A hankering for hedges

March 22, 2022

Have recent storms made you consider replacing your fences with hedges?

Picture the scene. It's early spring 2022, and the tail-end of three storms has just battered the UK. Thanks to Storm Dudley, Storm Eunice and Storm Franklin, there are trees and fences down all over the place. The post-storm spike in demand means some homeowners and tenants will be waiting weeks, possibly months, to replace their fences.

And this made us wonder. Why don't more people opt for boundary hedges instead?

Even without storms, fences need replacing when posts break, panels are damaged, or the wood becomes rotten with time. 

Plus - fences can be a little bit dull! By contrast, natural borders like hedges are ever-changing with the seasons.

So we thought, why not look at the pros of choosing hedges instead of fencing in your garden. 


The benefits of hedges

If you're a long-time friend of CJs, you already know that we are passionate about creating gardens you love to spend time in whilst offering thriving habitats for wildlife. As birds and wildlife adore hedges, hedges are the perfect starting point for this. 


And the benefits don't stop there. By mixing up the varieties of plants you use for your garden hedges, you will create colour and interest all year round. For example, deciduous hedges constantly change through the seasons, whilst others change colour throughout the year, adding another dimension of beauty to your garden. 


When it comes to the practicalities of maintenance, hedges allow wind to blow through them, making them far less vulnerable to storm damage. You also don't need to worry about staining them each year to protect the wood and extend their lifetime, and you will rarely have to replace hedges if they're looked after and treated to the occasional trim.  


Finally, an often overlooked benefit of hedges is that planting one of the more prickly species will help deter would-be intruders to your property, making them an attractive and practical security measure. 

Are hedges expensive?

The short answer is, maybe - but maybe not. 


If you want immediate impact, you'll need to invest in more mature plants. This does require more of an initial outlay, but it's a 'one and done' expense. 


Alternatively, you can start small and nurture younger hedging plants. This option is far more purse-friendly, and you'll get the satisfaction of seeing them grow. 


Preparing to lay a hedge

As with most gardening and DIY jobs, your success will come from good preparation. Use a good quality compost and consider some additional soil enrichment depending on the soil quality in your garden, 


On average, you will need between one and four plants per metre depending on the species you are using and how dense you want the hedge to be once it's matured. If you're planting young plants, they will take around three to five years to fully mature. 


The exact planting methods will vary depending on if you're planting pot grown, bare-root, cell grown, or root balled plants, but as a guide, you should;


  1. Prepare the ground by removing all weeds and digging a trench for the hedge plants. The trench needs to be slightly deeper and wider than the plants. 
  2. Enrich the soil you've removed from the trench, ready for backfilling.
  3. Using stakes and string, create a line to follow, use a cane cut to the required size to mark the distance between the plants. This will ensure the plants are evenly spaced and in a straight line.
  4. Give the plants and the trench a good soaking. Plenty of water now, and in the coming months, will be your friend when it comes to creating a healthy hedge.
  5. Tease out the roots and pop the plants into place. 
  6. Backfill with enriched soil and firm the ground to remove any air pockets that could lead to frost damage of the roots.
  7. Water again. Allow around a full watering can per plant - more if they're mature plants. 
  8. Top with mulch to protect the plant base from weeds and hello retain water. 
  9. Keep the area weed-free and well-watered until the plants have fully established. 


Please remember that these tips are a general guideline, and your specific choice of plants may require a different approach.

Do you need a helping hand?

If you'd like advice on the best type of hedge for your garden or would like to discuss booking our team to lay a hedge for you, get in touch with Claire today. Just call 023 8063 2600 or email claire@cjgs.uk .