Privacy Hedges
Privacy Hedges

Hedgerows present homeowners with another option for increasing the security of their property while also enhancing its aesthetics and privacy. They are essentially a sort of plant wall. Depending on the particular species, they can be inexpensive to plant and maintain. With the opportunity to plant many different kinds of species in different patterns and designs, many homeowners choose this option and apply their own personal preferences.

Security Provided by Hedge Plants

Your selection of hedge depends on your own needs and preferences. Thorny plants and some with serrated leaves increase security as deterrents to possible burglary. Some, like bougainvillea, present an attractive appearance.

Privacy Hedges

If privacy represents your main concern you should choose an evergreen variety as deciduous plants drop their leaves in winter, negating the purpose of a hedge for a privacy screen. The density of the growth also helps to block wind and dust.

Popular species for privacy screens include:

  • Boxwood
  • Privet
  • Laurel
  • Yew

Some homeowners use these hedges to enhance privacy also afford the homeowner an opportunity to enhance the aesthetics of his/her property by sculpting the hedge to a desired a shape with more artistic character. If you wish an artistic landscaped display for your yard using a sculpted hedge, be certain that the species you select is suitable for that purpose. Remember to prune the lower layers to be wider than the upper layers so that the upper layers do not deprive the lower layers of sun.

Other Aesthetic Issues of Hedges

Even though deciduous species do not provide as much privacy , some people may prefer a particular species. For example, many people select Rose of Sharon because it blooms with attractive lavender flowers. Other popular deciduous species include Forsythia and lilacs.

Experts advise not to "overprune" these species as they appear more attractive with a somewhat more wild look. Some of these species also provide habitat for animals. Some find the presence of animals such as birds and squirrels to be an amenity, others a nuisance. This is all a matter of personal preference.

Planting Hedge Shrubs

Despite the various species available for different landscaping and security purposes, you should consider other factors before deciding which species is most suitable for your property. First, many local ordinances ban the use of certain species. Many species termed exotic in particular locations are considered "pests" in that propagate so pervasively that they drive native plant species out and thus also deprive native animal species of their natural habitats, among other problems.

In response, local jurisdictions often ban the planting of such species. For example, despite its attractive, appearance some jurisdictions in Florida ban the planting of water lilies. Your own property may carry certain covenants prohibiting the planting of certain species. Ideally, you should be aware of such restrictions before purchasing your home, but if you have already bought the home, then take care to familiarize yourself with the covenants and restrictions.

You should also check that the climate in your area is suitable for the growing of your hedge. If you choose a plant which cannot tolerate the range of temperatures in your area, your hedge may die prematurely. Also, remember that your hedge needs time to grow and reach maturation. Different species reach maturation sooner than others, although most species require a number of years.

You should not depend on your hedge for immediate security or privacy, but if you plan to use it for such purposes, choose a species that reaches maturation in a time frame comfortable for you. In addition, plants need room to grow and allow their roots to spread.

In general, the crown of a tree or hedge corresponds to the width of its root ball. You should plant the hedge or other landscaping features at intervening distances slightly under their maturation width to achieve density. Also remember that if you plant them too close together, you may have to remove some of them later. Also remember that your roots spread underground and sometimes interfere with the vegetation across a property line. Take care that your hedge is not planted in a location that would cause your neighbor problems with his own property.

Sculpted hedges may be attractive for your property, but they cause a nuisance for your neighbor. You should take care that your hedge does not screen your neighbor's property against his/her wishes. Strong root systems have even been known to damage pavement.