Planting a deciduous hedge

Planting a deciduous hedge

If you are thinking of planting a deciduous hedge, now is the perfect time; they are easy to grow and rarely need trimming. Deciduous hedging plants often have beautiful flowers and berries attracting wildlife to the garden and many have fabulous autumn foliage. Bare root hedging should ideally be planted between September and April and is an extremely cost effective way to create a stunning garden hedge.  Potted hedging shrubs are available all year round but do cost more. Here are six of our favourite deciduous hedging plants:-

Top 6 deciduous hedging plants

1. Beech

One of the most popular traditional hedging plants, beech (Fagus sylvatica) grows well in most free-draining soils, in sun or light shade. The new leaves are vivid green in spring, darkening slightly in summer and then turning gold in autumn. For real impact, choose copper beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Atropurpurea’) with deep purple-bronze leaves that turn copper-coloured in autumn. 

Beech grows about 30-60cm (1-2ft) per year and should be trimmed in late summer, giving it time to put on new leaves before winter. These leaves will turn brown but will stay on the plant until new leaves appear in spring, providing screening. 

2. Hornbeam

If you like the look of a beech hedge, but your soil is heavy clay, hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) is the answer. It looks very similar to beech, but copes better with wet soils, although it doesn’t hold its leaves for as long through winter as beech does. Hornbeam grows faster than beech, so prune it twice a year, in June and September.

3. Forsythia

For a fabulous splash of early colour, it’s hard to beat a forsythia hedge. In spring, before the new leaves appear, the bare branches are smothered in a blaze of golden yellow flowers. This reliable shrub will grow in most soils, in sun or light shade. Cut it back immediately after flowering, and trim it again lightly in late summer to shape.

4. Rugosa rose

Rugosa roses (Rosa x rugosa) make a lovely informal hedge, with large colourful flowers throughout the summer followed by spectacular red hips in winter. Birds and bees love them and the very thorny stems provide good security. Trim in spring, wearing gloves! Rugosa roses are ideal for coastal gardens, grow well in sandy soil and like a sunny position. 

5. Hawthorn

Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) is another excellent choice for wildlife-friendly gardens, with flowers in spring for bees, followed by berries for birds. The thorny branches also provide good security for nesting birds. Colourful autumn leaves and berries keep it looking good into winter. Trim in early summer after flowering is finished and try to leave a few berries for the birds.  For a more formal look, trim again in late summer. 

6. Hardy fuchsia

In areas with mild winters, hardy Fuchsia magellanica makes a spectacular informal hedge with vivid pink flowers through the summer months and well into autumn. It does best in a sheltered spot in partial shade and is best trimmed in early spring. 

Call or visit Lakeside to choose from our range of potted and bare root hedging shrubs for your garden.