Barrier Hedging & Screening Plants - Hedges for Privacy | Advice from Ashridge Nurseries


Most hedging plants and trees will, in time, provide excellent screening and protection - you can neither see nor get through a well grown beech hedge. The lists here do not therefore cover every plant, just some of the ones that specialise in being "obstructive". Please remember that time is necessary to create a hedge. If you are planting relatively small plants (which is always best as they establish and grow away much better
than larger ones do) you must allow at least 18 months and preferably 2 years before they are beginning to present a serious obstacle to a determined person in a stout leather jacket.

Screening Hedges

Screening hedging is generally designed to keep someone or something in or out and so the hedge screen plants here tend to be thorny. That does not take away from their beauty - just think of a rose. Some, such as most of the Berberis are truly vicious and we advise wearing leather gloves when planting and trimming any of the hedge plants that follow:

Darwin's Berberis.
An evergreen Berberis with extremely prickly, dark shiny green, holly-like leaves. The new leaves are almost red and turn green as they age. Orange flowers in Spring.

Julian's Berberis, Wintergreen.
Another evergreen hedging Berberis with dark green, spiny (a giraffe would think twice about these)leaves. Yellow flowers in spring. To 2 metres.

Green Berberis.
Lovely flowers, little berries, beautiful foliage and flexible, needle sharp spines that can find their way through the stitching in leather gloves. Vandal proof hedging.

Purple Berberis.
Similar in every respect to Green Berberis except the leaves are purple. The two plants look well together.

Blackthorn, Sloe.
The allotment owners favourite hedging plant. Blackthorn is suckering, dense growing, spiny, good for birds and carrying sloes in the autumn.

Needs little introduction. Produces an impenetrable hedge quite quickly. If planted in any number, some of the plants will be female and carry berries through the winter.

The traditional country barrier hedge. If it works for bulls....

Ramanas Rose, White.
These are thorny roses, that sucker well, so making a thicket, and can be cut with a trimmer. Excellent for hedges to 2 metres

Ramanas Rose, Red.
Identical to the White Ramanas Rose, this caries wine red flowers intermittently through the summer and autumn. Huge orange/red rosehips.

Scotch Rose.
The spiniest rose of them all, the Scotch Rose suckers well and is ideal for hedges to 1.2 metres.

Maintenance of these hedges involves weeding in the early years and one clipping a year. Formative pruning should be done in mid-winter. All these plants, including the roses can be cut with a hedge trimmer



Trees and some hedge plants can be the only solution to an eyesore. Some such as the Hybrid Poplars and Willows are not the most beautiful but grow very quickly indeed (2-3 metres a year). They can give you "a quick fix" and buy time for other, slower hedge plants or trees to grow enough to take over. Others such as the Laurels are evergreen and dense and can blot out car headlights and noise. In town the Privets grow quickly, clip well and are evergreen.

Hybrid Willow.
Not the most delicate of willows, but it grows at up to 3 metres a year (yes that is about 10 feet) and coppices well. To 10 metres

Hybrid Poplar.
As fast growing as the hybrid willow, but growing taller and wider. To 15 metres.

Laurel, Common or Cherry.
Good as formal hedging, Cherry Laurel is also an excellent screening plant. Its thick leaves absorb light and noise making it ideal for roadside planting. To 6 metres.

Lawsons Cypress, False Cypress.
An excellent, fast growing hedging and screening conifer. Clips well and makes a handsome tree for taller screens. To 30 metres

Leylandii is the king of the quick, fast growing evergreen screening hedges. This is what you want if you have to blot an eyesore out quickly. Needs clipping 2-3 times a year to keep it in shape and is not everyone's favourite, but in the right places, there is nothing to beat it. To 30 metres.


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