Formal Hedging Plants
There are relatively few hedging plants that are widely used for formal hedges: they do the job so wonderfully well that there is no need for other options.
Beech, be it copper or green, grows anywhere there is good drainage and some decent light. Yew will just about grow in the dark, and Hornbeam certainly will; it also loves the wet, heavy soils that beech can't stand. Laurel blocks noise and light pollution about as well as holly, which also clips beautifully for topiary.
All of these plants are tough and regrow from old wood, forgiving the worst mistakes you can make when you are clipping them.
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