shorter distance. Once the small plants that will make up the hedge have been planted, press the soil well around the stems and proceed with abundant watering, which bathes the soil well in depth.

It is therefore advisable to mulch the soil around the stems of the plants, in order to avoid the excessive development of weeds and to keep the foot of the shrubs fresh and slightly damp even during the hot summer gardens; for this purpose you can use pine bark, or dry leaves or lapilli.

If the soil is well drained and rich in organic material, our plants will generally not give us great problems, although it will be good to repeat the fertilization every year, at the end of winter.


Pruning

For an optimal development it is good to intervene with the pruning, with the first the plants are modeled until the desired shape is obtained, with the subsequent prunings the development of the hedge is contained and the innermost parts of the plants are ventilated and illuminated, so to avoid the loss of foliage in the branches closest to the trunk.

In the nurseries there are already developed hedge plants, with good height growth and many lateral branches; by planting this kind of plants, a hedge is easily produced, having the foresight to prune the plants by about one third, or half, in height once a year for the first 2-3 years: in this way the plants they will thicken quickly, producing many branches in the lower part.

For coniferous hedges it is advisable to avoid pruning in the upper part, until it has reached the desired height; at this point the plants are topped, in this way an excessive development in height over the years will be avoided.

If we can wait a few years, we can get a cheaper hedge starting from small plants; in this case we proceed differently depending on the type of plant chosen:

- Suckering plants

These are plants that tend to form large bushes consisting of the main stem, flanked over time by numerous suckers. The young plants in spring, after planting, are cut at about 15-20 cm from the ground, in the following years we proceed by shortening the upper part of the hedge and pruning the lateral branches.

- Non-sucking plants

They are the plants that develop a single main stem with many lateral branches; in this case we proceed by shortening the plant by a third in height and pruning the side branches.


Subsequent pruning

Depending on the species we have chosen and the type of hedge we intend to obtain, the pruning operations over the years will be different, and also depend on the vigor of the plants.

It is possible to prepare a linear and geometric hedge, which must be shaped taking care to leave the base a little wider than the apex, so that the plants enjoy more light. A linear hedge can be pruned at the end of winter, then some pruning will be carried out during the growing season, but a lot depends on the plants chosen: a cherry laurel or privet hedge will be pruned 3-4 times a year, one of boxwood only two or three. Generally, we tend to check the growth of plants every 2-3 months, from March to November.

If you want, you can also decide to leave the hedge a more natural habit, letting every single plant develop freely; even in this case, however, it is advisable to prune in early spring, to thicken the branches.

Hedges made up of flowering plants can be pruned, in principle, after flowering, but it is good to evaluate the right period for each single species chosen: for example, climbing roses can be pruned at the end of winter.


Legislation

The positioning of plants, hedges or shrubs along the border areas between two plots of land is regulated by rules that vary from area to area; It is always advisable to consult the local police for information on these rules before planting a hedge. If there are no local regulations, these operations are regulated by the civil code, and precisely by articles 892-896. The following regulations are reported in the Italian Civil Code:

- The tall trees stand three meters from the border; tall trees are those plants that easily reach 6-7 meters in height, or that have stems with branches starting above three meters.

- Plants that are not tall, i.e. that branch below three meters in height, should be placed 150 cm from the border.

- Shrubs, vines, climbing plants, live hedges, fruit plants, can be planted half a meter from the border.

But remember that the hedges of stumps should be placed one meter from the border, and the hedges of locust trees, even if in stump, one and a half meters from the border.

If a wall is placed on the border, hedges and trees can be planted along the border, as long as they are lower than the wall height.


Legislation

The positioning of plants, hedges or shrubs along the border areas between two plots of land is regulated by rules that vary from area to area; It is always advisable to consult the local police for information on these rules before planting a hedge. The following regulations are reported in the Italian Civil Code:

- The tall trees stand three meters from the border; tall trees are those plants that easily reach 6-7 meters in height, or that have stems with branches starting above three meters.

- Plants that are not tall, i.e. that branch below three meters in height, should be placed 150 cm from the border.

- Shrubs, vines, climbing plants, live hedges, fruit plants, can be planted half a meter from the border.

But remember that the hedges of stumps should be placed one meter from the border, and the hedges of locust trees, even if in stump, one and a half meters from the border.

If a wall is placed on the border, hedges and trees can be planted along the border, as long as they are lower than the wall height.


The hedges: Laurel hedge

The laurel hedge is one of the most frequent formations to be found in the gardens of houses, townhouses and apartment buildings. The laurel-based monoessence hedge is actually not the best from the point of view of biodiversity and is also risky in some ways as if unfortunately one of the plants were to get sick, the same disease could attack and affect the other plants in a short time of the same species.

Laurel hedges for example can be attacked by cochineal quite frequently but aphids can also be a problem for these plants. However, these are diseases that can be successfully treated by using the right products and applying the right treatments.

As for the planting methods to be kept in the planting of laurel hedges, we can decide whether to keep the plants at a variable distance between 50-60 centimeters and one meter.

The distance varies depending on the maintenance we want and we can guarantee our hedge. Hedges with closer plants certainly give a fuller and richer effect in less time but also require greater maintenance and a greater number of pruning interventions. Wider planting hedges require less maintenance and tend to self-regulate even if the time they take to reach a good size is longer.


Video: How To Trim Hedges DIY Landscaping Tutorial (October 2021).